It's time to start thinking about spring bulbs

Daffodils, tulips and crocuses can go in the ground over the next weeks as the soil temperature drops below 10 C, says Tereska Gesing, owner of the Urban Seedling garden centre in Montreal.

Your guide to planting, and protecting, bulbs from frost and pesky squirrels

Spring bulbs are the first flowers to come up after the winter thaw. (Courtesy Geoff Smith)

Summer heat lingered long into the fall this year. But even if the hydrangea are still in bloom, it's time to start planting bulbs for next spring.

Daffodils, tulips and crocuses can go in the ground over the next few weeks as soil temperatures drop below 10 C, says Tereska Gesing, owner of the Urban Seedling garden centre in Montreal.

Bulbs should be planted three times as deep as the height of the bulb. (Roxanna Woloshyn/CBC)

"You don't want them to actually sprout," she told CBC's Daybreak.

'If you have to pick a hole in the soil then its too late.- Tereska Gesing, owner of Urban Seedling

"You just want to get your bulbs in before the ground freezes. If you have to pick a hole in the soil then it's too late."

Gesing says bulbs are a great way to get into gardening for beginners.

"It's almost foolproof," she said. "It's really satisfying because the first thing that comes up in the spring are those spring bulbs."

She suggests planting bluebells, garlic and chives to vary the garden, adding to them every few years.

"Some bulbs have a shorter lifespan," said Gesing. "You wont have the same tulip bulb for 20 years. It's always good to refresh your patch. And you can add some colours into the garden; play with the design."

You can protect bulbs from frost by covering them in a layer of dead leaves. (Evgueni Yakovlev)

Step-by-step how-to

Gesing has some easy-to-follow advice for planting bulbs.

"In order to plant spring bulbs, if you have a prepared garden bed then just dig a hole about three times as deep as the height of the bulb," she said.

Gesing added that it's important to make sure the pointed end is up when the bulb is placed in the soil, but a mistake won't mean disaster.

"There are some bulbs, like crocuses, that are harder to tell. If you get it wrong, usually the flower will figure it out."

Once the bulbs are covered with earth, Gesing recommends putting down some chicken wire or metal grate to keep pesky squirrels from stealing them.

With files from CBC's Daybreak