July 11, 2010

Tip of the day

Flowers 1 (1280 x 960) Now is a good time to place your order for fall bulbs.  My favorite source for bulbs is the John Scheepers company.  I order from their wholesale catalog Van Engelen because when we plant bulbs, we choose to plant large numbers and plant them in swaths rather than individually.   When you order hundreds at a time, you’ll get a much better price. 

A few pointers on bulbs:

  • When planting a large swath, did a big ditch instead of individual holes.  It is much, much easier!
  • For almost every bulb, plant it at a depth 3 times the height of the bulb.  If the diameter from top to bottom of a tulip bulb is 3 inches, dig the hole 9 inches deep.  For colder climates, dig it a little deeper than that for better insulation of the bulb.
  • Wear gloves when handling bulbs.  Some bulbs, tulips for instance, can cause people with sensitive skin to have a reaction and itchy rash.  I know because I’m one of those people!
  • Remember that big ditch I talked about earlier?  Don’t just plant one type of flower.  Plan ahead so that you have seasonal interest.  I often interplant daffodils with tulips and hyacinths for early, mid, and late spring with irises and daylilies that will bloom later in the spring and summer.  This also helps to mask the leaves of the earlier plants that are starting to dry. 
  • I know that I can order a hundred bulbs for $2 some places, but I tend to believe that you get what you pay for when it comes to plants.  I’d rather plant a hundred bulbs that will produce well and naturalize with most, if not all actually coming up rather than only a fraction of them blooming and having a lackluster performance. 
  • Visit botanical gardens to get a better feel for what the type of bulb will look like.  I love attending the daylily festival (and yes, I know that daylilies aren’t a “true” bulb) at Oaks Daylily Farm to see what different species look like—colors, heights, and widths can be tricky to tell with catalogs.  I like getting ideas of plant combinations when visiting gardens of the pros, whether that be at a botanical garden or at a farm or garden center. 

No comments:

Post a Comment