When selecting bulbs, size is an important consideration. Larger bulbs are older and generally will produce larger and more pleasing blooms. Avoid soft bulbs and those that seem bruised. Remember that the bulbs outer paper-like skin does not need to be intact for the bulb to grow.
Generally, bulbs fall into two groups; those planted in the fall for spring blooms and those planted in the spring for summer blooms. The spring flowering bulbs are hardy and actually require the cooling of the winter months to bloom. The summer flowering bulbs are not as hardy and many cannot withstand winter in the ground. These bulbs should be dug up in the fall and stored through the winter to be replanted the following spring.
|Spring Bloomers||Summer Bloomers|
|Plant in Fall||Plant in Spring|
Bulbs will give the most pleasing results when planted in clumps or mass displays. Some important factors to consider are height and bloom time. Keep shorter varieties to the front and taller ones in the rear of the display. Also, consider that some bulbs flower early, some in mid season, and some in late season. Proper planning can yield multiple displays of spectacular color.
To plant bulbs use a planter (a device that removes a "plug" of earth allowing you to plant the bulb at the proper depth). For larger areas, remove the entire soil bed to the specified depth, set the bulbs and backfill. Proper planting depth will insure that your bulbs bloom.