The time to plant spring blooming bulbs has arrived along with an abundance of bulb company catalogs.
Becky Heath of Brent and Becky's Bulbs has an article in this month's American Horticultural Society newsletter. You can read the entire article at this link.
Heath says, "There are several approaches to combining bulbs with herbaceous perennials,
shrubs, and trees. Choosing combinations
that will bloom at the same time creates
the biggest impact, like the finale of a fire
works display. Combining plants so that
they bloom sequentially with a slight over
-plant tulips or lilies eight to 10 inches deep,
then above them place daffodils, hyacinths,
or alliums at about six inches. Smaller early-blooming
bulbs—such as crocuses,
anemones, and dwarf irises—can even be
planted in the top three inches."
Heath's bulb-planting tips
The basic rule of thumb for planting depth is three times the height of the bulb.
So if the bulb is two inches tall, then the bottom of the hole should be about six
inches deep. Tulips and lilies, which prefer really cool soil, benefit from being
planted even deeper—I often suggest placing them eight to 10 inches deep.
The roots of spring-flowering bulbs start growing in autumn, so after planting,
water the area and add a topdressing of compost or a slow-release fertilizer that
is low in nitrogen and high in potash (5–10–20).