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How to Plant Tulips and Daffodils

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Spring-blooming bulbs start with fall planting. This allows bulbs to go through a chilled period, which they require before blooming. Then, like clockwork, the bulbs send up shoots and bloom in spring. Tulips and daffodils are among them most popular spring-blooming bulbs.

Tulips and daffodils are easy to grow. Both come in a generous array of colors and bi-colors to catch the eye. For a big burst of spring color, plant hundreds close together in one bed. For smatterings of color, plant groups of 6 to 12 bulbs among your existing plants.

First, dig a hole. The size of the bulb will dictate the depth of the hole. A general rule of thumb is to plant at a depth of two to three times the length of the bulb. So for daffodils, that could be 3 to 5 inches deep; for tulips, it may be 5 to 7 inches deep. If in doubt, consult package instructions.

Add handful of compost or bonemeal to the planting hole to give your bulbs a nutrient boost. Then set the bulb root-side down in the soil. Bulbs have a top and bottom. The bottom usually has a little ruffle of dried roots. The top is generally more pointed.

Cover the bulbs with soil. Water well. Then add a 2 to 3 inch layer of mulch over top of the planting area. Mulch helps the soil maintain a more consistent temperature throughout the winter and early spring.

The great news about bulbs is that they keep coming back each year. Daffodils are especially good at this and they often form bigger clumps every year. After bulbs bloom, wait until the foliage withers and turns yellow before trimming. When green, the foliage is busy replenishing the bulbs for future years.

Regional Tips for Growing Colorful Flower Bulbs

Bulbs are a great way to bring splashes of color to your garden. Check out these regional growing tips.

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