Flowering bulbs are my favorite way to add color to the garden. They take just a few minutes to plant, need very little maintenance and multiple every year making them a small investment in your garden’s future. After a couple years away from our homestead, the bulbs in our garden have gotten crowded!
The best time to divide spring flowering bulbs is probably in the fall, as they all get ready for a long winter’s nap. Already the tulip greens have surfaced in our garden. Still, I couldn’t help myself and had to divide them now before they really get blooming.
I used a big shovel to dig deep below them and loosen the soil – I didn’t want to risk cutting into the bulbs. Then I gently tugged the bulb clusters apart, teasing out individual bulbs. It helped that the soil was moist. I clustered them in small groups, spacing them about 6″ apart – close enough to make an impact in the garden, but have enough room between them to multiple between seasons.
As I dug through the garden, I discovered my huge flowering alliums were getting ready to emerge as well. Like the tulip bulbs, they had also multiplied and were crowded. I used the same method to gently separate the tender bulbs and replanted them in pockets throughout the garden.
These were Allium gigantum which is a really fitting name as they are huge, purple puffballs in the garlic/onion family (pictured below). We grow them just for decorative purposes and they typically bloom in April/May. The flowers stick around for most of the summer, then dry standing up in the fall. I remember they were pricey when I originally bought them, with a package containing just 2-3 bulbs. I probably replanted about 15 though from those initial bulbs.
Still on the agenda are dividing and replanting the irises and daylilies, but time is running out. Signs of spring are emerging on the cherry and quinces. Plus this gigantic baby belly of mine is really making it difficult to kneel down and dig up bulbs and tubers. If this is on your agenda, better get busy now before they bloom!