By John Spagnoli
Fall is a great time for planning your spring colors. It is the time to purchase bulbs of every kind from daffodils to tulips. There are countless varieties of bulbs to grow. I will cover a few of them. Hopefully, I can excite you to grow even more bulbs.
Bulbs properly planted in the fall will grow roots preparing for a spring bloom. Bulb in zone 7 Long Island need to be planted four to six weeks before frost. I once purchased tulip bulbs on sale late in the year. My bulbs planted in late November early December never grew properly. I don’t recall even having flowers or growing at all. Timing is everything with bulbs.
Plant iris bearded varieties in the fall as they grow in full and partial sun. Fall planting allows for roots to grow and helps the iris adjust to its surrounding so it can bloom in spring.
Irises originated in a number of places. There is a wide distribution from Europe, Middle East, Northern Africa, Asia and North America.
I love crocuses, one of the first flowers to bloom and they come back year after year. Saffron crocuses bloom in the fall and you can pick the stamens and dry for saffron you buy in the store. You can plant crocuses in your lawn for a brilliant display.
Crocuses are fool proof with very easy growing. The bulbs should be planted in full sun or partial shade. Plant the bulbs several inches deep. You can plant under a tree since when the crocuses grow there are no leaves yet. Crocuses are happy cramps next to another plant. An early crocus flower attracts bees in March. A beautiful flower for the start of warmer spring weather.
Snowdrops are one of the first of all spring flowers to appear. A single white flower blooms from February and March. These plants grow three to six inches often poking through the snow.
Daffodils are native to Europe, northern parts of Africa and western parts of Asia and Mediterranean. Daffodils grow in meadows and forests.
My dad planted hundreds of daffodil bulbs that bloomed beautifully for years. The secret is to let the leaves die back as the leaves replenish the bulbs. But don’t forget where you planted the bulbs. Daffodil requires partial to full sun. Full sun is recommended, if possible. Daffodils are able to grow through snow with no problems. Daffodils are a symbol of hope today. In the past, Daffodils was a symbol of chivalry.
When you think of spring often the image is of a tulip flower. Tulips have been popular for years, hundreds of years. In the 1600s, a tulip was worth a person’s yearly salary or their house. The very strange coloration of the tulip was from a virus. Tulips are native to Central Asia. The largest producers’ of bulbs is the Netherlands.
Fall is an exciting time of year, but so is planning for the spring with countless bulbs. As the snow starts to melt spring flower bloom declaring the near end of winter. A fresh new start for the year.