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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Plant hardy bulbs now for early spring pollinators

Honey bee on crocus
By Julie Weisenhorn, Extension Educator - Horticulture

Pollinators need pollen and nectar as early as April in some parts of Minnesota. Hardy spring-blooming bulbs such as scilla, allium, daffodil, fritillaria, and crocus provide this much needed early season nutrition. These bulbs require a cold period in order to flower successfully and therefore must be plant them in fall (September - October) - in other words: right now!

Bee inside a daffodil flower
Bulbs are relatively inexpensive and easy to plant. Bulbs may be purchased locally or ordered from suppliers either through a catalog or online. Most bulbs require warm, sunny locations. Tip: Sun-loving bulbs can be planted underneath deciduous shade trees because they will bloom before the tree leafs out.

Follow planting instructions on the bulb package for depth and site specifications. Make you mark your planting location with a plant label so you remember what you planted next spring. After planting, soak the soil with water. If conditions are dry (little rainfall), soak the soil with water when dry until the soil freezes.  
Bee on Scilla siberica

Read more from Extension about spring flowering hardy bulbs.

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