Spring has officially sprung, as evidenced by the beautiful buds of daffodils, muscari, and maybe even crocus popping up across NJ yards. Even though temperatures may still be cool, the signs of sun and warmer days ahead are more apparent with each bud that makes its way through the earth. However, it’s not just spring bulbs that have all the fun.
There are plenty of bulbs you can start planting now to enjoy in the summer and fall months ahead.
Before you start planting, always be sure you place the bulbs at the proper depth. If you’re unsure, an easy rule of thumb is to plant them 2 ½ to 3 times deeper than they are tall. (So if your bulb is two inches tall, then you should plant the base of the bulb almost six inches deep.) Most varietals enjoy well-drained soil as they tend to rot in waterlogged areas. Your blooms will also benefit from amended soil so be sure to add in some compost or other organic matter to ensure a bright summer.
Below is a list of bulbs you can plant now and expect to enjoy as spring rolls into summer:
Known for their array of colors, dahlias are easy to grow and make a vibrant addition to your summer garden. You can plant them in containers, making it easy to protect the tubers that deep freezes can often ruin. Plant after the threat of spring frost has passed in a sunny location with moist, well-drained soil. These blooms will attract some of nature’s most beautiful winged creatures, hummingbirds and butterflies.
There’s something so beautiful about the tightly packed petals of this summer bulb that resembles roses (just minus the thorns). You should plant these bulbs when there’s still 6-8 weeks of cool weather to sprout and grow. Make sure they are planted in full sun. The best part about this flower? It will keep your vases filled all summer long.
A favorite of the Grateful Dead (or at least scarlet ones), begonias are a bright addition to your garden and provide blooms all summer long. Available in a range of colors, begonias come back year after year as long as you store the tubers until the following spring. Just like dahlias, begonias can be planted in pots and brought inside during the winter to protect the tubers.
These fragrant statement-making flowers grow best in full sun and are very easy to cultivate. They’ll come back year after year as long as you provide well-drained soil and staking for the larger varietals. Deadheading the flowers as they fade will help to keep them producing. Do this by trimming off old, spent flowers from the stem tips.
It may not be a flower, but these jumbo-sized plants are famous for their dramatic foliage; in fact, they produces leaves 2-5 feet in size! Grown best in half shade/half sun, they can also be planted in containers and brought inside over the winter to be used as houseplants. The color doesn’t fade, even on the purple Black Magic varietal. The best part? They’re deer resistant!