Get bulbs chilling, planted for cheery spring flowers


Want a spring full of easy-care flowers? Plant daffodils and other bulbs that provide a lot of flower power without much water and no fuss. Plant some each week for the next three weeks to spread out your spring bloom. For bigger blooms, add a tablespoon of bone meal to each planting hole.

— Pre-chill bulbs that need a little cold to produce spring blooms. In Sacramento, tulips and hyacinths require six weeks in the refrigerator crisper before planting to mimic winter under a blanket of snow. While the bulbs are chilling, don’t store apples or pears in the refrigerator. They release a gas that will cause the bulbs to rot. Plan to get these bulbs in the ground or pots by early December.

— Don’t forget summer bulbs; they likely need to come out of the ground or they may rot if we have a wet winter. Dig up corms and tubers of gladioli, dahlias and tuberous begonias after the foliage dies. Clean and store in a cool, dry place.

— Apply mulch to cover bulbs and tubers left in the ground.



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