How to Plant Fall Bulbs

Already thinking ahead to next spring? Learn how to plant fall bulbs now and reap the beautiful benefits later.

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Take the first steps to prepare for next year’s garden by planting fall bulbs now. Don’t know how to plant fall bulbs? These simple tips and instructions will teach you how to get the most out of your bulbs for a spectacular spring and summer showings for many years of enjoyment to come!

How to Plant Fall Bulbs

How to Plant Fall Bulbs | New England Gardening Tips


How to Plant Fall Bulbs

Fall bulbs should be planted six to eight weeks before the ground freezes. Never plant bulbs after the ground has frozen.

Before purchasing bulbs, check the US Hardiness zone chart to see if the bulbs you have chosen will thrive in your area. Most regions of New England are considered either zone 5 or zone 6. Grape hyacinths, daffodils, iris, tulips and daylilies are all excellent choices for New England’s climate.

Choose areas to group bulbs ahead of time, taking into consideration the sunlight exposure the flowers will receive to grow well.

Fall Bulbs

Turn the soil when you plant bulbs in fall.

Dig and turn the soil where you plan to plant bulbs.  Add compost to the prepared beds to give the bulbs a nutrient boost.

Bulb holes should be approximately 3- 4 inches deep for small bulbs, and up to 8 inches deep for larger bulbs. Space the holes according to the directions on the packaging or 2-3 inches apart if no directions are included.

Place one bulb in each hole with the pointed tip of the bulb facing upward. Group bulbs in clusters for a burst of color and visual impact.

How to Plant Fall Bulbs

Hyacinth are just one of the many fall bulbs to plant now.


Fill the holes with soil and water lightly. Avoid fertilizing newly planted bulbs as it may burn or damage the plant. Bulbs are naturally compacted with all the nutrition and energy needed to flourish.

Once your bulbs are in the ground or “put to bed” for the winter, nature will take care of the rest. You, too, can cozy up for the season knowing that you will have the perennial gift of flowers to look forward to in the spring.

This post was first published in 2008 and has been updated. 


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