Lasagna Planting Fall-Planted Bulbs For Spring Blooms
By Katrina Godshalk
It’s easy to have a non-stop spring bulb parade and create fantastic containers of spring-blooming bulbs... just think lasagna!
Fall-planted, spring-blooming bulbs are true icons of springtime, among the first to tickle our senses with the colorful and fragrant gifts of the garden. It can be a challenge to decide what to plant where, especially given that spring itself has its own seasons. Usually classed as early-spring, mid-spring, and late-spring, these delineations of bloom time are crucial when creating a spring bulb garden.
Luckily for us, Dutch bulb mavens developed what they call "lasagna planting," a way to layer your bulb plantings to create beautiful blooms all spring long, boasting colorful flowers in designs free from gaps in color. Plant three layers of bulbs — early, mid, and late spring — for a full season of flowers. The possibilities are endless, and whether planted in your garden or a container, you can let your creativity be your guide. Try both methods to enjoy the colorful impact of lasagna planting!
Follow our guide for tips on creating your own layered planting!
Choosing Fall-Planted Bulbs For Lasagna Planting
- Planting depth is determined by the size of the bulb, but generally, the larger bulbs bloom later.
- Once you’ve selected your bulbs, simply place them into the correct layer in your planting.
- On a small scale, consider planting a container of classic Tulips or Daffodils with three different bloom times.
- On a large scale, consider a garden bed that changes through the seasons, with early spring Crocus, Muscari, and Scilla in early spring, mid-season Tulips, Daffodils and Hyacinth, followed by tall and stately late-season Darwin Tulips and Allium.
Whether planting in the garden or a container, your considerations are the same: the main factor is bloom time. Choose early-, mid-, and late-spring-blooming bulbs. Mix it up or keep it simple — the choice is yours!
Small Early-Spring Blooming Bulbs
Choose your favorite early-spring blooming bulbs for the first signs of spring! We recommend Crocus, Specie Iris, Scilla, Muscari (Grape Hyacinth), Chionodoxia (Blue Giant Glory Of The Snow), and Galanthus (Snowdrops).
Crocus chrysanthus ‚Lady Killer‚ (Snow Crocus) features snowy white petals with a brushstroke of purple and bright orange stamens. They’ll pair beautifully with oth...Learn MoreLady Killer Snow Crocus Lady Killer Snow Crocus Crocus chrysanthus Lady Killer$19.99 Sale $14.99Sale Price I Save 25%Per Bag of 25
Crocus chrysanthus ‘Fuscotinctus’ (Snow Crocus) have a bold high-contrast colorway to wake up the garden in early spring. Golden yellow petals have ruby-red stripes on th...Learn MoreFuscotinctus Snow Crocus Fuscotinctus Snow Crocus Crocus chrysanthus Fuscotinctus$15.99 Sale $11.99Sale Price I Save 25%Per Bag of 25
Add a layer of charm to your garden with our Magic Carpet Bulb Collection. Pink and purple Wildflower Tulips and yellow and white Crocuses welcome the garden season in early spring w...Learn MoreMagic Carpet Bulb Collection Magic Carpet Bulb CollectionAs low as $39.99 Sale $29.99Per Collection of 57
Crocus vernus ‘Joan of Arc’ (Dutch Crocus) has pure snow white petals lit by golden pistils that blaze forth in early spring harkening the end of winter’s grip. Wha...Learn MoreJoan of Arc Dutch Crocus Joan of Arc Dutch Crocus Crocus vernus Joan of Arc$13.99 Sale $10.49Sale Price I Save 25%Per Bag of 15
‘Orange Monarch’ Snow Crocus (Crocus chrysanthus) will wake the garden from winter’s doldrums. Like a field of butterflies, the rich orange petals emerge in early s...Learn MoreOrange Monarch Snow Crocus Orange Monarch Snow Crocus Crocus chrysanthus Orange Monarch$10.99 Sale $8.24Sale Price I Save 25%Per Bag of 12
A colorful mix of large flowered hybrid Crocus, these are mid-spring blooming and follow the smaller, earlier blooming snow Crocus....Learn MoreDutch Crocus Mix Dutch Crocus Mix Crocus vernus and Crocus flavus Mix$24.99 Sale $18.74Sale Price I Save 25%Per Bag of 50
