Fall planting - Knowledgebase Question

Windsor, CT (Zone 5B)
Question by cpg3456
September 8, 2006
Do I start planting bulbs at this time, and which ones can be planted? Should I use manure, garden soil or mulch for ground cover? There are also several questions I have about my lawn. I have Kentucky Blue planted, can I reseed, with the heat resisted formula and would the seeds be effected if, the winterizer fertilizer is applied along with the planting of the lawn seeds.Can I also applied lime to the soil? How would Azales Rhododendron or dwarf boxwood survive if planted for the first time. Looking forward for yor responses. Thank you.

Answer from NGA
September 8, 2006


Evergreens such as rhododendron, boxwood and azalea are better planted in the spring so they can become fully rooted before the winter sets in.

You can overseed in the fall, wait until the new grass has been mowed several times before fertilizing. Lime can be applied at any time, late fall is a traditional time to lime. Run some basic soil tests to make sure you need to lime and/or fertilize. Your local county extension and/or professionally trained nurseryman can help you with the testing and interpreting the test results.

Spring flowering bulbs should be planted after the soil has had time to cool down to 60 degrees soil temperature. Usually that would be late September or early October. Many different types are sold as bare bulbs in the fall such as daffodils, tulips, crocus, and so on. If you have already purchased the bulbs, hold them in a paper bag or in a single layer on newspaper (not in a plastic bag) in a cool, dark, dry place such as a garage until planting time.

To plant bulbs select a spot in full sun with well drained soil. For a mass planting you can prepare a bed by loosening the soil to the needed depth and planting then covering them. Or you can dig individual holes for each bulb. Loosen the soil beneath the bulb depth so the roots can grow easily. Water thoroughly at planting (or plant right before a soaking rain.) Mulch with organic mulch such as shredded bark or chopped leaves.

I hope this helps!

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