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Pat Sullivan: Planting bulbs in fall for spring blooms

Next spring, you'll be happy you took the time to put some bulbs in the ground before the snow falls.

INDIANAPOLIS — After clearing all the leaves that blew down this weekend, but your head fills with Thanksgiving thoughts and your task list for the winter holidays, Pat Sullivan from Sullivan Hardware and Garden has one last landscaping task this fall that he promises will pay off big this coming spring.

Get some bulbs in the ground.

"Now would be a great time," said Sullivan. "The ground's not frozen."

Daffodils, crocuses, hyacinths and tulips are all popular varieties that can be pleasing to your eyes and nose when they pop up in the spring.

Planting tips

Sullivan offered a few simple rules for planting bulbs. 

  1. Plant them with their point on top, facing upward. 
  2. The proper depth is three inches for each inch of the bulb's size. If the bulb is larger than one inch in size, plant it deeper than three inches.
  3. Save time and effort by investing in an augur bit on a power drill to bore your holes to the right depth.

If you like, you can dig out a wide area about six or eight inches deep in your landscape bed, then layer in an inch of potting mix or garden soil. If you have any left over in the garage or shed, Sullivan said it's fine to lay the bulbs in that soft soil, add some bulb food to help them sprout, then cover them with another layer of soil.

"If you have squirrels," Sullivan said to put chicken wire over the top of the soil, "pin it down, then put mulch over the top of it."

In the spring, you'll be happy you took the time to put those bulbs in the ground.

Watch Sullivan's full 13Sunrise segment in the video player.

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