So, you’re planning on attending the GardenKitchener/KHS Annual Bulb Sale to take advantage of our great prices. With a little pre-planning you can make the most of this event. Read on for some bulb planting and storage tips.
When should I arrive?
The sale opens at 9am for gardenKitchener members, and 10:30am for non-members. If you’re considering renewing your membership, you can do so online here. You can also renew in-person at the event. There are limited numbers of each bulb available, and it’s first-come, first-serve, so we recommend arriving early to secure a spot in line, if you’re hoping to take home something specific.
What should I bring with me?
- If you’re a member, we recommend bringing along your proof of membership (digital membership card). Volunteers on site will have a list of members, however having your card helps speed things along.
- Bring a wagon, as well as boxes or trays to help transport your bulbs from the sale to your car. Bulbs and plants can get heavy!
- Bring cash! Payment can also be made via e-transfer, however cash is preferred. It helps to keep the line up moving quickly.
Where can I park?
Street parking on Floral Crescent is limited. We recommend parking at the Rockway Centre, at 1405 King St East. An area of Floral in front of the Garden House will be blocked off for use as a loading area, for those who have large / bulky items to transport.
How to choose?
While all bulbs usually bloom in the spring, there are early, mid, and late season bloomers. That makes it possible to prolong the bloom time and have colour for weeks in the spring. Click here to see the complete list of bulbs available at the 2023 sale.
What do I do when I get home?
The best place to store bulbs is in the ground. Plant them at the back of your beds so that when your perennials start to grow, they’ll cover up the dying leaves of your bulbs. If you can’t get your bulbs in the ground right away, plant them up in pots and tuck them away somewhere outside. Keep them watered until they start to die back, then leave them until the leaves and stems pull off easily. Planting them right away means you won’t forget about them.
That being said, next winter we will be having a seminar teaching us how to “force” bulbs in the winter so you may want to store a few in a cool dry place to try this technique out.
How deep should I plant my bulbs?
The usual advice is to plant them three times the depth of the bulb, so a two-inch tall bulb would be planted 6 inches below ground. Pro-Tip: Squirrels have short arms. Plant your tulips at least 8 inches deep and the squirrels can’t reach them. Also, bulbs have contractile roots, which means when they start to grow the roots will raise or lower the bulb in the ground to the proper level. Even if you happen to plant them upside-down (which you won’t) they’ll turn themselves right-side up. Squirrels and other critters seem to leave daffodils alone.
Do I need to add anything to the planting hole?
Most soil has all the nutrition plants needs. By leaving the leaves on the bulbs, the bulbs are gaining energy for next year.
That’s it. Pretty simple. Hope you enjoy your bulbs for years to come.