Now that the long cold winter seems to be headin’ for the hills, you can find me out in the yard on milder days, hunting for the earliest spring blooms. And I know just where to search: those warm spots on the south side of my house, snugged up against the foundation wall. These southern-facing spots are the first to thaw out, so the bulbs I plant there always bloom a few weeks earlier than they do in other parts of my yard.

So now’s the perfect time to mix up a batch of my Out-to-Lunch Mix and give my bulb beds a beneficial boost. Here’s how:

Mix 10 pounds of compost, 5 pounds of bonemeal, and 1 pound of Epsom salts in a bucket, stirring them together with a shovel. (This recipe makes enough for 100 square feet of soil.) Top-dress established bulb beds with the mixture in the next few weeks, after you start seeing foliage emerging from the ground. And for an extra treat, you can add up to 5 pounds of wood ashes (from your fireplace) to the mix.

Need more potions and lotions to keep you growing all year long? Check out my Terrific Garden Tonics book—FREE for 21 days! It’s jam-packed with my world-famous mixes and fixes that’ll have you growing like a pro in no time at all.