If you have not read last weeks post on soil preparation you may want to before delving into this week’s topic, planting.

 In light, sandy soils, bulbs may be planted by the dibble method: Make a small hole in the soil with a short, pointed stick; place the bulb in the soil; and after pressing the bulb down into the soil as far as possible, cover it with soil. In soils that are rather heavy, it is much better to use a trowel or bulb planter (tube with handle) to dig the hole for each bulb. Prepare rather loose soil underneath the bulb so that roots can easily penetrate the soil.

Plant tulips and daffodils with the tops of the bulbs 4 inches below the surface of the soil. In light, sandy
soils, plant tulips deeper than in heavy soils. Plant smaller bulbs such as squill (Scilla), glory-of-the-snow (Chionodoxa), grape hyacinths, and snowdrops, with their tops about 2 inches below the surface of the soil.

Plant larger bulbs such as tulips about 8 inches apart; crocus and grape hyacinths about 4 inches apart; and smaller bulbs, such as winter aconite and scilla, 2 to 3 inches apart.  Daffodils may be planted a foot or more apart, as they will make increasingly large clumps over several years. For a naturalized planting, daffodils may be placed at irregular distances apart, and small bulbs randomly with about 20 to the square foot.

Article Content courtesy Dr. Leonard P. Perry, Department of Plant and Soil Science, University of Vermont Extension