Digging Up Bulbs In The Fall – A Complete Guide

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Tips for Digging Up and Storing Your Tender Bulbs for the Winter Bulb

Digging Up Bulbs in the Fall – A Complete Guide

Why Should You Dig Up Bulbs in the Fall?

As the fall approaches, it is important to consider digging up your bulbs to ensure their proper care and longevity. By digging up bulbs in the fall, you can:

  • Divide and multiply your bulbs
  • Check for any signs of disease or pest infestation
  • Store bulbs properly during the winter

When is the Best Time to Dig Up Bulbs?

The best time to dig up bulbs is after the foliage has died back naturally. This usually occurs in the late summer or early fall, depending on the specific type of bulb. It is important to wait until the foliage has turned yellow or brown and started to wither.

How to Dig Up Bulbs?

Step 1: Prepare the Tools

Before you start digging up your bulbs, make sure you have the necessary tools. These may include a garden fork or shovel, a trowel, and a bucket or container for storing the bulbs.

Step 2: Loosen the Soil

Use a garden fork or shovel to loosen the soil around the bulbs. Be careful not to damage the bulbs while digging.

Step 3: Lift the Bulbs

Gently lift the bulbs from the soil using a trowel or your hands. Shake off any excess soil but avoid removing the papery outer layer of the bulb.

Step 4: Divide and Inspect

If desired, you can divide the bulbs to create more plants. Inspect the bulbs for any signs of disease or pest infestation. Discard any damaged or unhealthy bulbs.

Step 5: Store the Bulbs

Store the bulbs in a cool, dry place. You can either place them in a container with peat moss or sawdust, or hang them in mesh bags. Make sure to label the bulbs if you have different varieties.


1. Can I leave bulbs in the ground over winter?

While some bulbs can survive in the ground over winter, it is generally recommended to dig them up for better care and protection.

2. How long can I store bulbs?

Most bulbs can be stored for several months if kept in the right conditions. Check the specific guidelines for each bulb variety.

3. Can I replant bulbs immediately after digging them up?

Yes, you can replant bulbs immediately after digging them up, especially if you want to divide and multiply them.

4. Is it necessary to remove the foliage before storing bulbs?

It is recommended to let the foliage die back naturally before removing it. The foliage helps provide energy for the bulbs to store for the next season.


Digging up bulbs in the fall is an essential step for their proper care and maintenance. By following the right techniques and storing them correctly, you can ensure healthy and vibrant blooms for the next growing season.

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