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Connecticut Garden Journal: How to plant tulips, daffodils, crocus, and hyacinths in layers–right now–for blooms all spring long

Planting bulbs in the garden
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While many gardeners like planting similar bulbs together in groups, if you only have a small yard or area for planting, there's another technique you can use: layering.

Now is the time to plant tulips, daffodils, crocus, hyacinths and all types of bulbs for a spring flower display. While many gardeners like planting similar bulbs together in groups, if you only have a small yard or area for planting, there's another technique you can use.

Layering is planting different bulbs together in a large hole. If done properly, you can have many types of bulbs blooming in succession in spring. The key is bulb selection.

Bulb packaging in garden centers often lists the bloom times of the various bulbs. Select a number of different bulbs and mix and match early, mid and late spring flowering times so something new is blooming every week or so. Start with the large sized bulbs such as hyacinths and daffodils. Those will be planted deepest in your hole. Then look for medium-sized bulbs such as tulips and alliums. Those will be on top of the large bulbs. Finally, select small bulbs such as crocus, scilla and chionodoxa. These are planted on top.

To plant, dig a good sized hole about 8 inches deep and wide enough to fit your bulbs. Plant so the bulbs are almost touching in well-drained soil. Lay the largest bulbs 6 inches deep and cover with soil. Layer the medium-sized bulbs 4 inches deep and again cover those with soil. Finally, layer the small bulbs on top of the medium bulbs only 1- to 2-inches deep. Cover it all with soil and water well.

In spring, depending on your selections you'll have waves of crocus, daffodils, alliums and tulips blooming giving you weeks of bulb joy.

Charlie Nardozzi is a regional Emmy® Award winning garden writer, speaker, radio, and television personality. He has worked for more than 30 years bringing expert information to home gardeners.
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