3 Simple Steps to Plant and Store Flower Bulbs

Planting and storing flower bulbs are some of the easiest ways you can prepare your garden for the next blooming season. Doing so allows you to determine which specific plants and colors you want - or don't want - to include in your landscape for the following year, plus helps bulbs become acclimated to their surrounding environment. However, before the planting begins, make sure the quality of the soil is in good condition and that there aren't any other presently rooted plants in the area that may disturb the development and growth of your bulb plants.

Often serving as one of the first signs of spring, bulbs like crocus, tulips and daffodils are easy to plant and require little to no off-season maintenance. So if you're looking to include bulbs in next year's garden, here are three simple steps on how to plant and store flower bulbs this fall:

  1. Plan ahead. Bulbs should be planted before the first frost, so make sure to give yourself enough time to arrange and plant bulbs in your garden, and that the ground and soil are in workable condition - not frozen. Check your local weather or the average date of the first frost to plan accordingly.
  2. Plant deep. Depending on the size of the plant, bulbs should be planted from anywhere between 5" to 8" deep - the bigger the plant, the deeper you should plant - using a planting trowel. Make sure you place the bulbs with the pointed end up, as this is the direction in which the flower will grow. It's okay to water bulbs, but don't go crazy; over-watering can actually cause disease and may even rot bulbs.
  3. Store properly. For bulbs that can't take on the bitter, cold temperatures - like dahlias and gladiolus - store in cool, dry environments. The key is to make sure they aren't exposed to too much moisture that may bring on damage or disease. Also apply labels to bulbs so you can identify the different flower species when it comes time to plant in the spring.