The Q&A Archives: Planting Bulbs

Question: I just purchased bulbs from the Home Depot down the street, my favorite store, and I have never planted bulbs before. I live in southern calif, inland valley area of Temecula. When do I plant and do I need to refrigerate these before I plant? I purchased hyasinth and freesias. Thanks for the answer....How much do I water? I will be planting some in the ground and some in pots.....Thanks, Karen

Answer: Bulbs need a winter chill to prepare them for spring bloom. Since you don't normally have a pronounced winter, placing your bulbs in the refrigerator will trick them into thinking they've experienced winter. After taking them out of cold storage, plant them in the ground (December). The roots will develop after you've planted them (it takes 8-10 weeks for root development). Once the bulb has developed roots, it will produce foliage. Two or three weeks later it will bloom. Water as you normally would any perennials you have in your garden (about one inch of water per week should keep the ground moist enough). Those that you plant in containers should also be watered often enough to keep the soil from completely drying out. I'd plant the bulbs in containers and then plant cool season annuals such as pansies right on top. The water you apply to the pansies to keep them healthy will be just enough water to keep the bulbs happy. Enjoy your garden!

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