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Ways to Plant Spring Bulbs in the Fall

by Louise W. Rice

The end of the gardening season can be a sad time, but it doesn’t have to be. Fall is an excellent time to prepare your garden for spring and plant bulbs for a fantastic show in the new year. When you think of fall, images of pumpkins may come to mind, but this is also a great time to start planning your spring garden. Let’s look at 4 ways you can plant bulbs in the fall.

These tips will help you get ready for spring by making space for your spring flowering bulbs and getting them ready for winter. If these ideas inspire you, then we have some great information on how to plant spring bulbs in the fall that will help you see an early spring next year!

When to plant fall bulbs?

The best time to plant bulbs in the fall is determined by where you live. This will also help you determine which bulbs are best for planting in your area.

  • In the Midwest and Southeast, you can plant bulbs from October through November.
  • You can plant bulbs from September through October in the Northeast, Northwest, and Southwest.
  • Bulbs in the South and Southwest may need to be planted deeper and have a larger root system to survive winter.

Bulbs planted in the fall will have time to establish their roots and become strong and healthy before coming out of the ground for their first bloom. Fall bulbs are the best choice for areas with short growing seasons.

1. Decide what bulbs to plant in the fall

The first step in planting bulbs in the fall is deciding which bulbs you want to plant. There are a lot of different options when it comes to bulbs, and choosing which species to grow may be overwhelming. The best way to start is to narrow down which bulbs you like the most. Next, you want to consider the bulbs’ growing conditions. Some bulbs that are good for planting in the fall include:

  • daffodils;
  • crocuses;
  • tulips;
  • hyacinths;
  • irises;
  • alliums.

In addition to choosing the right bulbs, you also need to make sure your bulbs are ready to be planted. If you’re planting fall bulbs for spring flowers, they may need extra time to grow to be ready for spring.

2. Clear away dead material

Before you plant your bulbs in the fall, clear away any dead plant material. This will provide a clean space where you can plant your bulbs. When you clear away dead plant material, it’s crucial to be careful not to damage your bulbs. Make sure you don’t dig up your bulbs when removing dead material.

You can also remove weeds from your garden to give your bulbs some space to grow. If your bulbs are planted in a bed of weeds, they won’t get the sunlight and water they need to thrive. Keep your garden clear of weeds, and you’ll be able to plant your bulbs more easily.

3. Add organic matter and fertilize

Bulbs need nutrients to grow, and they also need organic matter to help them stay healthy over the winter. When you are planting spring bulbs in the fall, add extra organic matter to the soil where you are planting them. You can also use fertilizers to add nutrients to the soil. Organic fertilizers can be purchased at nurseries and garden stores.

When you’re fertilizing bulbs, you want to ensure you’re not overdoing them. Over-fertilizing can actually be harmful to your bulbs. To prevent it, you can use a fertilizer with a lower number on the bag. If you want to be extra careful, you can test the PH levels of your soil to make sure it’s balanced.

4. Lay down a layer of mulch

When you choose flowers to plant in the fall for the spring, you may want to consider laying down a layer of mulch. Mulch is a material you cover the soil with to keep it protected throughout the winter. There are different types of mulch you can choose from, but they all have the same goal.

You can use wood chips, straw, or leaves to make a layer of mulch. Mulch can also help prevent weeds from growing in your garden. If you live in a warmer climate, you may want to use no mulch or only a very light layer. This will help keep your bulbs from getting too warm and dying off in the spring.


When you’re ready to plant spring bulbs in the fall, you want to make sure you choose the best bulbs for your garden. There are a lot of different options, but remember to choose bulbs that will grow well in your environment. To plant bulbs in the fall, you first need to decide which flowers you want to plant. Then, clear away dead plant material, add organic matter and fertilizer and lay down a layer of mulch. That’s all, now your garden is ready for spring to come.

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