Bulbs: I Went Overboard
Posted: May-29-2006 at 7:36pm
I did it again. Ordered a few bulbs here, a few bulbs there from just a few on-line vendors. A couple varieties of Tulips, a couple varieties of Daffodils, a few Miscellaneous bulbs.
Suddenly, I have over 300 bulbs that will be arriving this Fall, and will need to be planted. Yikes! I need to come here before I order, so you guys can talk me out of things!
Oh, wait . . . who am I talking to? This isn't Plantaholics Anonymous--this is Enablers United! Has anybody else ever ended up with more bulbs than they know what to do with, and wish they hadn't ordered????
Posted: May-29-2006 at 9:51pm
LOL, you are certainly right about this being an EU group.
When I have too many bulbs, I like to plant them in my big pots that can hold about 25+ bulbs at a time. Then when they begin to bloom, I pull them out to the front until they are finished. As an aside, I especially like this method with daffodils. The next year when the foliage dies back down, I dig the bulbs out of the pots and plant them or give them away and trial another new set(s). I don’t have to look at the gruesome, dying throes of daff foliage until July. It’s not a pretty sight. In addition, braiding foliage is not the answer if you are planning to naturalize your bulbs. Even though it looks tidier, no haut coiffure will help the foliage harvest what it needs for next years foliage.
If you think you may get into a pinch, have some good size pots ready to take the bulbs you can't get in the ground and enough potting soil to fill them. If you have a covered area and the weather is not cooperating for getting them in the ground plop them in pots instead.
I know a gardener that pots all his bulbs up in one gallon pots and plants the pots in the ground where he wants them to display. He believes it is much easier to plant that way. When the flowers fade, he whisks them out of the way to continue ripening the foliage in the back hidden from view. His garden stays neat and tidy. He wouldn't think to do it any other way.
I have a couple of pots that I can pop one gallon containers in and out of that I change out with bulbs in spring and temporarily will put plants bought at the nursery in before they are planted out permanently into the garden.
Perhaps this as an alternative that helps you handle too many bulbs. If you run out of time or room or the weather fails to cooperate, you can pot up the leftovers.
Posted: May-31-2006 at 8:46pm
Debbie, thanks for the idea on potting the bulbs. I actually did that last year, for some Tulips that I didn't have space for in the ground, and it worked out pretty well. When the Tulips were done, I planted Zonal Geraniums in the pots, to hide the icky Tulip foliage. Years ago, at the Skagit Tulip Festival, one of the display gardens (back when there were half a dozen growers, instead of only 2!) had potted Tulips in plastic milk crates lined with black plastic and filled with potting soil. They must have had holes punched in the bottom for drainage. But they were just the cheap plastic crates you can find at Target or wherever. I think I have a couple of those laying around in the garage, so I may try it and see how I like it.
I've decided not to have containers on the porch this year--too hard to water them all summer long--so I think I will move the half barrels to the back yard, plant Tomatoes and Basil in them for the summer, and then bulbs in there this fall, and place them where I'll be able to see the flowers from the kitchen window. Maybe looking at the bright colors of Tulips and Daffodils will make me feel better about washing dishes.
(Maybe one of these days I'll learn restraint about ordering bulbs . . . naaaahhhh! Not possible!)
Posted: Jun-01-2006 at 7:37am
Good idea about planting them where you can see them from the kitchen window. You could also plant a few of them in pots and give them away as presents. I like buying plants as presents, it's like I'm saving money or something. I made Rosemary into bonsais and gave them away as Christmas presents last year. I did some potted up bulbs the year before for some people.
Posted: Jun-01-2006 at 9:34am
Brilliant! Fern. What a great idea. Potting for gifts--I need to get busy! Thanks.
I love looking out the window at the back yard while doing dishes. Right now the hosta under the maple trees are demonstrating how well they transform the area into a spring and summer showpiece.
Posted: Jun-01-2006 at 8:32pm
That is a good idea, Fern!
Posted: Jun-02-2006 at 6:56am
One year I bought bulbs as Christmas presents- put them in dry peat in decorated bags and refrigerated them. Included in the bag was instructions for forcing or planting out- it got great responses.