Spring Bulbs – When to Plant

Q: I once heard you say that even though spring bulbs were on store shelves you weren’t too excited about gardeners buying and planting them. Is it to late or to early for spring bulb planting?

A: Although summer-flowering bulbs are on nursery shelves now, they should not be planted until the earth is VERY warm. I use 65 degrees F. at a two inch soil depth as my rule of thumb. That temperature may be measured occasionally, but not consistently, in mid to late April. For folks north of I 20, the first week in May is a good time to aim towards for planting spring bulbs: canna, caladium, dahlia, gladiola, etc. You live south of I 20 so you could probably put them out successfully in the last week of April. If you plant the bulbs too early they will likely rot in the cold earth.

One way to know your local soil temperature exactly is to visit the Georgia Georgia Environmental Monitoring Network.

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