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Flower bulbs: plant them in the fall

The end of fall is approaching: time to plant flower bulbs before it gets too cold. By planting tulips, daffodils and hyacinths now, you’ll be enjoying their bright colors and sweet fragrances to the full next spring. But why do flower bulbs have to be planted right now? And can they really tolerate frost?

Winter sleep

Spring still seems far away. Even so, fall is the right time to plant flower bulbs. Why does this have to be done so far in advance? By planting flower bulbs in the fall, they have enough time to grow strong roots. The earlier the roots are produced, the better the bulb can tolerate frost. As soon as temperatures rise again, the flower bulbs awaken from their winter sleep. This is when they start to grow and push their flower buds up through the soil.

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Frost

Can flower bulbs planted in the soil really tolerate frost? Fortunately, they are seldom damaged by frost. This is because flower bulbs can protect themselves. They do this by transforming their starches into sugars. The higher the sugar content in the flower bulbs, the lower the freezing point they have. As luck would have it, flower bulbs contain very large quantities of starch. This gives them extra protection from the cold. Even so, flower bulbs can dry out if they are exposed to frost for too long. This can happen when they have been unable to absorb any moisture.

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Planting instructions

Spring-flowering bulbs can be planted from September to the end of December. Make sure, however, to get them in before the soil freezes. Avoid planting them in places where rainwater collects on the surface such as at the foot of a hill or at the bottom of a drainpipe. This is because flower bulbs that stand in water too long have a greater chance of drowning due to a lack of oxygen. Follow these six steps for planting flower bulbs.

Watch this video about planting flower bulbs in the garden.

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