This post is a sponsored post as part of my monthly challenges with Lowe’s Home Improvement. Project and photos are completely original.
Fall is the best time to prepare for your spring garden, and one of my favorite tricks is a gorgeous, two-colored early spring border. we plant ours in the lawn along the drive in the front yard. Layering the bulbs together saves time during planting and creates an amazing, eye-catching colorful effect.
Using the layering technique for planting fall bulbs is one of the coolest techniques I know when it comes to bulb gardening.
The Secret for Making Spring Bulbs Last Longer
Spring bulbs are one of the most magical and beautiful things about the garden early in the growing season. While everything else is just getting started, spring bulbs are full of color and new life and breath-taking beauty. Using the layering technique will prolong that gorgeous display as long as possible.
In my area Daffodils usually appear in mid-March and the blooms last about 4 weeks. The big, red tulips show up about 2 weeks later and last about 3 weeks total. By layering the bulbs – planting them together in the same space – you get blooms for an extended period.
A Must-Know Trick About Layering Bulbs
When you layer your bulbs you are actually planting them in the same patch of ground. They will grow up very close to each other but remain healthy plants only if you remember this trick; plant the bulbs at different levels in the soil. The general trick is to plant the bulbs 3 times their size so for the average daffodil that will be 5-6 inches while tulips will usually be a little closer to 8 inches.
This means you can use the same plot of soil to plant bulbs at the different soil layers – hence the term layering.
Bright yellow daffies and solid red tulips are my favorite color combination. I also like to add on top some crocus bulbs or grape hyacinth which can be planted in the top couple inches of soil. Whatever I have on hand can be tucked in, but the daffodils and tulips are the big show-stoppers for me.
Time Saving Tip for Planting Lots of Bulbs
We planted our bulbs right into the lawn. The grass is healthy and thick and the soil, while not overly compacted, wasn’t exactly freshly-tilled. Since we didn’t want to destroy the sod we used a tricky time saver to plant the bulbs. Sidney would remove a plug of sod using the post-hole diggers about 6 inches deep and I’d tuck in a couple tulip bulbs. Then let a little dirt fall in and put your daffodil bulb in (not directly over the tulip bulb but just a little to the side so the plants have room to grow past each other in the dirt.)
Once you’ve put all the bulbs in, just release the plug of sod from the post hole digger and pat the grass back into place. Many of the roots will stay intact (as opposed to using a shovel) so the grass will grow back again. The lawn might look like a gopher family moved in a little bit but that will be sorted soon enough.
If you have a patch of summer perennials you can interplant them with early spring bulbs. This photo shows how we mixed my favorite spring-blooming bulbs with these summer-blooming heirlooms lilies. Their foliage will cover up the dying leaves of the daffodils and tulips.
Tulips are a favorite snack of squirrels in this area so even though these bulbs are perennials and will come back year after year, in our case I usually replant some new bulbs every couple of years. This year I picked up a huge bag of premium sized bulbs from Lowe’s so I’ll be putting in 40 more of each kind with some crocuses over the top. Winning!
What can you do now to improve your home’s curb appeal for years to come?
Be sure to check out all the fall gardening tips at Lowe’s Creative Ideas Magazine to increase your home’s curb appeal. Great ideas from some of the other bloggers on the Lowe’s Creative Team! Follow Lowe’s on Pinterest too for the best home improvement suggestions.