When it’s warm enough to plant tomatoes outside — about 60 degrees Fahrenheit — it’s warm enough to plant summer bulbs. Bulbs like dahlias, peonies, iris and lilies are some of the easiest plants to grow, and they burst with beautiful blooms that are perfect for bouquets. For the best flower show, plant lots of bulbs.
If your spring is rainy or cold, you can start your bulbs indoors in pots. Then, move them to the garden when the weather improves.
Plant Summer Bulbs in 6 Simple Steps:
- Dig a hole. Use a trowel or shovel to dig a hole about 3 times as deep as the height of the bulb. Some bulbs, like dahlias, need to be planted deeper. Read the labels on the bulbs or packages to know exactly how deep and far apart to plant.
- Use compost. Mix some compost and bulb food into the soil.
- Plant. Put the bulbs in the hole with the pointed ends up. If you can’t tell which end is pointed, plant the bulbs on their sides. They’ll figure out which way to grow on their own.
- Cover with soil. Replace the soil and gently press it down around the bulbs.
- Water. Give your bulbs water and cover them with 2 to 3 inches of mulch.
- Feed. Apply an all-purpose fertilizer when the bulbs start growing.
When the blooms are finished, cut faded flowers but leave the foliage. The bulbs will use it to store energy for next year.
- Assorted summer bulbs like lilies, daylilies and gladiolus
- Shovel or trowel
- Bulb food
- All-purpose fertilizer
- Optional: Gardening gloves
- Optional: Plant labels, so you can remember where you planted the bulbs