Updated: Aug 12, 2021
Late Summer is the time to place that bulb order. Bulbs will arrive in fall when it is time to plant. Taking a critical look at your gardens in August can help you choose bulbs to plant this fall.
August is a good time to survey your garden to help decide where you want to plant spring bulbs. Perhaps you want to draw attention to the mailbox, brighten the front entrance, or line the walk. You can also see where clumps of summer and fall perennials have filled in your garden. Plan spring bulbs to grow among those clumps. By the time the bulb foliage has died down, the perennials will have started to grow and hide the dead foliage. This will give you color in the area of your garden that looked bleak most of the spring time.
Something else that I consider is when each bulb will bloom so that I have continuous blooms all spring. I have several kinds of daffodils that bloom at different times. I also have crocus and dwarf iris. Crocus are often the first to bloom. If you enjoy Tulips they often bloom after Daffodils. Hyacinths are another spring bulb. I enjoy getting out my bulb catalogs and browse during those super hot afternoons!
(Daffodils and Narcissus)
Bulbs can be planted between clumps of summer perennials. They will come up early, before the perennials have filled the space. As the perennials grow, they will hide the dying bulb foliage and become the prominent flowers for summer. A Another place to plant bulbs is among an evergreen ground cover. Make sure the height of the bulbs will stand above the ground cover. Again, as the bulb foliage dies, it will disappear in the ground cover, or it can easily be gathered up for the compost pile. As you pick out places to put the bulbs, you may want to mark those spots, so you won’t forget which bulbs you wanted to put there.
After deciding where you want to plant, are you going to mail order the bulbs, or go to your favorite nursery to pick them out? I like the mail order bulbs because I can mull over the catalog and take my time thinking about flower colors, height and time of bloom. The descriptions will note the time of bloom as early, mid spring, or late. This helps me to plan a long spring bloom season. August is the time to mail order spring bulbs. They are not usually mailed to you until it is time to plant in your area.
Purchasing bulbs at your favorite nursery is also an option.Be sure to inspect the bulbs, they should feel firm in your hand, not soft.The label will tell you about flower time, color, and height.
Bert's Garden has a handy bulb planting tool with measurements on the side to make your job easier.