An early spring blooming mix of smaller flowered Snow Crocus that are some of the first bulbs to flower in spring....Learn MoreSnow Crocus Mix Snow Crocus Mix Crocus chrysanthus Mix$12.99 Sale $9.74Sale Price I Save 25%Per Bag of 30
Crocus vernus ‚Remembrance‚ (Dutch Crocus) has royal purple flowers that will bring your garden beautiful early spring color. A good companion for early Daffodils, Crocus...Learn MoreRemembrance Dutch Crocus Remembrance Dutch Crocus Crocus vernus Remembrance$12.99 Sale $9.74Sale Price I Save 25%Per Bag of 20
Crocus vernus Blue Moon Mixture is a striking combination of purple, blue and white bulbs. Blue Moon Mix Crocus naturalize easily and look lovely planted into a lawn. These large blo...Learn MoreBlue Moon Dutch Crocus Mix Blue Moon Dutch Crocus Mix Crocus vernus Blue Moon Mix$13.99 Sale $10.49Sale Price I Save 25%Per Bag of 20
Medium Mid-Spring Blooming Bulbs
Choose your favorite mid-spring blooming bulbs for a burst of color. We recommend Tulips, Daffodils, and Hyacinth.
This cheerful spring mix gives gardeners a nice assortment of flower colors....Learn MoreEaster Joy Hyacinth Mix Easter Joy Hyacinth Mix Hyacinthus orientalis Easter Joy Mix$12.99 Sale $9.74Sale Price I Save 25%Per Bag of 6
Hyacinth Bulbs Delft Blue Mix is a striking combination of blues and white hyacinths that will lend sophisticated cheer to your spring garden. Extremely cold hardy, fragrant and deer...Learn MoreHyacinth Delft Blue Mix Hyacinth Delft Blue Mix Hyacinthus orientalis Delft Blue Mix$10.99 Sale $8.24Sale Price I Save 25%Per Bag of 6
Hyacinth Bulbs Miss Saigon are fragrant, deer resistant and very cold hardy, growing in zones 2-8. These royal purple blooms look striking planted in drifts or with Daffodils....Learn MoreMiss Saigon Hyacinth Miss Saigon Hyacinth Hyacinth orientalis Miss Saigon$9.99 Sale $7.49Sale Price I Save 25%Per Bag of 6
Large Late-Spring Blooming Bulbs
Choose your favorite late-spring to early-summer blooming bulbs for the finale that carries you into the summer garden. We recommend Daffodils, Tulips, Fritillaria, and Allium.
Allium atropurpureum features umbels of burgundy-purple star-shaped flowers that harmonize with late spring blooms. Growing about 2 feet tall, this pollinator favorite creates a beau...Learn MoreAllium atropurpureum Flowering Onion Allium atropurpureum$12.99 Sale $9.74Sale Price I Save 25%Per Bag of 15
There are flowers and then there are FLOWERS. The blooms in the Stranger Than Fiction Flower Bulb Collection will sparkle, shine and bedazzle their way through your spring garden. Th...Learn MoreStranger Than Fiction Flower Bulb Collection Stranger Than Fiction Flower Bulb Collection$96.99 Sale $72.74Sale Price I Save 25%Per Collection of 29
Our Endless Allium Bulb Collection gives you a season of Allium blooms from late spring through mid summer. A mix of purple, pink and blue blooming Allium, this collection of 88 bulb...Learn MoreEndless Allium Bulb Collection Endless Allium Bulb Collection$63.99 Sale $47.99Sale Price I Save 25%Per Collection of 88
Allium Gladiator is a spectacular giant Onion that blooms in early summer with 6„ diameter rose-purple globes on 3 to 4 ft. flower stems. Globemaster and Gladiator Allium are t...Learn MoreGladiator Allium Gladiator Ornamental Onion Allium Gladiator$13.99 Sale $10.49Sale Price I Save 25%Per Bag of 2
Allium ‚Globemaster‚ (Ornamental Onion) has giant 10„ diameter violet flower heads on 2 to 3 ft. flower stems and blooms in early summer....Learn MoreGlobemaster Allium Globemaster Ornamental Onion Allium Globemaster$12.99 Sale $9.74Sale Price I Save 25%Per Bag of 1
Rainbow Mix Fireworks Allium are a wonderful mix of small growing Allium that bloom pink, yellow and white. Easy-to-grow and deer resistant, these Ornamental Onions (sometimes called...Learn MoreRainbow Fireworks Allium Mix Rainbow Fireworks Ornamental Onion Mix Allium Rainbow Fireworks Mix$8.99 Sale $6.74Sale Price I Save 25%Per Bag of 30
Lasagna Planting In Containers
The size of the container you choose will tell you how many layers of bulbs you can plant. A 10" deep container will hold two layers of bulbs; a 14" container will hold three layers. Make sure that your containers have drainage holes.
