The surprising cure for a boring spring vegetable garden

spring bulbs flowers for vegetable garden

Spring starts slowly in many climates and the vegetable garden can seem pretty flat and boring at that time of year. In April and early May at my house, I mostly feel like I’m looking at a field of hay and woodchip mulch.

After a winter of filled with gray and white frozen landscapes, my eyes are aching for some color.

That’s why I’ve planted hundreds of spring bulbs around my house and throughout my perennial gardens. The absolute delight and joy they inspire in my thawing winter heart are unparalleled. And each spring I think to myself, “There’s really no such thing as too many bulbs.”

One year I was mentally complaining to myself how boring my vegetable garden looked, while the rest of my landscape was popping with color from the cheery spring bulbs, when all of a sudden I was struck by a genius idea – why not plant bulbs in my vegetable garden, too?!

spring bulbs flowers for the vegetable garden

The Surprising Cure for a Boring Spring Vegetable Garden

I was pretty happy with myself for coming up with this idea and I filed it away for the coming fall. When it arrived I went to my local nursery and bought tulip, daffodil, and allium bulbs.

I tucked them into the corners of some of my vegetable garden beds, and the next spring, wow, the pops of early color made a huge dramatic difference.

Instead of having to wait impatiently for my puny vegetable plants to grow and add some interest to my garden, the spring bulbs poked their happy little heads through the mulch and distracted me with their riotous pops of color.

Spring Bulbs Vegetable Garden

orange tulips as spring flowers for the vegetable garden

early spring vegetable garden with added bulbs for color

Bulbs in Vegetable Garden

Flower Bulbs Vegetable Garden

This year, don’t settle for the boring landscape of the early spring vegetable garden. Instead, spice it up with some favorite spring bulbs.

You can orchestrate many weeks of color by mixing early, mid-, and late season blooming bulbs like crocus, daffodils, tulips, alliums, and irises.

And while you’re at it, make sure you have plenty of color around your house and throughout your perennial garden. Remember – there’s no such thing as too many bulbs!

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Comments

  • What a great idea to have bulb flowers scattered throughout your garden! We’re having major renovation done right now, so the whole yard is a big pile of mud, but when we get to the landscaping part next spring, I’ll definitely keep this idea in mind.

    • Major renovation – that sounds exciting! Sounds like you’ll have a bit of a blank slate to be creative with next year.

      • (Chuckle) “Blank slate” is the glass half full way of looking at it. “Giant mud pit” is the way it’s feeling right now!!

  • David (thegoblinchief)

    Next year’s project is a major revamping of the bed layout to eke out more usable space. If there’s money left in the fall, I’ll be putting some money into the ornamentals for the first time in a few years. My kids love tulips and crocuses especially.

    • Gardening work is never done, right? We’re always moving things around each year. Especially in our perennial beds where things get overgrown within a few years.

  • Hi! The garden is beautiful!

    I’m wondering what’s planted (and so big so early!) In the 3rd picture down from the top, behind the red and yellow whirly gigs?

    • Hi Chris- The photo is from early May and that’s garlic in those two beds. It’s very fun and easy to grow if you haven’t before!

  • I love this idea! I’m getting ready to add some more bulbs in the flower garden portion of the backyard, and I’ll make sure to get some extras for the vegetable plot 🙂

    • Francine- Yes! There’s never such thing as too much color in spring as far as I’m concerned!

  • Completely agree with flower enhancement. If your out planting it’s great to throw in some color! Beautiful & Thanks for sharing

  • Tanya Anderson

    Great article! Thanks for sharing these wonderful ideas for livening up the garden with color. I plan to do this right away.

    • Alright! That’s what I like to hear! Keep me posted on how it goes for you, Tanya. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Hi! I am a budding gardener myself and have been experimenting with balcony herbs and veggies this past year. I just read your post and love the idea of planting bulbs too, but I don’t have the yard to plant anything in the ground. If I tried planting bulbs in pots on my balcony, do you think they would grow alright and blossom in the spring as well as they would in the ground? Thanks for the blog posts, I enjoy reading them!

  • […] share some tips and photos about using bulbs in your veggie garden in this post and highlight five unusual bulbs to plant in your garden […]

  • I want to do this but curious… do you still layer mulch over the bulbs as well as the sheet that you suggested for getting ready for winter? What about snow!

    • Hi Kristin- Great questions! I do mulch with hay over all the bulbs in my vegetable garden. They can push up through it in the spring. The row cover is only for protecting food crops, so I don’t use it for bulbs. Let me know how it turns out!

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