Tips for Fall Gardening with the Grayson County Master Gardeners

By: Abby Powell
By: Abby Powell

Barb Grisham from the Grayson County Master Gardeners joins us to give tips for fall gardening. In particular, bulbs.

Fall bloons have just brightened our spirits after the hard, hot summer. You have seen the bright blood red blooms of Oxblood Lily (Guernsey, Schoolhouse) The taller deep rosy-red of Lycoris commonly known as Spider Lily (Yellow is less common form.) Oversized fall crocus in yellow or lilac or lilac meadow saffron.

All of these appear with stem and blooms only. The leaves show up at different time. They are often forgotten until those welcome blooms explode. Fall bulbs are planted in the Spring.

And it's time to plant your spring bulbs now. Ordering bulbs should have already been completed to receive in time. Bulbs can locally be purchased but the selection will be fewer and the varieties are not always suitable for the South if you desire good naturalization in this area. Certain varieties multiply more readily than others in our warmer temperatures.

All tulips require a pre-chilling time of six to eight weeks. They are considered one season annuals in the south. The species tulips are the only ones that perennialize. Tulips are planted between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Daffodils are the favorite bulb planted. There are many divisions of them and the best for our area are the jonquils which are smaller multi-bloom types and are often fragrant.

Plant in late fall after soil has cooled.

Prepare soil such that it drains well and is not compacted easily.

Depth to plant should be three times the width of shoulder of the bulb.

Add bone meal and fertilizer to bottom of the hole and place the bulb with tip upward and cover it.

Caution - Most bulbs are poisonous so use care around children and pets. Wash hands after handling.
There are bulbs for all seasons and the effort of planting is so rewarding over time and so nice to share when they multiply.

Good luck with your fall garden!!

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