Fall is the perfect time to prepare for beautiful blooms next spring. The time most of us have to spend inside during the cold months of the year drags on, until we see our first blooming flowers like the mid-winter blooming crocus.
When to Plant Iris Bulbs
One of my all-time favorite spring flowers has to be the iris, especially the bearded iris. Some iris grow from bulbs, like the Dutch Iris, but most iris plants grow from rhizomes. A rhizome grows underground from a plant stem that sends out shoots and roots from its nodes. They are easy to establish and get to flourish in your garden. You can get iris bulbs or rhizomes from a plant nursery or from a green-thumbed friend or neighbor (most iris gardeners love to show off blooms to, and share rootstock with, other iris admirers).
Once you get an established stand of iris going, you’ll see it expand, getting larger in diameter. I like to plant different patches in different places in the yard – a little patch of blue here, a patch of yellow iris over there, white iris, oh, the colors keep coming until you find you are running out of room to plant more! Once you decide to plant iris, you will find more and more places to grow them. And I promise they won’t disappoint you.
If you plant them in the fall, right about now, you will get the rhizomes established in your soil, so you’ll get a better chance for a first year bloom appearing. About half of iris will bloom the first year planted, so getting them in the ground a month or so before the ground freezes will give them a chance to get some root growth going, and increase your chances for next spring’s blooming of the flowers.
Plant a Crocus and Watch for Spring
Growing up in the middle of America, I have always been pleasantly pleased to see the middle of February come – because, even if there was snow on the ground, the crocus would be popping up and blooming. What a perfect and beautiful promise of spring just around the calendar’s corner!
Crocus grow out of underground corms, which are similar to bulbs in that they store food for future use – they are planted similarly. Crocus like full sun and well-drained soil; avoid planting them in clay soils. Plant them with their little buds facing upward about three or four inches down in the soil in early fall, space them two to four inches apart. From each corm you will get from one to five blooms. Again, planting the crocus corms in the early fall gives them time to get established before winter’s cold sets in too much.
Forsythia For Fall Planting
The yellow of the forsythia blooms is one of the earliest spring blooms any of us see. It is a rich shade of yellow, and another of spring’s earliest indicators. If you live in a milder climate, you can plant it from fall through March, from good nursery stock, but the best results come, once again, from a fall planting to establish good root growth prior to blooming time.
This plant is one you can enjoy for decades after you plant it with a little trimming and shaping when it’s needed. Forsythia is a delightful addition to any yard especially in late winter, early spring when those fabulous blooms appear.
Planting in the Fall for Spring Blossoms
Fall is a busy time of the year, but a little time taken to establish a bloomin’ beautiful spring will be time well spent.