In colder zones, consider planting your bulbs in plastic nursery pots to avoid damage to expensive pottery as they may swell and contract with the temperature. They can be slipped inside your decorative containers in spring
Steps For Lasagna Planting In Containers:
- Prepare your containers. Place a layer of gravel in the bottom of the pot, then add a thick layer (2-3") of potting soil mixed with bulb food to your pot.
- Plant the first layer of bulbs. Place the first layer of bulbs in the pot, tightly spaced at about a 1/2" spacing, and cover with 2" of soil.
- Plant the second layer of bulbs. Next, add mid-spring bulbs that should be planted at about 6" deep. Place them close together, but allow some space for the lower bulbs to grow through (1-1 ½" apart). Don’t worry; the lower bulbs will find their way through the upper layers. Cover with 2" of soil.
- Plant the third layer of bulbs. Small bulbs that bloom in early spring. This time cover with 3-4" of soil and a light dressing of bulb food.
- Mulch well and water.
Lasagna Planting In The Garden
In the garden, lasagna planting works best where you have well-drained, loamy soil that can be dug to a depth of 8-12" (for three layers). If your soil is not that deep, go for two layers or just plant one layer in a traditional method. The size is up to you, but as you are planting more densely, even a 2' x 1' area will work nicely.
Bulb lasagna is perfect for areas that can be dug, where you’ll enjoy a concentrated, colorful, non-stop display. Some ideal locations are flower beds near a window or entry where you can enjoy the view, or as a centerpiece in a slowly awakening summer-blooming perennial bed.
In larger garden beds, you can plant in formal rows. Or, if you’d like a more natural, free-form look, scatter the bulbs and plant them where they lay.
If mice, squirrels, voles, or gophers are a problem, consider lining your hole with gravel or chicken wire. Just cut the mesh to line one length plus the sides and lay shorter pieces cross-wise. Also, lay a piece of chicken wire over your new planting when finished to protect from squirrels as the soil resettles (squirrels love easy digging!) Alternatively, consider planting deer-and-critter-resistant Allium, Daffodil, Muscari, Fritillaria, Galanthus, and others as you plan your layout. They may help protect rodent favorites such as Tulips and Crocus.
Steps For Lasagna Planting In The Garden:
- Dig the bed. Make sure your location will receive full sun and has good drainage. Many larger bulbs need to be planted at a depth of 8-9", so if you dig a 12" deep bed, you can loosen and enrich the soil beneath the first layer.
- Amend the soil. Add some bulb food to your soil and backfill your hole to the desired planting depth of the first layer of bulbs, generally around 8-9" deep.
- Plant the first layer of bulbs. Place these bulbs in the soil, closely together but not touching (about a half-inch). Bulb packaging will include planting per square foot. Cover with soil.
- Plant the second layer of bulbs. Add about 2" of soil to bring your depth to about 6". Plant your second layer of bulbs, and leave a bit more room to accommodate the growing stems from lower bulbs, at least 1 ½" apart.
- Plant the third layer of bulbs. Cover the second layer with soil for your top planting depth of 2-3". Here you can plant your last layer of small bulbs. Plant densely and cover with 2-3" of soil. Add some bulb food to this layer and remember to feed your bed again in the spring.
- Water well to remove air pockets. You can cover your area with mulch if desired. In dry areas, water as needed to help the bulbs establish good root growth. Avoid overwatering that could rot bulbs.
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