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Spring Bulbs, Ready or Not!

I know it doesn’t feel like it right now, but spring IS right around the corner. And, yes it IS okay to start getting excited about spring flowers.

In the next couple of weeks, we can expect see our dutifully fall planted bulbs start to pop. The happy little crocus, snowdrops, daffodils, iris, hyacinth, and of course tulips of every shape and color imaginable will be renewing our inspiration for achieving garden glory.

Now, if by chance were not quite so dutiful…don’t worry there is still hope for flowers yet.

One immediate solution, forced bulbs. There’s an array of spring flowers that nursery growers make available for early season plantings. This type of planting comes with pros and cons.

On the plus side, your forced bulbs have broken through the soil and most likely will be in the early stages of flowering. This means, you will have a lot of control as to the colors, textures, and spacing of your flowers.

On the negative side, forced bulbs are considerably more expensive than planting your own bulbs. Another factor, in many cases (and there are plenty of exceptions depending the amount of effort you wish to expend) these forced bulbs are not the best re-bloomers in seasons to come.

Forced bulb plantings, in my experience, are best treated as annual (once per season plantings), which leads me to another, and generally less expensive, tried and true star of spring, the mighty pansy.

Although technically a perennial, pansies are most often grown as biennials, or annuals. Widely available in an array of colors, pansies offer a beautiful lower level pop of color, and come with the added bonus of an edible flower that can perk up salads, be frozen in ice cube trays and added to your favorite cocktail, and make a perfectly gorgeous additional to spring cakes and cookies when candied in sugar. With just a little bit of effort in pinching off spent flower heads, these little workhorses can continue to bloom well into summer.

Whatever your spring flower situation may be, hang on just a little bit longer because we’re almost there!

*A last little tip that I’ll pass along from Jim Crockett’s Crockett’s Victory Garden that I found helpful regarding that handful of bulbs that didn’t quite get planted. Don’t throw them out just yet. Although planting these bulbs in spring will not yield a flower, if they are able to produce enough foliage to mature, they can then be dug up and if stored properly will be flower producing bulbs for the following season.

Happy Planting!

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