Get bulbs chilling, planted for cheery spring flowers

  • Debbie Arrington
  • The Sacramento Bee
12:00 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017 Living
Daffodils should be planted in the fall for spring blooms. Stagger planting over the next three weeks to stretch out bloom season in February and March. (Renee C. Byer/Sacramento Bee/TNS)

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.