Winter Chilling

Hardy fall bulbs such as tulip, daffodil, hyacinth, crocus and snowdrop are spring flowering plants that must be planted in the fall. They actually need the dormant rest period of a long, cold winter. The melting snow and ice in early spring provide needed moisture as they start to grow and flower. Plant from September to December, even after the first frost if the ground can still be worked.


Bulbs can be planted in individual holes. Dig a hole and sprinkle a tablespoon of a high phosphorous (middle number) fertilizer in the bottom of the hole. Place the bulb in the hole with the pointed end up.

Cover the bulbs with soil and water thoroughly. A 2 inch layer of mulch on top of the bed will help retain moisture and insulate against severe cold and temperature fluctuations.

Preparing a Bed for Fall Planted Bulbs

  • Prepare the bed – turn the soil over well and break up clumps as you go to make a well-drained planting bed.
  • Condition the soil – work a few inches of compost into the soil before planting and add 1 kg bonemeal for every 1000 sq.ft..
  • Plant! Point bulb upward.
  • See chart below for planting depth or, in general, plant bulbs at a depth of three times the width of the bulb.
  • Add 2 inches of mulch.
Name of Bulb Height (inches) Planting

Depth (inches)

Tulips (Darwin, Cottage) 15-30 5-7 Plant 2.5-3 inches apart in drifts of one colour in full sun.
Species tulips, Kaufmanniana 4-12 3-4 Plant 1-2 inches apart in full sun, early bloomers for rock gardens and borders.
Crocus (Chrysanthus) 3-4 2-3 Plant 2-6 inches apart in large groups. Great for rock gardens. Forces well.
Snowdrops (Galanthus) 3-4 2-3 Plant 2-3 inches apart in moist soil, great for naturalizing, full sun or part shade.
Daffodil (Narcissus) 2.5-8 7-8 Plant 6 inches apart in rich soil, full sun to part shade, great for naturalizing.
Allium 14-36 6-12 Flowers May to June or July for Azureum Blue allium.
Iris (bulbs) 6-9 4-6 Very early flowering in full sun, well-drained soil.


ALL items from BULBS, to TRIPLE MIX SOIL and MULCH can be supplied, delivered and installed by our friendly Horticultural Crew.

Give us a call at 705-325-7907 and let us do the heavy lifting.

Our best to you and yours for a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving weekend.

Mike & Allison