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To determine if a plant is sufficiently cold-hardy, the USDA created numbered zones indicating winter low temperatures; the lower the zone number the colder the winter.
September 15th - October 15th
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
Your area is large and variable. Most common are very long, dark, cold winters, short days and a short growing season. However, a little creativity can go a long way!
After planting, apply slow release "bulb food" fertilizer on the top of the ground to supply nutrients for the second year's bloom. (Fall bulbs are already fully charged with energy for peak flowering performance in their first spring bloom season.) Do not put the fertilizer in the hole with the bulb's tender roots.
Please note: Modern bone meal often draws rodents and dogs that dig up the bulbs looking for bones!
After the ground cools or freezes, cover your beds with a lightweight mulch (pine needles, buckwheat hulls, straw, or chopped up leaves) 2 — 4 inches thick to help keep down weeds and maintain a consistently cool soil temperature.
Special Note: Plant your spring-flowering bulbs in warmer protected areas with less exposure to wind and extreme cold to extend blooming season and protect early or late bloomers from extremes in temperature variation. If the spring is dry, water weekly while the foliage is green.
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