Monday, October 18, 2010

Fall Bulb Planting

The most important step in planting bulbs in the fall is to purchase large, high quality bulbs.  The 14/15 or 16/17 notations relate to the size of the bulb.  The higher the numbers the larger the bulb which will produce more and larger blooms.  Make sure the bulbs are firm, not soft or moldy.

This is Itzim Daffodil laid out in alternating triangles.  It is a smaller daffodil so I place them four or five inches apart.

Daffodil Itzim is a good replacement for Tete-A-Tete because it has a longer bloom time and is approximately the same size.

I use an auger attachment on the end of a drill to get through difficult soil and groundcovers, smaller bulbs that require more shallow planting can be put in with a hand trowel.  Some people dig large areas and place many bulbs in groupings.  This only works if you know there is nothing else in the area that you will disturb.

The Lirope that grows under the pear tree has been cut back because it is very difficult to plant in this area and the grass turns yellow during the winter.  It softens quite a bit and is very difficult in the spring.

I sprinkle a little bulb fertilizer in the hole, mix it up a little, put the bulb in point up.  If you're not sure which is the top you can always lay it sideways and it will come up just fine.

We put in some more Orange Emperor Tulips around the Chanticleer Pear.  Here it is pictured with Sweetheart Emperor.

Another very early daffodil called Early Sensation was added to the borders in front of the house.  They are pictured above on the south side of my home last spring - long blooming.

Cover with soil and mulch, tamp down with your feet when done, supposedly this will help deter critters.  I'll try anything as I have a major problem with squirrels in the fall and rabbits in the spring, mostly for tulips.  Plantskydd for Critters seemed to help last year and I also used chicken wire with metal garden staples.

I also put in three different varieties of Orienpet Lilies (a cross between Asiatic and Oriental Lilies).  They range in height from three to six feet.  They look great peeking out from behind other plantings, phlox, roses, daisies, etc.

Conca d'Orr



Bulbs can be planted until the ground freezes hard.  I have actually planted bulbs as late as December in zone 5 (not a recommendation).

It seems like a lot of work but so rewarding to look out and see the fruits of your labor in the springtime!