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Central & Great Plains

When to Plant Flower Bulbs: Central & Great Plains

Optimum Planting Time: September 30th - November 30th
USDA Hardiness Zones: 5, 6


Region "K" — Central & Great Plains

Your climate can experience cold winters and hot summers with occasional extreme temperature variations and moderate moisture. With a little care, conditions are great for a wide variety of hardy spring-flowering bulbs.

General Instructions:
Plant bulbs in the fall starting when nighttime temperatures stay between 40-50°F. But, be sure to plant approximately six weeks before the ground freezes to allow sufficient time for rooting. Bulbs will root best in cool soil and once rooted undergo natural changes that keep them from freezing. Water your bulbs after planting to help them start the rooting process.

After planting, apply slow release "bulb food" fertilizer on the top of the ground to supply nutrients for the second year's bloom. (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 as this may burn the bulb's tender roots. PLEASE NOTE: Modern bone meal generally has little value as a bulb fertilizer and often draws rodents and dogs that dig up the bulbs looking for bones!

After the ground cools or freezes, cover your bulb 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 areas with less exposure to wind and extreme cold to extend blooming season and to protect early or late bloomers from extremes in temperature variation. If the spring is dry, water weekly while the foliage is green.

A Sampling of Flower Bulbs for Perennializing: (return for several years)

A Sampling of Bulbs for Naturalizing: (return & multiply)

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