You should choose large, healthy bulbs that are firm and plump when you squeeze them. Plant your bulbs straight away but if you can't, then store them in a cool, dark and dry spot.
The best time to plant spring bulbs is when the weather starts to cool down in autumn. If you live in a cooler region, then plant them in March and April, but for warmer areas, you can wait until May.
Pro-tip: in temperate climates you should chill your tulip bulbs in the fridge for 4 to 6 weeks before planting.
Bulbs prefer full sun or light shade, and soil with good drainage because waterlogged soils can cause bulbs to rot.
Before planting any bulbs, it's a good idea to dig the soil over, break up any clods, and remove weeds. You can also add some compost to the soil for nutrients and scatter with fertiliser.
You should plant your bulbs at least twice as deep as their height with the neck up and the roots touching the bottom. The only exception are Ranunculus bulbs, which have claws that need to point down.
Place shorter bulbs at the front of your garden beds, and taller ones at the back. You can also mix different bulbs together for maximum colour impact. If you're unsure how many to plant, the more the better.
Once you've planted your bulbs in the ground, cover them with soil and a layer of mulch. Then water them in using a liquid fertiliser.
If you are planting bulbs in pots, always use a premium quality potting mix and place the pot in a shaded spot. When the leaves start to appear, you can move the pot into full sun. Daffodils and tulips are excellent bulbs for pots and you can plant up to eight of them in each pot.
Once you've planted your bulbs, you can pretty much leave them until the flower buds first appear. Then, it's time to water and fertilise again.