Gardentalk – Stock up on bulbs

By September 7, 2017Gardentalk, Juneau
Bulbs ready for planting.

Bulbs ready for planting. (Photo by Matt Miller/KTOO)

If you buy any of the bulbs that have recently arrived in Juneau stores, don’t plant them yet.

“If we plant too early, the bulbs can get enough of the cool conditions they need to start sprouting and they may sprout too early,” said Master Gardener Ed Buyarski. He recommends putting bulbs in a cool — but not too cool — dry place like a garage or a basement for a month before it’s time to plant them. Don’t refrigerate them.

Buyarski also said local deer like to munch on tulips and crocus as a tasty treat. He recommends planting them inside a fenced-off area or where deer cannot get to them.

When it’s time for planting, dig a trench or series of holes about 8 inches deep and sprinkle in bulb food or fertilizer. Read the bulb packages for spacing and sun requirements.

Buyarski said you could also layer bulbs vertically in the soil according to their expected sprouting times during the season. For example, small early season bulbs can be planted on top of mid- or late season bulbs like tulips or daffodils.

Listen to the September 7 segment about bulbs:

Gardentalk is a weekly feature that airs every Thursday morning on KTOO’s Morning Edition program during the spring and summer. You can sign up for the podcast or ask your own question for gardening help by going to the Gardentalk archive page.

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