bulb planting 101

Welcome to bulb planting 101.  This is a bulb.  Also known as an underground storage organ.  Technically called geophytes.


Just kidding.  Don’t go!  I have a helpful tip for you…

A few weeks ago, I planted over 150 bulbs in my gardens.  That can be a laborious task but I am determined to have tons of early spring blooms.


I completed the job in about 2 hours because I took a short cut.  Meet my new best friend…the auger drill bit.

Did you think drills were just for furniture, wood, walls, whatever?  Guess what!  You can totally use them in the garden too.  The power drill acted as a mini auger for me.  It is important to use an electric drill for this job.  A battery operated one will burn out quickly.  Plug in and get started planting your bulbs today.  You are running out of time in the Northeast.  They need to go in before the ground starts to freeze!

 I started with crocuses.  These teeny, tiny acorn-like bulbs only need to be planted about 3 inches deep with the pointy side up.

 Crocuses are the first to emerge in early spring sometimes when there is still frost on the ground.  Beware of the  squirrels though.  They tend to dig these bulbs up and shuffle them around the yard!


Next were the daffodils.  I planted a ton of daffodil bulbs.  These are the hardiest in my area.  They come back year after year and continue to multiple.  Yes, bulbs have offspring which subsequently equals more blooms annually.  That’s why after several years you should divide your bulbs.  (Another topic for another day.)

Daffodil bulbs are pretty big so they needed to be planted about 7-8 inches deep.  This is where the auger really came in handy.  I powered right through it.

As a general rule, bulbs should be planted 3 times as deep as they are long/tall.  Daffodil bulbs are about 2.5 inches long so they went 7-8 inches into the ground.

Always plant the flat side down and pointy side up.  The flat side is where the roots grow from and the pointy side is where the leaves and stem grow from.  I noticed that some of the planting instructions on the bulb packages said to just dump the entire lot into a hole.  That is really poor advice in my opinion.  You will not optimize your blooms that way because not all bulbs will be able to flip themselves over if necessary or if they are layered on top of each other.

Moving on to the tulips.  I planted a few dozen pink tulips following the same rules.

They bloom after the daffodils are spent so it is wise to try to plant the tulip bulbs in front of the daffodil bulbs.  Then you will have a new fresh bloom as the daffodils fade into the background in spring.

Well this is obviously more than a few dozen tulips but a girl can dream…


And finally I planted several hyacinth bulbs about 7 inches deep.  These are very wide so required a little extra work from the auger.  You can tell by the bulbs that these flowers will be blooming purple.  I think hyacinth bulbs are pretty before they even bloom!

Hyacinths are so fragrant so I planted these close to the front door.


Have you ever used an auger drill bit to plant bulbs?  I don’t think I will ever do it any other way now.

As much as I love fall and don’t mind winter, I am now looking forward to spring to see these babies bloom!  Stay tuned.  Let’s hope the squirrels don’t rearrange too much…

Linking to:
HouseofHepworthsHome Stories A2Z

6 thoughts on “bulb planting 101

  1. Thanks for all of the great tips — I wonder did your neighbors think you had lost your mind?? LOL! I know I have to get my tulips in soon — we’re about to head into the frost season in a few weeks!

  2. Oh! Your garden is going to be gorgeous come spring. The only bulbs I have are some garlic and some old Easter lilies. 🙂 This was a very helpful post. Thank you so much for linking it to FCF! I’m sorry it has taken me all week to get around to all my guests.


  3. Loved this especially since I had just purchased a bulb auger a couple of weeks ago . . .though you may have killed my idea of using the cordless drill through the woods. I got some insane number of bulbs coming next week:). Thanks for the nudge to get it done

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