It’s the time of the year when I begin my frost dance.
Or should I say “threat” of frost dance.
You know the routine.
The first few nights you just throw a sheet or towel over a few tender plants
Then you drag most of the ferns in to the warmth.
After a few more sunny days
It happens again.
You begin to take them seriously.
You start picking things.
Almost ripe tomatoes
Not quite mature peppers.
Then the freeze frenzy really sets in.
One cold windy morning you yank every green tomato off the vine.
Cut cockscomb to the ground.
Whack away at armloads of roses and zinnias
Dig up baby basil plants for your winter supply.
Then lie in wait for mother nature to kill everything you’ve nurtured all year.
After several nights of freeze warnings
It finally happens.
The first hard freeze.
The killing freeze.
With the end of one season
So now it’s time to plant…….
Spring Flowering Bulbs!!!
Even though I won’t actually plant my bulbs till later in the month.
I thought I’d send along this primer.
Here’s what I know about planting bulbs.
As with all of gardening the health and size of the bulb will determine the quality of bloom.
So look for big bulbs that are firm.
Make sure there is no mold present
Soft moldy bulbs will only turn into compost not flowers.
Tulip bulbs should still have their brown “skin” attached.
We talked about bulbs a bit in August in two prior blogs.
Planning Time and Planting Hope
So lets cover how to plant all this stuff.
First – find a gardening friend
Make a pact to help each other plant bulbs.
This friend may be a spouse, a child, a sibling, a neighbor
Or if you’re lucky you have a Megan.
Megan has helped me plant bulbs for well…
I don’t remember how long.
We use the “lasagna” method.
It saves labor
And makes for glorious blasts of color.
Which means you never….never….never
Plant in rows.
Instead if you want to line an edge
Dig a series of oval holes.
Good sized holes
Because you will put a minimum 7 daffodils and 11 tulips in each hole
Dig the hole 6 ” – 8″ deep.
Mix in a little Bone Meal
Place the daffodils pointy end up
(That is very important !)
Make sure they don’t touch – or they will rot!
Use odd numbers 7 – 9 – 11.
Cover with a few inches of soil
Add a bit more Bone Meal
Then place Tulips
Again pointy end up.
To get a good show use at least 11 tulips or more.
Then repeat soil and Bone Meal
Top off with Dutch Iris.
Then refill to ground level.
Actually a little higher since it will settle when you water it all in.
And do water it all in
The water will fill up the air pockets in the soil
This will keep it from freezing when it’s first planted.
If you’re really energetic or inspired you can cover it all with pansies.
Now….that’s a blast of spring!
We do a series of these “lasagna Holes” on each side of the path
Leading to my garden house.
This forms a full border that doesn’t look contrived.
You’ll notice that the biggest bulbs need to be buried the deepest.
So you plant from large to small bulbs with this method.
Lilies can be planted 3 – 5 to a hole
Or…you can dig a winding trench
Place the bulbs in a zig zag pattern along the trench.
I generally don’t plant anything else with them.
So…that’s pretty much how we do it here.
It’s a tried and true method you may want to try.
After all gardening is personal.
We learn from each other.
We adapt to our own garden.