When Should I Plant My Bulbs?

By Lina Younes

In the Washington, DC metropolitan area, we’ve been fortunate to have a mild fall this year.  In fact, for the last two weekends, temperatures have been unseasonably warm.

The reason I mention this is because I wanted to start planting bulbs this past weekend. I was looking at bulbs that will bloom in the spring such as daffodils, hyacinths and tulips. Traditionally, gardening experts recommend that the best time to plant spring-flowering bulbs in our area is around Thanksgiving.  This year, I might have to wait until later in December for planting. Why may you ask? Well, it is recommended that nighttime temperatures should remain consistently below 50 degrees Fahrenheit for at least two weeks before bulb planting can begin. If you plant bulbs too early, you run the risk of having the bulbs rot or even to start growing prematurely if you get a warm spell in winter.

So, what is an amateur gardener to do? Well, for starters, you can check with your local agricultural cooperative extension offices. There you will find gardening experts who may answer questions on the phone providing excellent information related to the right plants for your area and other useful tips.

In the meantime, there are many steps that you can take to greenscape your garden. These techniques will help you grow a healthier yard, save time and money, and ultimately protect the environment. There are useful tips on how to apply greenscaping techniques for all seasons.  With the proper planning and care during the fall, you may be rewarded with beautiful blooming plants in the spring.

So, have you had a chance to plant any bulbs already? What are your gardening plans?  We would love to hear from you.

About the author: Lina Younes has been working for EPA since 2002 and currently serves as acting associate director for environmental education. Prior to joining EPA, she was the Washington bureau chief for two Puerto Rican newspapers and she has worked for several government agencies.

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