Fall is definitely time to plant spring blooming bulbs underground. Typically the season for planting bulbs can begin in late September and will extend to mid December, depending on your particular climate. A basic rule of thumb for planting bulbs is as long as the ground is not frozen a spring bulb can be planted. New bulbs do not have to be fertilized for the first spring bloom to appear. The bulb has plenty of nutrient storage for the spring growth. There appears to be some debate concerning fertilization, however, and it is addressed below.
Work the ground with the cultivator to loosen the soil. If this is a new garden bed, add some compost material to the new garden bed area. Mix the compost and soil thoroughly with the cultivator.
Arrange the bulbs on top of the ground in the pattern you desire. This will also give you an idea as to how many bulbs will fill into that location. Most bulbs will do very well if they are kept at a minimum spacing of 3 inches to 4 inches apart.
Dig the bulb's hole with the hand spade. The holes depth should be three times the overall size of the bulb. In other words, if the bulb is 2 inches long, the hole should be 6 inches deep.
Place the bulb "pointy side" up inside the hole. The pointy side is the top of the bulb where the leaves will emerge in spring. Sprinkle a small handful of fertilizer into the hole or on top of the ground. The addition of fertilizer is optional and various references include the addition of fertilizer for the first year or growth.
Soak the bulbs into the soil with water from the garden hose. The bulbs must be well watered before the first freeze occurs. The bulb will actually begin to grow out its root structure during the remaining period of winter.