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Bulb Winter Snooze

By on October 15, 2009

A lot of our earliest and most vibrant reminders of Spring are bulbs.  But what happens after the flowers have gone and the leaf material has turned brown and wilted?  If they are inter-planted with other perennial plants or late blooming bulbs your beds will look wonderful through summer.  Then Winter hits and we sometimes wonder where the bulbs went and will they make it through our typical winter freezes?  The good news is that most of our favorite bulbs are in the hardy plant category that can over winter underground even where frost penetrates deeply into the soil.  Crocus, Daffodils, Tulips, Lillies and Hyacinths fall into this category.  Bulbs will benefit greatly from a 2-4” deep mulch of shredded bark or hardwood, leaves or compost.  Mulch prevents the ground from alternately freezing and thawing, which can heave bulbs right out of the ground during winter.  In summer, mulch conserves moisture and keeps the weeds at bay.  Wait until the ground freezes to apply a winter mulch to fall planted bulbs.  Check your local Master Gardeners County Extension for more information in your area.

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