Season 2 • Episode 19 - October 9, 2023
Now is the time to start getting your
spring flower bulbs in the ground. A little work now and
you will be rewarded with great spring color! We stopped
Portland Nursery on Division (503-788-9000) to talk
with Shelley about her favorite (and the most popular)
bulbs for spring. She talked about the large number of
bulbs that you can plant now including daffodils,
crocus, alliums and tulips. The first blooms of the
spring are the crocus. Actually a lot of these bloom in
the winter. They are also the shortest of the spring
bloomers, but you can’t beat the colors! They are so
vibrant after a winter of blah! Next are the daffodils.
They are the signature flower of the early spring. Most
people think of the old standby of King Alfred, the
bright yellow daffodil, but nowadays they come in so
many other colors! You can get creams, pinks and
peach-colored blooms. Plus they bloom for a long time.
You can also get smaller jonquil varieties that won’t
flop over as much. The final flower of the spring garden
that most people are familiar with is the tulip. These
are late spring bloomers with a huge array of colors.
You can also get double petals and blended colors. If
you get the larger varieties they can be floppy in a
heavy rain, but there is nothing like a tulip in the
Shelley recommended that you plant all different types
of bulbs in your garden beds, then you can have waves of
color for months. But how deep can you plant them? The
package will generally tell you, but a good rule of
thumb is to go down about two- to three-times the size
of the bulb. She also recommended that you plant large
groupings of bulbs so they come up in a large bunch as
opposed to planting single bulbs throughout your garden.
You can plant them anytime now until December. This will
give them time to experience the colder temperatures
which helps trigger their blooms later in the spring. Of
course you will want to plant them in well-drained soil.
This will help prevent them from rotting.
If you notice that your well-established bulbs bloom
less after a few years, they may be fighting for
nutrients with newer, baby, bulbs. Dig them up and
replant them in the fall in another area of your garden.
If you don’t have room in your garden or you are lacking
gardening space, she reminded us that bulbs are great in
pots, too! You can create waves of color by layering
your spring-blooming bulbs. You can do that by using
different layers of bulbs in a pot so you can have color
that lasts all spring! You can use daffodils, tulips and
crocuses in three different layers. Then top it all off
with some great fall color plants. When the warm days of
spring arrive you will have these bulbs blooming at
different times and will have bursts of color for
months. Don’t worry, the bulbs will find their way up
through the plants in the pot. For the best results
always remember to start with a quality potting soil,
bulb fertilizer and water them well!
Other bulbs that people forget about planting during the
fall are onions and garlic. These can be planted now so
they can establish roots and then by late June or July
you can harvest them for use in your kitchen.
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