Planting Bulbs in the Fall

Bulb planting season is officially here!  September through November is the ideal time of year to plant bulbs for spring.  Temperatures this time of year are in the 40 degree range which is perfect for bulbs, just make sure to plant them before the ground freezes!  By planning ahead and putting in a little work now, the results in the spring can be stunning.  As Colorado landscape architects here at Designscapes Colorado, we have put together an easy checklist to help you realize your garden landscape ideas.


This cross section of soil shows the recommended planting depths for bulbs

We have already established that the fall season is the best time to plant bulbs of perennial flowers in Colorado, so lets move on to some planting basics.  First, we want to make sure the bulbs grow in an upright fashion.  The pointy end should face up, while the side showing stringy evidence of roots should face down.  These bulbs should be planted in well drained soils with a neutral pH level.  Before planting, it is a good idea to till the area your going to be planting in to a depth of about 12″.   Depth of planting is important as well, larger bulbs get planted roughly 8″ deep, while smaller bulbs require a shallower depth around 5″.


Choose a sunny site for planting.  Most bulbs appreciate 6 hours of sun, although some can tolerate as little as 4 hours.  Once the bulbs in the ground, it is a good idea to water them frequently, which will help to establish their new roots.  Applying fertilizer is also recommended once in the fall, and again in the spring with an organic mixture 9-9-6.  This is the percentage of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium in the fertilizer.


Bloom colors are dazzling, and provide a wonderful transition from the grey of winter to the beautiful colors of spring.  When planning your design, consider at what distance the bulbs will be viewed from.  For far away beds, select bright colors that can easily be seen from a distance.  Conversely, subtle differences in color can be appreciated up close.  Also consider the backdrop of the bed and contrast your bulbs accordingly.  Vibrant, darker colors work well with a lighter backdrop, while whites and lighter colors stand out against a dark backdrop.  If you choose to plant a mix of colors, don’t alternate them when planting.  Instead, mix the bulbs beforehand to ensure a randomized pattern.  Don’t be shy about planting in numbers either.  Plant bulbs liberally in groups of 40 or more at a time, roughly 5″ apart.  With these tips in mind, come springtime, your garden will be transformed in to a beautiful Colorado landscape design.

Phil and Bertha show Channel 7 viewers bulb planting basics

Give Designscapes Colorado a call at 303 721-9003 or at and talk to one of our landscape designers about Colorado landscape design today!

This entry was posted in Gardens, Residential, Pots & Planters, Annuals & Perennials