Bulbs – When to Plant in Fall
Spring-flowering bulbs have been on garden center shelves for weeks but the real season for planting them begins in late October.
My preference is to wait to plant daffodil, tulip, hyacinth, Dutch iris, etc. until night temperatures are consistently below 60 degrees. At that time the soil is warm enough to stimulate root growth but you won’t get much foliage growth. You can successfully plant them as late as December but the later you wait after October the less able the bulbs will be to establish themselves.
You can check local air and soil temperatures at Georgia Weather.
Planting depth isn’t critical. Spring-flowering bulbs usually do fine if the top of the bulb is covered by a couple of inches of soil.
There are two critical times to feed your bulbs. They need nutrients in the fall when they are planted and they need more in the spring when they have leaves. For every ten square feet of bed, sprinkle two cups of 10-10-10 fertilizer over the soil and dig it in as you prepare an area for planting. Use the same amount next March when the leaves emerge.
Special bulb fertilizers are available which do not force unneeded growth in fall but which give bulbs the nutrients they need.