(HIT) – When you were a child, did you ever dream of digging up buried treasure? Now that you’re all grown up, you can plant buried treasure this fall and be rewarded in springtime with a colorful display of blooming tulips, daffodils and other early-season flowers.

Autumn is the time that most gardens start to slow down for the year. But smart gardeners know that fall is the perfect time to plant flower bulbs that will bloom in the spring. Planting bulbs is one of the easiest types of gardening, and it’s the perfect way for beginners to get started. It’s really as easy as “dig, drop, and done.”

Garden designers now advise against planting a row of bulbs alongside a driveway. That linear look has given way to planting bulbs in clumps or large swaths that create a dramatic display of spring color. Planting about five bulbs per square foot creates the best display of blooms. Generally, bigger bulbs mean bigger blooms. That’s why expert gardeners advise against buying small, less expensive bulbs, because you might be disappointed come springtime.

Everything you need for a spring-blooming bulb garden is described below—including great varieties of tulips and daffodils, a new tool that makes digging holes for bulbs fast and easy, and the perfect fertilizer for bulbs. It’s time to plant some buried treasure!


New tulip blends and daffodils for colorful spring blooms

Image of Split Corona Daffodils
Photo courtesy of Wayside Gardens

To get the flowering bulb season off to a great start, plant ‘Mallee’ Split Corona Daffodils in the fall. ‘Mallee’ offers gorgeous early-season blooms that spread 3 to 4 inches wide, revealing white outer petals and peachy centers. The flower cups are often intact cylinders at first, but as they mature they split into six frilly segments that reveal a soft yellow starburst center.

This delightful daffodil thrives in any spot that receives plenty of sunlight in moderately rich soil. The trouble-free plant will slowly naturalize to fill an area, so the 16- to 18-inch-tall flowers will bloom year after year. The sword-shaped foliage grows in wild clumps of exceptionally dark, glossy leaves that stand as a pleasant reminder once the bloom show is finished.

‘Mallee’ Daffodil is a great way to fill flower beds or borders. It “plays well” with perennials and makes an outstanding cut-flower. And because deer tend to avoid it, ‘Mallee’ is perfect for the wildest fringes of your property. A pack of 20 bulbs sells for $22.46 from Wayside Gardens, www.waysidegardens.com, 800-845-1124.

Image of Kiss n’ Tell Tulip Blend
Photo courtesy of Wayside Gardens

Three is a magic number when creating a gorgeous flower display, so it’s no surprise that the Kiss n’ Tell blend of Darwin tulips brings together three great varieties. The pale pink of ‘Apricot’, the vibrant red of ‘Cherry’ and the striking white-and-red mix of ‘Apple Candy’ tulips give you a great reason to look forward to tulip season. Each of these varieties is a Darwin hybrid tulip, bred for its combination of huge blooms, perfect form, tall stems and vigorous growth. This blend is ideal for filling large swaths of landscape, creating colorful flower beds or as accent plantings.

Tulips are at their perennial best in areas with cold winters and hot, dry summers. To help your tulips come back year after year, plant them in sandy soil with excellent drainage and feed them with well-rotted cow manure or bulb fertilizer. A 10-bulb pack of Kiss n’ Tell Tulip Blend sells for $19.95 from Wayside Gardens, www.waysidegardens.com, 800-845-1124.


Giant Darwin Hybrid Tulips offer show-stopping spring color

Image of Giant Darwin Hybrid Tulips
Photo courtesy of Sloggers

The Giant Darwin Hybrid Tulip Mixture is an impressive blend of white, ivory, yellow, orange, pink, red and two-tone Tulips that ignites spring gardens with color. Included in this mixture are many popular tulip varieties including Apricot Impression, Cream Jewel, Daydream, Hakuun, Golden Parade, Pink Impression and Oxford Elite (a delightful tomato-red variety with golden-yellow edges). The bulbs are large to ensure a showy profusion of flowers in mid-April to May. In full bloom, the flowers are 20-24 inches tall.

Giant Darwin Hybrid Tulip Mixture bulbs are $15.00 for 25 bulbs, $22.25 for 50 bulbs or $37.25 for 100 bulbs. To place an order or request a free Beauty from Bulbs catalog, call 860-567-0838 or visit www.johnscheepers.com.


Planting bulbs is easier with a Power Planter

Image of the Bulb Planter Auger from Power Planter
Photo courtesy of Sloggers

Planting flower bulbs in the fall isn’t a complicated job, but when you’re planting a hundred or more bulbs the task can be time consuming. That’s when the right labor-saving tool can make all the difference.

A Bulb Planter Auger from Power Planter is the ideal tool for planting bulbs in the yard. The Bulb Planter Auger fits into any standard power drill, and it quickly digs the perfect-sized hole for tulip, daffodil, hyacinth and other flower bulbs. Simply drill to the maximum depth of the auger and lift the auger out of the hole. This leaves approximately one inch of loose dirt in the bottom of the hole, which is perfect for getting the bulb’s roots started.  Put some fertilizer in the hole, drop the bulb in (pointy side up), refill the hole with the loose soil the auger has removed, and you are done.

The Bulb Planter Auger (model #307) is three inches in diameter and seven inches long—perfect for planting most bulbs (and spring bedding plants). It comes with a 3/8-inch non-slip hex drive for use with any cordless or corded drill. The Bulb Planter Auger, which sells for $22.99 from PowerPlanter.com, is made by a small family-run business located on a farm in Central Illinois. Every Power Planter tool is backed by an unconditional guarantee on workmanship and quality.


Fertilizer for flower bulbs

Image of Bulb-tone plant fertilizer
Photo courtesy of Sloggers

To make sure your flower bulbs deliver the best possible blooms, use a fertilizer designed specifically for bulbs. Espoma Bulb-tone is a premium plant food formulated specifically for bulbs and tubers. It contains bone meal and other natural organics to meet the special nutritional needs of these plants. Bulb-tone’s all natural formula contains a proprietary blend of beneficial microbes, which biologically enhances the natural plant food to ensure superior plant growth.

Bulb-tone feeds slowly and safely, and it provides a long lasting food source that’s perfect for all spring and fall bulbs including tulips, daffodils, crocus and hyacinths. Espoma Bulb-tone is available in 4 and 18 lb. sizes at garden center stores and from www.amazon.com.


That’s everything you need to plant bulbs now for a colorful display of spring blooms. So get outside and plant some buried treasure!

Courtesy: Home Improvement News and Information Center