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Fall Bulbs

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Date:  September 14, 2021
Agent:  Donna Teasley

Hello, this is Donna Teasley, horticulture agent with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Burke Center.

Fall bulbs are showing up in the stores now and it’s time to choose some spring flowering beauties for your garden. Bulb that are planted in the fall flower next spring and need the cold of the winter to insure that they germinate and bloom properly This cold requirement is called chilling hours and it means that bulbs need to be given 12 to 15 weeks of temperatures between 32 and 45 degrees fahrenheit.

Here in Burke County planting from October through December will give bulbs ample chilling hours for flowers in the spring. Chilling hours can also be accumulated by keeping bulbs in the refrigerator until planting but do not store them with fruits such as apples. Many fruits give off a gas as they ripen and this will  prevent flowering from taking place.

Purchase large, firm bulbs and plant in a well-drained location. If voles are a problem in your landscape, forget the tulip bulbs and plant daffodils instead. Squirrels can also be a problem. Lay chicken wire down on top of tulip plantings to keep the squirrels from digging them up as fast as you plant them!

Always, always let the foliage die back on  its own. The leftover foliage takes in nutrients that are used to make next year’s flowers. When foliage turns yellow it can be safely removed.

This is Donna Teasley with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Burke Center. If you would like more information about this program you can call us at 764-9480.