Forget to plant your spring-flowering bulbs? There's still time, even if winter has arrived. As long as you kept them cool and are able to dig into the (partially) frozen soil. They may come up shorter the first season, but they'll recover in future years.
Small tarps or leaf piles over your planting area will keep the soil warm and workable if it looks like you'll be late getting your bulbs into the ground.
When planting, a good rule of thumb is to plant 3x as deep as the bulb is long. Typically, that's 8 inches (20cm) for big bulbs and 5 inches (13 cm) for small bulbs.
An easy way to remember when to plant summer-flowering bulbs is when it's time to plant tomatoes. Tender bulbs love soil that's at least 60º F (15.5º C).
Freezing temperatures can crack terra cotta and ornamental planters. Insulate them by planting bulbs in plastic pots then placing the plastic pot inside the earthen one.
Why bag your leaves in the fall when you can rake a layer of them over newly-planted bulbs. Wait 'til the ground cools and they'll love the extra protection.
Poke a twig into the soil to mark where you've planted. You might decide to add more later or, if you take a break, it'll help you remember where you left off.
Juliana's Bulb Tips
What's a terrace without a trio of containers bursting with summer bulbs?! Make sure yours have drainage holes in the bottom since bulbs don't survive in waterlogged soil.
Pots on the porch make summer in the city even better. Combine a few bulbs, like lilies, cannas or dahlias with lower growing annuals. The results will be amazing and provide you with months of color.
Flower bulbs make the most striking display if you plant them in large groups. A large clump of one color attracts more attention than if you plant just a few here and there.
Plant markers can be a pretty and practical way to mark sections of similar bulbs or that special new variety you want to look at longingly when it blooms.
Making your own plant markers can be a beautiful way to add a personal touch to your bulb garden. Or buy ones made of wood, galvanized steel or terra cotta!
Evelyn's Bulb Tips
Bulbs don't need mulch but, if you do, three inches (8 cm) is plenty. Just wait 'til the ground cools, otherwise your bulbs may be the belles of the ball at the winter critter feast.
A fertilizing program helps bulbs stay healthy after they bloom their first year. Add compost or manure to enrich the soil and organic supplements to nourish your bulbs.
Mice, like men, can be impossible to ward off. Build a barrier using finely meshed netting or chicken wire laid around the border with the edges tucked into the soil.
In the Fall don't forget to pick up the papery tunics and bulb debris after planting. Squirrels and other pests have a nose for bulbs and those clues will lead them right to a meal.
Squirrels can't stand the skunky gym socks smell of Fritillaria imperialis bulbs. Interplant these tall, dramatic flowers to ward them off and protect your other bulbs.
Daffodils and other narcissi bulbs taste horrible to squirrels and deer, so plant them as a border surrounding the other precious bulbs you'd like to protect.
Deadhead tulips once the flowers start to fade to prevent them from developing seedpods, which diverts energy from producing new flowers for next year.
Bunching, tying, braiding or cutting the leaves of tulips and daffodils after flowering may be tempting but inhibits photosynthesis from recharging the bulb for next spring.
If fading foliage makes you want to tear your tulips (and your hair) out, don't! Try disguising the decaying leaves by interplanting annuals or perennials.
Planting bulbs where water puddles is a sure way to have a disappointing spring. Hollows, low spots, under drain spouts and other soggy locations will cause bulbs to rot.
Bulbs that "naturalize" are likely to flower again in following years. You can help things along after they bloom by not cutting them off and giving their leaves a month or two to die back.
Containers of summer-flowering bulbs can be left in the pot over winter. Just be sure to move them to a cool, protected place like an unheated garage.