Want a colorful spring? Don’t wait too late in NJ to plant those flower bulbs
It's that time of year in New Jersey when we bid farewell to the growing season and prepare our land for Old Man Winter that's right around the corner. And as our landscapes are slowly stripped away from their fall color, now is the time to have the next growing season in mind.
Now, yes, waiting until later October through November in New Jersey is usually late to get flower bulbs into the ground, but not impossible for success. One of the main factors has to do with the soil temperatures. Usually, you'd want soil temperatures on the cooler side and not too warm.
Depending on where you are in New Jersey, the growing season might not have ended entirely. This is especially true in warmer regions such as the coast or southern part of the state.
In fact, some gardens might still be producing favorites such as green beans and cherry tomatoes. Although with pollinators preparing for hibernation or dying off as the season comes to a close, that crop production might be minimal.
Also important are those frosts and freezes. Once you have that first freeze, that typically will end it for good. But again, if you happen to live in one of the parts of the state that hang onto warmer air a little longer, your growing season might last a few extra weeks.
With all of that said, if you were thinking about the next growing season ahead and were considering flowers, now is the time to act. Autumn is the ideal time of year in New Jersey to get bulbs such as daffodils, tulips, and crocus into the ground.
Make sure when planting bulbs that the pointy side of it is facing up. That'll help the plant emerge and grow successfully once the warm spring sun arrives in New Jersey for the next growing season.
After the bulbs are planted at the recommended depth with the right mixture of soil, cover up the area with a layer of mulch. That'll help protect the bulbs from extreme temperatures during the heart of winter.
One thing I like to do is clump a few bulbs together when planting. Not only will that increase the odds of more flowers in that particular area, but it also means more color.
And if the flowers adapt well, you might just get even more blooms in the future. Also, keep in mind that different varieties of flowers will bloom at different times in the spring. This is especially important if you want fresh blooms to occur throughout the entire spring season.
Most importantly, however, is when those bulbs go into the ground. In New Jersey, October is really the ideal time. Yes, we're all very busy with everyday life sometimes, so don't get discouraged if you don't get to it until early November.
You may still have success with springtime flowers if bulbs are planted after October, but you don't want to wait too much longer beyond that. So if you want to shoot for a colorful spring, the time to get those bulbs into the ground is now before the chill of winter arrives.