As a lover of gardening, I must admit that bulbs hold a special place in my heart. There’s something about the delicate, colorful blooms that are a welcomed sight to the doldrums of winter and help guide us through the muddy spring here in New England.

I’ve learned that caring for spring flowering bulbs is crucial to their success, and there are several steps that I take to ensure they return strong and healthy year after year. In the fall, I carefully choose a spot with well-draining soil to plant my bulbs, knowing that this will prevent them from rotting in soil that is too wet. As the bulbs grow roots to prepare for the coming winter, I make sure to keep the soil consistently moist to ensure their success.

Once winter arrives, I can’t help but worry about my bulbs. I add a layer of mulch over them to protect them from extreme cold and frost. It’s reassuring to know that my bulbs are protected and will be ready to emerge and bloom as soon as spring arrives.

As the bulbs start to emerge and bloom, I resist the urge to cut the foliage off too early. Instead, I plant colorful annuals or perennials in front of my bulbs to hide the foliage from sight. I’ve also learned to remove the flowers as soon as they start to fade, which will help the bulb conserve energy and put its efforts into growing more bulbs for the following year.

When it comes to fertilizing my bulbs, I’ve found that it’s typically not necessary for spring bloomers, especially since I have rich soil. But if I do decide to feed my bulbs, I make sure to follow the instructions on the bulb food for the proper bulb fertilizer ratio.

Overall, caring for bulbs has become a labor of love for me. Watching these beautiful blooms emerge and brighten up my garden each spring is worth the effort. By providing well-draining soil, protecting bulbs from extreme cold, letting the foliage die back naturally, removing faded flowers, and avoiding watering during the summer months, I know that my bulbs will continue to thrive and bring joy to my garden for years to come.

Caring for bulbs is a rewarding and enjoyable experience. There’s something special about watching these plants go through their unique growth cycle and seeing them bloom year after year. By following a few simple steps, such as providing good soil conditions, protecting them from the cold, and letting the foliage die back naturally, we can help ensure their success.

If you’re new to gardening or just looking to expand your knowledge, I encourage you to give bulbs a try. They’re a great way to add color and interest to your garden, and they’re relatively easy to care for. And who knows, you may find yourself falling in love with these beautiful plants just as I have!


Tory J. Chlanda is a Landscape Designer and entrepreneur based in Western Massachusetts. He has extensive experience in horticulture, design, and installation, which he gained from his travels around the world. Tory’s expertise has been recognized in various publications, including Landscape Construction Magazine, New England Home Magazine, and Living Spaces Magazine. He is a service business owner and when he is not working in the green industry, he can be found exploring new ski slopes in Colorado and Utah or enjoying outdoor activities such as hiking and snowshoeing.