Get Ready for Frost & Planting Bulbs

Average fall frost date for Colorado is Oct. 10.  Looks like Mother Nature may be a couple of days early this year, but like the fall weather, right on schedule.

Last week we discussed bringing in cold temperature sensitive plants.  Better get them in this weekend.  More Info Here.  Flowering pots and hanging baskets could be moved into the garage for a few nights.  If you have enjoyed them all summer, and are tired of watering, leave them outside and kiss them good bye for another year.

Pumpkins, Mums, Black-eyed Susan porch décor should be brought into the garage for a few days.  Low 30 temperatures may not kill but may damage these types of plants.

Vegetable gardens may be protected at low 30’s, but may damage summer veggies like tomatoes, pepper & squash.  Never hurts to try covering them with sheets or blankets to hold in heat.  The garden may be in a protected area and come through OK.  Plus, with possible snow, that may act as an insulator as well.

Best to get your sprinkler systems shut down and blown out ASAP just to be sure.

Planting and Growing Fall Bulbs

September and October are the best months for planting bulbs, even after our upcoming frosty temperatures this month.  This will allow ample time for the bulbs to become well rooted before the ground freezes. Bulbs planted after October may not have time to root adequately and therefore may not flower uniformly in the spring.  Consider mulching the bed to maintain a more consistent soil temperature.

Plant the bulbs at a depth consistent with the instructions. As a rule, this depth is four times the height of the bulb between the soil surface and the tip of the bulb. Make sure to plant the bulbs with the growing tip up.  Water your newly planted bulbs thoroughly.

After the ground freezes, cover the bed with a 3-inch mulch to prevent alternate freezing and thawing that breaks roots and damages bulbs.  This mulch may be removed in April before the shoots emerge, or left in place if the shoots can penetrate it easily.