The Q&A Archives: please help me

Question: I am just starting to plant flowers around my house. I have never done this before. My question is I bought some bulbs, is it too early to plant them in zone 5?

Answer: This really depends on what kind of bulbs you have. Without knowing what you have it is difficult to tell you. They usually come with directions, if you still have the package or label you might check that. Gladiolus and bulb lilies (Lilium) can be planted in early spring while there is still some frost, dahlias can be planted about your last frost date, but most other summer bulbs such as tuberose, caladiums and cannas would be planted a bit later when there is no danger of frost and the soil has warmed up. If they are nonhardy bulbs you should probably wait. Spring flowering bulbs such as tulips or daffodils you would normally plant in the fall, but if you purchased them in bloom they can be planted now.

Since you are new to gardening you might want to look at a book or two to help you get started. I really like the Dummies gardening books such as Gardening for Dummies, there are also Dummies books specifically on Bulbs, Annuals, Perennials, and Landscaping you might find helpful, among others. They are straightforward, practical and include helpful tips and plant lists. Enjoy your new garden!

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