Sometimes seems like the nurseries are stocking their spring bulbs earlier each year (probably trying to get them out of the way so they can put out their Christmas stuff?!). In my area, bulbs are on sale and many are sold out, leading one to wonder if the prime planting time has passed. So, when is the best time to plant? The answer varies by USDA growing region, but it's not too late to plant bulbs unless the ground is frozen. However, delayed planting may compromise the performance of some bulbs, as spring flowering bulbs begin growing by sending roots into the soil before the ground is frozen.
I like to plant my bulbs in October and November, after the first frost has nipped the annuals, leaving barren areas in the garden that I imagine will be bursting with blossom in six months or less. I'm one of those gardeners whose eyes are bigger than her trowel, in that I get somewhat gluttonous when I choose my tulips and daffodils, and purchase almost more than I can plant. The remedy is to steal 10 minutes a day in the garden when the weather allows, planting a dozen or so at a time in drifts throughout the landscape. After these planting sessions, I feel a great deal of empathy for squirrels if their wrists feel anything like mine after digging all day!
Photo © Jamie McIntosh