Fall is the time for … planting? Yep. Before you stash your garden tools, invest some effort now for a lovely payback in the spring. Hardy, cold-tolerant bulbs have no problem spending the winter underground, where they'll be ready for warming soil and sunny skies to tease them to the surface in the spring. Plus, fall's crisp days are perfect for working outdoors. Here are a few things to keep in mind when planting spring flowers in the fall.
1. Plant a rainbow
Give your garden a blast of variety by planting bulbs that produce blooms in a variety of colors. Tulip, crocus, daffodil, hyacinth, anemone and iris all come in a wide range of hues. Just be sure to keep the labels together with the bulbs until you actually sink them into the ground – you can't tell red tulip bulbs from white ones just by looking at them.
2. Plan for a long show
Each type of bulb blooms at a different time. Stagger your selections for a continuous blast of color.
3. Don't feed the wildlife
If deer like to visit your yard, choose bulbs with flavors they don't like, including daffodils, scilla, snow drops and grape hyacinth.
4. Use your fridge
In warm climates, fall bulbs need to be pre-chilled in order to bloom. Leave them in their bags and stash them in the fridge for six to ten weeks, suggests American Meadows, a leading online retailer of seeds and bulbs based in Vermont. But don't store them near fruit, especially apples. Ripening fruit give off ethylene gas that can damage or even kill the flowers inside the bulbs.
5. Pointy side up
Set the bulbs in the earth pointy side up. No need to lose sleep over it if you can't figure out which side is pointy – plant them on their sides and in most cases, the bulbs will figure it out.
Planning on selling your home in the spring? Besides dropping in some bulbs, there are a variety of home improvement projects you might want to consider over the winter to make your home more appealing to buyers. Talk to Cole to find out what updates could make you home more competitive in your market.