Plant Fall Bulbs for a Spring Garden

Last Updated on August 19, 2020 by Kimberly Crawford

Grow beautiful, early­-blooming flowers next spring. Remember to plant spring-flowering, hardy bulbs in the fall.

Crocus, tulip, daffodil and grape hyacinth bulbs are some of the first flowers to bloom in the spring. But, don’t wait until then to think about the spring flower garden. Select these hardy bulbs in the fall and plant before the ground freezes.

plant fall bulbs for spring garden

The Crocus is Spring’s First Flower

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The crocus has been known to bloom while there is still snow on the ground. It begins to peek out of the soil long before winter has blown its last cold wind.

Crocus bulbs can be planted anywhere that you want to see early spring color. As with most hardy bulbs, these colorful flowers will bloom in full sun, but prefer a bit of shade for long-lasting blooms.

Because the crocus is an early flower, it can be planted in other perennial flower beds or on the lawn where it will bloom before the grass starts to grow.

Once the rest of the growing season has begun, the crocus flowers will be gone and the small leaves will easily blend in with the rest of the greens.

Crocus bulbs are susceptible to rodent damage. Planting several cloves of garlic in the flower bed will detract rodents.

Grow a Sunny Patch of Daffodils

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Daffodils are easy to grow successfully. These bulbs are extremely hardy and are rodent resistant. They begin growing during the early spring months and are ready to bloom in the warm spring sunshine.

Daffodils multiply easily, resulting in clumps of daffodil bulbs. While they will continue to bloom if neglected for a few years, eventually the clumps will stop producing flowers.

To ensure that daffodils will continue to bloom and thrive, divide the bulb clusters in late summer. Replant the single bulbs with at least four or five inches of soil above the tip of the bulb.

Pair Daffodils with Grape Hyacinths

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Yellow daffodils are set off wonderfully by grape hyacinths. The flowers on these miniature hyacinths resemble clusters of grapes and grow to a height of no more than three inches.

They make a perfect border plant for daffodils. Grape hyacinth bulbs are small, though they multiply rapidly. These plants are easy to care for, come back year after year, are not susceptible to rodent damage and continue blooming even when crowded.

Tulips Complete a Spring Flower Garden

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Tulips come in several varieties and colors. A bed of all purple tulips or all pink tulips is a stunning display. Or, pair tulips in two contrasting colors for an eye-catching focal point to a spring garden.

Tulips are often the target of hungry rodents in the winter months. As with crocus bulbs, plant cloves of garlic in the tulip bed to keep the rodents at bay.

To lengthen the bloom period of tulip bulbs, plant bulbs ten inches deep in well-drained soil.

With deep planting, tulip bulbs will not produce offsets as quickly and will not need to be divided as often as they otherwise would. Tulip bulbs that are crowded result in weak plants that are unlikely to bloom.

Spring flower gardens begin in the early months of the fall. Plant crocus, daffodil, grape hyacinth and tulip bulbs before the first heavy frost of the fall and be ready for a stunning display of flowers in your spring garden.