The Beauty - The Bulb
Fall is the best time to plant Spring flowering bulbs. In the North and mid-sections of the US, flower bulbs should be planted between September and November, whether in the shade or full sunlight. However, flower bulbs can be planted even when the Winter frost has appeared, as long as the soil or compost is easily cultivated.
There are several different ways to plant flower bulbs. However, the most popular is to simply dig a shallow hole using a trowel. To create a more "natural" effect, gently scatter flower bulbs over your desired planting area, letting them land in whatever holes they "find" and plant them there.
As for planting depth, the general rule is to plant bulbs twice as deep as their height. Smaller bulbs should be planted fairly close together, roughly four inches apart; larger bulbs should have approximately five inches separating them. To create a bolder splash of color, you can plant them even closer, to the point where your bulbs are almost touching.
Flower bulbs thrive in well-drained soil, and left to grow and naturalize. They prefer some organic material or compost mixed in with the planting soil. It's important to remember, however, that before planting anything, you should always cultivate your garden soil. It not only makes planting much easier, it also helps the bulbs' new roots get off to a good start.
After bulbs have been planted, water the soil well. If you live in an area subject to severe frosts, give them extra protection by covering them with straw, dead leaves or compost.
Because flower bulbs create reserves of food, the fading of the first year's bloom doesn't mean flowering has ended. Many will reappear the following spring, especially if you add a little plant food when the flowers have begun to fade. For maximum effect, combine different types of bulbs in the same planting area to create a stunning array of colors. This will also ensure that your flowers will reappear year after year.