If you think that autumn’s the time to stop gardening, think again! Fall gardening time is here, and it’s time to plant tulips, daffodils, crocus, and hyacinths. The Dutch produce these in prodigious quantities and varieties so that our Canadian spring is worth waiting for. Fall bulbs produce the first blooms of next year’s season. The bulbs spend the winter making roots and come up early in the spring.

In the fall, you’ll find bulbs to purchase everywhere. Make sure you buy your bulbs from a reputable nursery, garden center, or catalog. Second-rate bulbs product second-rate flowers or don’t sprout at all. Plant anytime before the ground freezes. Ideally, plant your bulbs soon after you purchase them.

Select a site with lots of sun and well-drained soil. Work a few inches of compost in the soil. Plant bulbs generously in case some do not sprout. And plant them in random order and spacing for a more natural appearance. If you love groves of daffodils and blanketed landscapes of tulips, be prepared to buy and plant a large quantity of bulbs! In general, plant bulbs at a depth of three times the width of the bulb.

After planting, apply fertilizer low in nitrogen, such as a 9-6-6 formulation. If your soil’s sandy, plant bulbs slightly deeper; in clay soils, slightly shallower. Water well after planting. Apply mulch to keep the weeds down and hold in moisture. If you have squirrels, consider planting your bulbs in a “cage” fashioned with chicken wire or try planting some rodent-proof bulbs.

Visit www.dunnvillehortandgardenclub.org for more excellent gardening tips and interesting information. Everyone is invited to join us 7-9pm Oct. 20 for our Dunnville Horticultural Society Monthly Program Night. Jeff Bokma from Vermeers Garden Centre, Welland will be speaking on “Houseplants 101.” We meet at the Optimist Hall. Refreshments are served and the evening is free to members and non-members alike. Contact Debbie Thomas, President at (905) 774-3064 or Deb Zynomirski VP at 416-566-9337 if you have questions or comments.

Sandi Marr is the Recording Secretary for the DHS and can be reached at sandi.h@sympatico.ca.


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