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USDA Plant Hardiness Zones

To help gardeners understand which plants will grow well for them, the entire USA has been segmented into ‘Plant Hardiness Zones’. Knowing your zone number is helpful when shopping for plants because:

  • Cold-area gardeners can avoid buying plants that simply won’t survive their lowest winter temperatures.
  • Warm-area gardeners can steer clear of plants that need a period of cold weather in order to bloom again.
Find your Plant Hardiness Zone here.

Trench-Style Planting: Big Color, Little Time

One of Mike's Tulip trench plantings in bloom.

Many gardeners meticulously plant bulbs in an exact pattern, making sure the proper colors are coordinated and each bulb is placed just right. We think this is a wonderful way of gardening and love seeing the results, but sometimes there just isn’t enough time or there are hundreds of bulbs involved. This is where trench planting comes in.

Trench planting is an easy way to plant clumps of bulbs together to create a big statement in the garden. Instead of using a bulb planter or spade to plant single bulbs, you dig a large hole in the garden, place the bulbs closely together in it, and bury them. Voila!

Stylistically, smaller bulbs like Tulips, Daffodils, and Hyacinths look better when planted in larger clumps instead of placed in single spots throughout the garden.

Trench Planting: Easy Steps

Trench Planting: Tulips

Lay out the bulbs close together, with the pointy sides up.
Trench Planting: Tulips

Bulbs thrive when planted under most trees, unless they are very acidic evergreens.
trench planting - filling back in

Cover the bulbs back up and give the area a good watering to remove any air pockets.

 

First, select your bulb varieties. Mike “The Seed Man” chose to do a trench planting in his front garden with hundreds of Tulip bulbs. You can easily do the same with Daffodils, Hyacinths, Crocus, and other spring-blooming bulbs.

After you have your bulbs, dig a large trench to the depth you need to plant the bulbs. A large shovel should suffice for this step, although if you’re doing smaller trench plantings you could use a spade as well.

Once you’ve dug the hole, drop the bulbs in and arrange them so the correct side is facing up. Typically, this is the pointy end of the bulb.

Water thoroughly to get rid of any air pockets.

Sit back and wait for a huge burst of color in the spring!

Trench Planting In Action

Trench Planting: digging the hole

trench planting - tulips

As mentioned before, Mike planted 500 mixed Tulips in five separate trenches throughout his yard and gardens. With a little help from his daughter Sadie, he managed to plant all of these bulbs in under two hours.

Tulip Bulbs

  • Fringed Tulip Bulbs New Santa

    $15.98

    Sale: $7.99

    Per Bag of 7

  • Darwin Tulip Bulbs Golden Oxford

    $49.98

    Sale: $24.99

    Per Bag of 50

  • Triumph Tulip Bulbs Helmar

    $13.98

    Sale: $6.99

    Per Bag of 8

  • Perennial Darwin Tulip Bulbs Grand Mix

    Starting at $13.98

    Sale: $6.99

    Per Bag of 10


Trench Planting: The Results

Mike was extremely happy with the results of his fall trench planting. That spring almost every Tulip came up and bloomed, creating an awesome show of color in the front of his home. Neighbors walking by frequently stopped to comment on the gorgeous blooms. And because he planted a variety of Tulip mixtures, he had a nice diversity of shapes, colors, and sizes in his planting.

One of Mike's Tulip trench plantings in bloom.

The Tulips made a big statement in the front of his home.

The hundreds of Tulips bulbs planted en masse also made it easy (and guilt-free) to cut dozens at a time to bring indoors for bouquets. And because Mike chose mostly Darwin Tulip varieties, which are perennials, they come back year after year.

Try Trench Planting This Fall

If you’re looking for a quick way to add a huge statement of color to your spring garden, trench planting is the easiest, most efficient way. Have you tried trench planting in your garden? Please share your experiences in the comments below!

Trench Planting: Tulips

Trench Planting: Tulips

Sadie proud of her hard work!
trench planting - results

 

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