When to Plant Spring Flowering Bulbs
Ideally, the best time is when the evening temperatures are between 40°F to 50°F and at least 6 weeks before the ground freezes. Planting in warmer temperatures may stimulate the bulb to begin sprouting prematurely. Generally late September through November for our zone (5).
How to Plant Bulbs – Step by Step Instructions
Step 1: Loosen soil in the planting bed to a depth of at least 8”. Remove any weeds, rocks or other debris. You can mix in compost, other organic matter or slow releasing fertilizer if your soil lacks nutrients.
Step 2: Depending on the bulb, follow the recommendation on the label for planting depth. As a general rule, plant big bulbs about 8" deep and small bulbs about 5" deep. Set the bulb in the hole pointy side up or the roots down. It's easy to spot the pointy end of a tulip; tougher with a crocus. If you can't figure out the top from the bottom, plant the bulb on its side, in most cases, even if you don't get it right, the flower bulb will still find its way topside.
Step 3: Now that the bulbs are planted, back fill with soil over the hole, lightly compress the soil but do not pack it. Water to stimulate root growth. There is no need to water continuously unless you live in an area with low precipitation in the winter months.
Note: Squirrels do like daffodil bulbs, so planting them around other bulbs may discourage them from eating the tastier bulbs.