A cornucopia of spring color starts now

1458566_721696381185656_157818735_nBy: Brenda Scott

November gardens may feel like they are slowing down but, in fact, it is one of the best times of the year to invest in activities that will ensure the ongoing health and vitality of your landscape and trees.  While most people are thinking about gourds and pumpkins, and colorful holiday displays, landscape professionals are focused on planting cold-hardy, spring-blooming plants and bulbs now to ensure sturdy root growth over the winter.

For a showy March and April garden, there is nothing better than premium bulbs for variety and color.   In addition to producing some of the biggest and brightest flowers, many blubs bloom into the summer and they are easy to grow.  They are also a terrific return on your investment because many of them come back year after year.

Bulb Checklist:

To prepare the bulbs and ensure that they bloom well, we recommend refrigerating or chilling tulips, hyacinths and crocuses for eight weeks or so before planting. Paperwhite narcissus and daffodil bulbs can be planted without chilling.

Plant between the weeks of Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.

Most bulbs require full sun to bloom their best.

Plant strategically for continuous color so that they bloom in succession.

Partner plants for visual balance.  For example, plant narcissus with phlox and tulips with violas, or mix it up with native wildflowers.

Bigger bulbs produce bigger blossoms.

Correct planting depth is twice the height of the bulb.

November Garden Checklist

Continue to plant shade and ornamental trees and shrubs.

Plant flowering kales, ornamental cabbages, and other cool season annuals.

Plant winter-blooming flowers such as cyclamen, Iceland poppies and pansies along entrance paths and prominent locations around your house.

Divide and replant perennials such as irises and daylilies.

Cut back dormant perennials such as salvia.

Remove or compost plant debris to prevent insects or diseases from overwintering.

Select and plant shrubs and trees based on fall foliage color schemes.

Invest in pruning and shaping shade trees for more beautiful canopies.

Mulch and compost.

Roll up and store garden hoses on a warm day to avoid trying to coil a cold hose later.

About the author:  Brenda Scott is Garden Services Manager with Lambert Landscape Company. bscott@lamberts.net


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