What is the best way to plant bulbs?
Planting in well-drained soil is very important to most bulbs. As a general rule, bulbs should be planted 2-3 times their width deep, with their basal plate down (this is the area that will grow roots). If in doubt, plant the bulb on its side. You shouldn’t plant them in a place that gets soggy; especially not during their dormant season. Planting bulbs extra deep can sometimes help protect them from severe cold and hungry critters. Just don’t plant them too deeply in heavy soil. The more well drained and lose your soil is, the deeper you can plant. Daffodils are best planted deeper (5”-6”) in colder zones, and shallower (2”-3”) in warmer zones. I recommend planting large Hybrid tulip bulbs deeply (7-10”) as I have found this encourages large bulbs for future blooms.
Fall blooming bulbs should be planted as soon as you get them, but you should wait untill the soil cools down to plant spring blooming bulbs. In colder zones 3-6, most bulbs are best planted in Sept-October, before the soil starts to freeze. In zones 7-10 where the soil doesn’t freeze, it is good to plant bulbs starting in October and into December in the warmest zones. Storing most bulbs is easy…just keep them in a cool dry place until planting. If you don’t know your growing zone, click your area on this map: http://www.usna.usda.gov/Hardzone/ushzmap.html
You may still be able to grow bulbs that are "outside" of your zone with some extra tricks. If your zone is too cold, you can try using extra mulch, planting on a southern exposure, using a protected spot next to the house, or planting in a pot for forcing indoors. If you live in an area that is too hot for say… hybrid tulips, you can refrigerate them for a few weeks (keep them away from ripe fruit) to simulate winter, and plant them in a cool shady spot. Bulbs in warm climates usually appreciate some shade; even those that prefer full sun in colder climates. I know that the full March sun can bake flowers in Arizona!
Almost all bulbs can grow in part shade. Hard-wood shade is ideal, as these trees let sunlight through for spring-growing bulbs. A few to try in heavy shade would be: Scilla "Wood Hyacinth", Muscari "Grape Hyacinth", Anemone, Jonquil Daffodils. Many bulbs in warm climates prefer shade.
Crocus, Tulips, Hyacinths, Daffodils, Liatris, Lilies, Muscari, and more.
Basic Guide to Planting Ranunculus:
Soak the Corms in water over night or at least 3 hours. Do Not leave for more than 24 hours in water as they can start to rot. Plant shallowly (about two times as deep as the corm is high) The corms look like a claw or hand, plant them "Fingers" down in the soil or if you are unsure plant them on their side. I would plant about 3-4 inches apart. This Planting info is relavant for all Zones. However Ranunuculus are only winter hardy in zones 8-10, where it is best to plant in fall or early spring. In zones 4-7, plant in spring once hard frosts are over, then lift before first hard frost and store dry to preserve for next year.