Bartlett's Garden Guru Says...

What's new?

It's Bulb Planting Time!

Just because the weather has begun to turn cooler, it doesn't mean it's time to stop gardening - on the contrary,
it's time to start planning for spring bloom by planting bulbs!

Planting bulbs is the best way to extend the bloom life of your garden.
While most perennials do not start blooming until late April, most bulbs begin blooming in early March, adding almost a whole month and a half of bloom time to your garden!

What kind of bulbs should I plant?

There are many different types of bulbs available for planting. Things to consider when purchasing bulbs are: bloom time, site location, and drainage.

Bulbs like Crocus and Galanthus (snowdrops) are some of the earliest spring blooming bulbs and will appear in your garden even when there is a little snow on the ground. Daffodil bulbs will start to bloom in mid to late March and will continue to bloom until the end of May depending on the variety. Daffodil and Tulip bulbs bloom time may be listed as early, mid or late spring on the package. Purchasing and planting bulbs from each of the bloom times will give you the longest show of color in your garden.
The chart below helps depict both bloom time and planting depth for spring blooming bulbs.

Bulb Chart

Where and how should I plant my bulbs?

Bulbs should be planted in a sunny, well-drained location. Don't overlook a spot that seems shady in the fall. Remember that deciduous trees (trees that have leaves and not needles) will drop their leaves in the fall and not leaf out again until late spring allowing enough sun for bulbs to grow and bloom.

Bulbs should be planted pointy side up- You might be able to see roots on the bottom side of the bulb. If you really can't tell which end is up, don't worry about it, the bulb will figure it out on its own.

Daffodil Bulb End up

Bulbs should be planted at a depth of 2 to 3 times their diameter. For Daffodils that's about 6-8 inches below the soil. Smaller bulbs like Crocus should be planted to a depth of approximately 3-4 inches.
At planting, mixing some Espoma Bulb-Tone in the soil will help to encourage root growth. You can also use Superphosphate or bone meal but be aware!
If you have a dog do not use bone meal as most dogs will smell the bone meal and dig up your newly planted bulbs.
Label your bulbs with a plant label as you plant. Don't just assume you will remember where and what you planted-trust me, I know this from experience. Label, Label, Label!
Water your bulbs after planting to settle the loose dirt around the bulb and then sit back, relax, and have some hot cocoa while you are waiting for spring.


Bartlett's Farm has teamed up again with the Nantucket Garden Club to host the 38th annual Daffodil Show in April of 2012. In honor of the show, we have expanded the number of varieties of Daffodils we are offering. Varieties include both award winning Daffodils and historic Daffodils. At the farm you can also find information about planting and showing daffodils for the show or ask one of the garden center staff for more information.

Question & Answer......................

Q. Will Deer and Rabbits eat my bulbs?

A. Deer and Rabbits will not eat Daffodil bulbs! This makes them an excellent choice for planting on Nantucket. Other bulbs deer may not eat include Hyacinth, Fritillaria, Alliums, Crocus, Scilla, Galanthus and Muscari- although some of these may be browsed by rabbits and trust me when I say all may still be prone to some deer damage.

Deer will happily eat Tulip bulbs. If you live in a high deer pressure area, we recommend spaying with a deer repellent like Liquid Fence as soon as the bulbs emerge in the spring.

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33 Bartlett Farm Road
Nantucket, Massachusetts 02554