Hardy Flower Bulbs You Can Plant this Fall for a Beautiful Minnesota Spring Bloom
Fall is here, and it’s time to start thinking about which bulbs you want to plant for a beautiful spring bloom! In Minnesota, there’s a variety of bulbs that we can sow now that will survive the winter. Keep reading for our favorite bulbs and some tips to help you ensure they’ll flower in the spring!
Flower bulbs to plant in the fall
The University of Minnesota Extension informs readers which bulbs to sow in the fall to bring you that colorful spring bloom! September is a great time to start getting them in the ground, and here are the bulbs they recommend planting:
What do bulbs need to bloom in the spring?
These bulbs can lie dormant in the winter, but there are some things you can do to give them the best chances of a springtime bloom! The first thing is to ensure that you’re buying bulbs that have the best chance of survival. Meaning choosing bulbs that feel heavy for their size, aren’t growing any fungus, and are free of scrapes and gouges.
Next, you’ll want to plant them as soon as you get them in the right soil. Most like a well-draining, organic soil and they’re not going to want to be watered throughout the summer after their spring bloom is done. One great way to ensure success is to plant them earlier in the fall so they have time to grow some roots before going dormant in the winter!
Finally, you’ll want to plant them “in groups of 3, 5, 7, 9, 11 or more flowers” about “2-3 bulbs” deep – meaning the hole needs to be deep enough to stack 2-3 bulbs above the one being planted! If you have sandier soil, UMN recommends planting a little deeper, and a little shallower if you have soil that’s heavier with clay. Ensure that your bulbs are watered through the fall season
How can I protect my bulbs from winter?
Your bulbs are hardy and made to withstand the winter months. With that being said, there are a few things that we can do to protect them from the elements to give them the best chance of survival possible! This includes things like:
- Working some compost into the soil for warmth and nutrients
- Add a 2-inch layer of mulch, leaves, or mesh cloth to protect them from too much moisture and temperature change
- Plant them a little deeper if you have extremely cold winters
- Cover them with a board to prevent squirrels from digging them up
Delicate bulbs you should dig up in the fall
On the flip side, many of your delicate bulbs should be dug up in the fall so they don’t die in the winter. UMN notes that “Amaryllis, canna, gladiolus, begonia, dahlia, colocasia (elephant ears), [and] caladium” are all delicate bulbs that won’t survive winter in the ground, but can be replanted in the spring.
Once fall is in full swing and we begin to experience frost, it’s time to dig up these bulbs. Dig a large hole around the base of the plant to avoid cutting off necessary roots with a garden spade or fork. Nicking the fleshy bulb can cause it to be infected with disease.
After they’ve been dug up, most bulbs benefit from being washed off and then dried out/cured in a room out of direct sunlight and away from wind and drafts. However, gladiolus bulbs don’t like to be washed. Instead, let them dry out for a few days and then pick the dirt off. Continue curing them for an additional 3 weeks.
After labeling your bulbs, store your large healthy bulbs in a cool, dry place until you’re ready to plant them again in the spring. It’s recommended, though, to check on them periodically to remove any of the bulbs that have fallen prey to rot and disease.
Miller Creek is a landscaping company that can help you design, build, and maintain a beautiful yard for you to enjoy every season. Fall isn’t too late to talk about your vision for your ideal yard and landscaping ideas. We hope that these tips will help you successfully create a beautiful spring garden following the winter months!
Contact us for any of your landscaping needs!