Spring bulbs are all bulbs that bloom in spring, from snowdrops, which bloom towards the end of winter, to tulips, which bloom late in the spring. Most of these bulbous plants, except for a few exceptions, do not fear the cold, and interre in the garden between late summer and early autumn, so that, when the first night frosts arrive, the bulbs have a root system has already been produced and have stabilized in the soil. The planting of these bulbous plants then begins in August-September, and ends in November-December, depending on the climate zone in which we find ourselves and the kind of bulb we have chosen. In general it is good to remember that, for an optimal development, it is good that the spring bulbs are buried for a few weeks before the vegetative restart and the production of new shoots: for this reason it is advisable that the bulbs with more early flowering, such as eranthis and galanthus, are buried at the latest in September (or in the first weeks of October), while late-flowering bulbs can be buried towards the end of autumn, or even during winter if in the place where we live the minimum temperatures are quite mild. Sometimes you may have to bury tulips or daffodils in January-February, in this case it can happen that some bulbous plants suffer damage from frost, or that they produce inconspicuous blooms in spring.
Bulbous summer flowers are instead buried at the beginning of spring, when the minimum temperatures are above 10-15 ° C; some of these bulbous plants fear the cold, so in autumn they should be unearthed from the soil and placed in a suitable place for their conservation, with a mild climate. Generally we begin to bury these bulbs in March-April, until June with regard to the bulbous or rhizomatous autumn-flowering plants. Also in this case, let us inform ourselves about each genus chosen by us, as it is always good to begin to bury the most precocious flowering plants, ending with those that bloom in autumn. Let us also inform ourselves about the rusticity of these plants: for example some dahlia tubers fear the cold slightly, therefore it is advisable to repair the place where they are planted, or to put them back in a mild climate; while other bulbous plants, such as the agapanthus or dicentra, do not fear the cold and therefore we can leave the bulbs home even during the winter.
Types of land
Generally, for bulbous plants, a soft and well-drained soil is chosen, with a fairly high pH and fairly rich in organic matter; in this way we will guarantee our plants a healthy and vigorous development, avoiding harmful water stagnations, which can favor the development of rot of the bulbs. A soft soil then allows us to practice more easily the possible operations of unearthing the bulbs.
As for the position, it is generally advisable to place the bulbous plants in spots, so as to obtain a more scenographic effect during flowering; most of the bulbous species grown in the garden prefer sunny or semi-shady locations.
As a general rule, the bulbs settle at a depth equal to their diameter, and at a distance equal to each other from their radius; this rule has several exceptions, which must be evaluated case by case, especially with regard to the many summer flowering bulbous plants.
After placing the bulbs at the right depth, let's water the soil, so as to moisten the clods of earth around the bulb; as for spring bulbous plants in general, after the first watering after the planting, it does not intervene further until the first spring shoots; as for the summer bulbs, after having planted them we will continue to water until the end of flowering. In general, bulbous plants are watered sporadically, only when the soil is well dry and occurs from rainy periods. The fertilizations are administered enriching the soil at the time of implantation, therefore we intervene with fertilizer for flowering plants, to be added to watering, every 15-20 days; remember to fertilize spring-flowering bulbous plants only until buds appear, while other bulbous plants will be fertilized until the end of flowering.
Place the bulbs: Remove the bulbs from the ground
Often it happens to have to remove the bulbous plants from the ground, because they are not rustic, because they have finished their cultivation and we want to plant other plants in the same place, or even because we want to thin them.
Let us remember that the term bulbous means all those plants that constitute underground organs, such as bulbs, rhizomes or tubers, in which they store nutrients, which will be used by the plant the following year. Like many other plants, even bulbous plants have a period of luxuriant development, during which they produce foliage, flowers, fruits and seeds; later, after the withering of the aerial part, they have a period of vegetative rest, during which the plants are dormant. The nutrients are produced and stored during the vegetative period, while during the dormancy period we can take the bulbous plants from the ground without fear of causing damage.
Spring-flowering bulbous plants generally have a period of dormancy that goes from late spring to the end of autumn-early winter, while summer-flowering bulbous plants have a dormancy period that goes from autumn until the following spring.
To choose the best time to take our bulbs from the ground, we will have to observe the development of the plant they produce: when the foliage tends to turn yellow and deteriorate, we can dig up the bulbs, cut off any leaves and place them in a dark, cool place , dry and well ventilated, also covering them with well dry perlite or peat.
The plants store nutrients produced through chlorophyll photosynthesis, which occurs through the leaves: for this reason it is not advisable to cut the foliage of bulbous plants when it is still green and lush; if a bulbous plant has not had time to store nutrients in the bulb, the next year it probably will not produce flowers.