Plant Spring Containers Months in Advance

Here’s how to plant the best spring containers so that you can relax and enjoy the show

Gary Junken, Antonio Reis, Jillian Leibman, edited by Cari Delahanty

Fall is the time to plant bulbs, and they look amazing in garden beds and borders. Yet did you ever think you could plant your bulbs in containers before the start of the gardening season? If you’re looking to make a greater impact with your spring-blooming bulbs, or just place them in spots temporarily like a front stoop, planting bulbs in pots is a good option. In this video, former Fine Gardening editor Steve Aitken shows how to layer spring bulbs in containers so you can enjoy the show sooner than you think.

Start by placing the bulbs in a container

Begin with your biggest bulbs, and fill the pot with enough soil so that the bulbs can sit at a depth twice their height. When planting bulbs in a container, you can ignore the traditional bulb-spacing requirements.

Cover the first set of bulbs with soil so that the next set can sit comfortably at a depth twice their height. After covering up the last layer of bulbs with soil, place either a plastic or metal grid of some kind over the bulbs to keep rodents such as squirrels or chipmunks from digging up or eating them.

Keep the bulbs dormant till spring

Once you’ve finished planting, take your container and place it in an environment that’s cold but not freezing—such as an unheated garage or basement—to let it ride out the winter in dormancy. When you see signs of new growth on your plants outside and springtime temperatures set in, start watering the bulbs. When they begin to sprout, you can bring the container outside; just be sure to offer it some protection from any significant freezes that may still occur. The bulbs should begin putting on lots of new growth, and now all you have to do is wait for the show to begin!

This video is brought to you by Osmocote.

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