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Heather's Helpful Hint

Early Spring Bulb Care
February 17, 2011

Now that the snow is melting and your garden plantings are beginning to be exposed, you may see some spring blooming bulbs emerging before spring has really arrived. The snow cover has insulated the ground for a long period of time now and that combined with warmer temperatures can cause premature sprouting of bulbs. The growth starts showing itself above the ground giving us the hope of warmer weather to come, but may be covered with snowflakes a week or so later. So what can be done if that happens in your garden?

First of all, don't worry too much about early emerging bulbs. Unless you planted them improperly last fall by planting when the weather was not cool enough or by shallow planting (most bulbs should be planted three times deeper than their height), your bulbs are simply reacting to the weather changes around them. You cannot control the weather so remember that bulbs have always been susceptible to fluctuation in temperatures and will survive this year with a little bit of help. 

A small amount of foliage growth during freezing temperatures is no big deal and will not effect flowering later on. If flower buds do emerge you must cover the sprouting foliage and buds with dry leaves or straw to protect them until the temperatures warm adequately. Occasionally flower buds are damaged for the current season, but this does not mean that those bulbs will not produce additional flowers for the season at the proper time or that the performance of the bulbs will be adversely affected in the years to come. 

So enjoy the early spring that is finally beginning and remember to visit Waterloo Gardens for the plants you want and the advice you need for gardening success!

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