Planting flower bulbs is fast, easy and nearly foolproof, so it’s a great activity for even the youngest family members. Plant your bulbs as soon as the ground is cool—around the time of the first frost.

Prepare your planting bed by digging the soil so it’s loose and workable. Add some organic matter if needed. Plant bulbs pointy end up in 8-inch-deep holes for big bulbs and 5-inch-deep holes for small bulbs.

No fertilizer is necessary for the first year’s blooms. Don’t add fertilizer in the planting hole as it can burn new roots. Next fall, spread an organic fertilizer, such as compost or well-rotted cow manure, or a slow-release bulb food on top of the soil.

For best effect, plant bulbs in clusters, not individually or in long, thin lines. Plant low bulbs in front of high ones unless the low-growing bulbs bloom early and the tall bulbs bloom late allowing the tall display to camouflage the dying foliage of the smaller bulbs.

Reprinted by permission from Floral Retailing magazine.

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