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Garden Tip: Cool nights are perfect to plant bulbs

Snowdrops will pop up as early February, sometimes peaking through snow.  |  Courtesy of Heather Prince
Snowdrops will pop up as early February, sometimes peaking through snow.  |  Courtesy of Heather Prince

It’s perfect weather to plant bulbs! Take advantage of a beautiful fall day and pop in some spring color.

If you’re moving, dividing or planting perennials, consider adding some bulbs as you go. Tulips and daffodils make great companions with day lilies, geraniums or hosta. As their foliage dies back, the perennials take to the stage and cover unsightly leaves.

With a little planning, you can be rewarded with color from early spring through fall.

Try extending your blossom season beginning as early as February with early bloomers such as snowdrops, crocus and winter buttercups that may appear before the snow completely melts. Anemones and bulb iris charm with tiny delicate flowers early in the season.

Allium blooms in spring and summer with white, pink or purple pompom-like flowers on tall willowy stems.

Perk up your fall beds with Colchicum and fall blossoming crocus. These fall-blooming species will send up leaves in spring to gather energy for their later blooms.

In general, bulbs prefer good drainage and a sunny spot during their blossom period. You can plant early bloomers under trees and shrubs as they will bloom before the woody plants leaf out.

Rabbits, chipmunks and squirrels do not care for daffodils, fritillaria or allium. These make good partners with tulips to help minimize critter damage.

Garden Tip is courtesy of Heather Prince, The Growing Place, 630-355-4000, www.thegrowingplace.com.

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