Planting Bulbs for Spring

The Abundant Garden: Growing Quality Kids Through Gardening by

Image by Cathal-mac-an-bheatha from

Planting Bulbs for Spring: an activity for children of all ages. Planting bulbs is an activity that teaches children patience and hopefulness.

*Bulbs should ideally be planted six weeks before ground freezing frost is expected where you live. In colder climates, this is usually around September or October. In warmer climates, it could be as late as December. If you are unsure of the weather in your warm area, place your bulbs in the refrigerator for a week before planting to stimulate the process that causes them to flower (but make sure there are no apples or potatoes near the bulbs). Information on how to plant the bulbs was found at my local nursery and online at

  • Supplies:
  • Consider reading the book:
    • Parable of the Lily by Liz Curtis Higgs – highly recommended for children ages 4-8. (R) It’s an Easter story where a girl learns about grace and forgiveness through a gift of bulbs.
  • Go on a field trip to your local nursery and select the bulbs you would like to plant, such as tulips, narcissus, ranunculus, hyacinths, and daffodils). You can also find bulbs on
  • Determine where you would like to plant. Bulbs like sun and areas where the water drains well. They do not like to be planted where water collects. Bulbs can also be planted in containers.
  • If planting in the ground, loosen the soil and remove rocks and weeds.
  • Dig a hole. Make sure to follow the planting directions with your bulbs for planting depth. A general rule is to dig a hole two to three times the height of the bulb.
  • Be sure to plant with the root system facing down and the pointed part up. If you are unsure which end is which, plant it on it’s side.
  • You can position the bulbs in a triangular pattern with the point towards the front. Generally bulbs should be planted 1-6 inches apart depending on size (3-6 inches for large and 1-2 inches for small). Again, follow the instructions provided with the bulbs.
  • Fertilizer is not necessary.
  • Cover the bulb with soil and lightly compress it.
  • Water your bulbs. If you live in a dry climate it may be necessary to water once or twice a week depending on the bulb planting and the dryness of your soil.
  • For an older child: Have your child document on a journal page where and what bulbs were planted, the depth they planted them, and the spacing they used with each bulb so they can evaluate their process come spring.
  • Include pictures, drawn or taken, as desired.
  • Place the page(s) in a protector when finished and include them in the garden notebook/journal.
  • Take pictures and tag #theabundantgarden on Instagram to share your fun and for an opportunity to be featured @theabundantgarden.