This 'F.M. Joyner' Caladium is a great spring planted bulb for a garden which gets large amounts of shade in the summer.
This ‘F.M. Joyner’ Caladium is a great spring planted bulb for a garden which gets large amounts of shade in the summer. 

Spring or Fall Bulbs: Who Says You Have to Choose?

“I had planted fall bulbs in a small garden area and now I am wondering if I am able to plant Spring bulbs in the same garden without hurting the daffodils, tulips, hyacinths, and crocus?”

~Paula

One of my readers, Paula, asked the above question in a recent email. And this is how I answered: ABSOLUTELY! Making use of the same garden space to plant both summer-/fall-blooming and spring-blooming bulbs is a great use of different plants for year round color! Planting dahlias and gladiolus next to daffodils and tulips is not only a good idea, it is a necessity for an “all bulb garden”. Here are three quick tips when planning a garden of this kind:

  1. Be sure you know where your previously planted bulbs are located, or be prepared to accidentally dig some up :). The best course of action is to plant your fall planted bulbs FIRST, and then plant your spring planted bulbs while your spring bloomers are actively growing. This way you will know exactly where the other bulbs are planted. If this does not work for you, simply mark the plants with small popsicle sticks while they are growing. This will tell you approximately where not to dig when you go to plant your bulbs for the next season.
  2. If you do accidentally unearth a bulb which you did not intend to, simply re-plant it at the appropriate depth. Chances are, it will still come up at the correct time if the roots were not badly damaged.
  3. Consider the sunlight conditions in the designated area carefully when selecting your bulbs. Just because tulips (which like full sun) do well in your flowerbed, does not necessarily mean that canna lilies (which also require full sun) will do well. Keep in mind that a place in your yard which receives full sun in the early spring time, may not receive this much sun once all of the trees have leafed out. In some cases, you may need to select full sun bulbs for planting in the fall but ones which can withstand partial shade in the summer months (which are planted in the spring).

So go for it! Be daring and plant both types of bulbs in the same garden! I promise: they’ll get along just fine 🙂 And congratulations to Paula for having her question featured in this post! She now has an extra $5.00 to spend on her spring planted bulbs from Holland Bulb Farms!

Spring is here!

Spring is here!

Until next time,

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Got a gardening question and need some help? Why not ask Bridget?! Send your question to bridget@bulbblog.com. If she features your question in a blog post, you’ll receive a coupon for $5.00 off your next order with Holland Bulb Farms!