Figuring out the best time to plant spring-flowering bulbs can be confusing. Here is southwestern CT, all the big box store and some of the nurseries have bulbs for sale already. But it’s way to early to plant them. It’s going to be 80°today! When is the ideal time to plant your bulbs? In a nutshell, the time to plant spring-flowering bulbs is when the ground has cooled down to at least 55°.
But how do you tell what the soil temperature is, short of going out and buying a soil thermometer? You certainly can’t rely on the calendar, since Mother Nature can be fickle, especially in the fall in New England. One day it’s 80° and the next it’s 60°. What’s an eager gardener to do?
Here are some other subtle signals, besides the date on the calendar, that will tell you it is time to plant your spring-flowering bulbs:
- The fall foliage season is past its prime
- There are more leaves on your lawn than there are on your trees
- The night-time temperatures consistently stay below 50°
- You start to use the heat in your car
- You start to close the windows in your home
- The squirrels are frantically gathering and burying acorns
- You begin to smell smoke from the neighbor’s fireplaces
- The crickets have stopped chirping
- Your kids no longer argue when you tell them to put on their jackets before they go out to play
Do you have any other signs you use to signal it’s time to plant your spring-flowering bulbs?