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Planting spring flowers is a great way to brighten up a yard at the end of winter. When choosing flowers that will bloom in early spring, there are both annual and perennial options. Some may be better suited to your needs than others, but luckily, there are hundreds of choices.
Annual flowers, like impatiens and petunias, will need to be replanted every year. Perennials, like tulips and daffodils, can be planted as unflowered bulbs, seeds, rooted plants, or flowered bulbs. If everything goes right, perennials bloom every spring. Some perennials will stay green all year and only bloom for a short period of time; others, such as pansies, will bloom for longer periods.
There are many different varieties of annuals and perennials, all of varying sizes, heights and colors. Taking some time to plan your garden before you buy and plant your flowers is important. Also, be sure to read the labels on the flowers to make sure that they will succeed and thrive in your soil type and climate.
The flowers that require the most planning are bulbs. To make sure you have beautiful spring flowers, it is necessary to plant bulbs in the fall. Choose bulbs that are firm, and not withered, soft, or moldy. Store them in a cool, dark place until you are ready to plant, which should be around the fall.
Plant bulbs in well-irrigated soil and in the depth suggested by the directions that come with them. The pointy end of the bulb is the stem, so it should be planted facing up. Larger bulbs will often produce more flowers than smaller ones so keep this in mind when selecting your bulbs. Some popular bulbs to plant in the fall include tulips, daffodils, and hyacinth. Planting bulbs in clusters provides a beautiful effect in the spring.
Even if you forget to plant your spring bulbs in the fall, you can still plant other flowers early in the spring. Pansies are very hardy and can be planted after the danger of a hard frost has passed. Annuals such as snapdragons, impatiens, alyssum, and petunias are other relatively hardy flowers that can be planted in the spring.
Some spring flowers are so hardy that they can even come up through the snow. Crocus, camellia, and snowdrop flowers are some that can sometimes be seen poking through the snow. Planting your garden in such a way that the flowers bloom at different times can keep your yard looking beautiful for a long time.
If you do not want to wait for spring flowers to bloom, it is possible to force bulbs over the winter. It is especially important to choose top-quality bulbs for this purpose. Plant them in a well-drained container with the tips of the bulb exposed, and keep them in a dark, cold place for three to four months, such as an unheated basement or refrigerator. Be sure to keep the soil moist for this time.
When you begin to see shoots forming, move the container to a slightly warmer, indirectly lit location. Once buds begin to form, it is then safe to move the container to a sunny location in the house. By February, you should have some beautiful blooming spring flowers. You could also follow this method if you purchased flowering, planted bulbs in pots in the spring and would like them to continue blooming next year.
@Scrbblehick -- Have you ever seen grape hyacinth? My mom has a patch in her backyard and I've seen it grow up volunteer all over the place. They smell wonderful -- just like grape soda pop! I like to cut them and put them in little bottles on a whatnot shelf or something like that. They last for several days as cut flowers.
I'm getting some grape hyacinth bulbs for my yard for next year.
The best place to store bulbs is in the crisper drawer of your fridge. That keeps them cool, and unless the fridge is open, it's also dark.
I love seeing daffodils come up in the spring. They're some of my favorite flowers. I also love hyacinth and crocus. I also love the little pale violets that pop up in yards in the spring. You know the weather is really changing when the violets pop up.
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