plant those bulbs, golden ager

When it’s pumpkin pickin’ time it’s also time to plant those bulbs, Golden Agers. Now is that glorious time of year when the air is crisp and autumn colors are vibrant, and you want nothing more than to be in the garden, digging in the soil, planting and pruning, looking ahead to spring, so  gardening tips are the order of the day.

Bulbs are perfect for beginning gardeners, or those who just want a single planter of tulips or daffodils, so plant those bulbs, Golden Agers. Even novice gardeners do well with bulbs. Choose a sunny spot and prepare the soil: work it and mix in organic compounds such as compost or peat moss.For maximum color impact, cluster your bulbs rather than planting in rows. Plant any time in the fall before the ground freezes; the earlier the better to enable them to establish hardy root systems in soft soil. In some regions you can plant as late as Thanksgiving, or even Christmas. Bulbs planted late in the season will develop roots in spring and may bloom later than normal, but they’ll catch up next year and in subsequent years be right on schedule.

Plant those bulbs, Golden Agers
Autumn is bulb planting season

Bulbs should be positioned so the bottoms rest at a depth of four-times the bulbs’ diameter. In well-drained or sandy soil. they can go an inch or two deeper, which encourages longevity and discourages gophers and other rodents. Different types of bulbs can be planted at different levels so they bloom at different times, one after another: daffodils and tulips first; then crocus, grape hyacinths, snowdrops, etc., directly over them. What about bone meal and/or fertilizer? According to Boston Gardens, it not necessary when planting. But if you plan to leave bulbs in the ground for annual repeat performances, it’s a good idea to fertilize with a balanced bulb food after the flowers have faded in spring. Since the advent of Mad Cow Disease many gardening experts now advise not to use bone meal, ever. Caution: Some bulbs, including tulips and crocus, are the favorite food of squirrels, gophers, and deer. However, daffodils, fritillaries, alliums, and some others, are not appetizing to animals. If deer are your problem, ask your nurseryman/woman which bulbs will be most likely to survive in your garden. If squirrels and gophers are the culprits, put chicken wire over the beds. The bulbs will come up through it and bloom just fine. Or avoid the problem by planting bulbs in pots and containers.

Plant those bulbs, Golden Agers.

Growing bulbs in containers is a fantastic solution if animal pests are a problem, space is limited, or if you just want to decorate your deck, patio, or front entry with vibrantly colored flowers. Make sure your containers are large enough or well-insulated enough to spend the winter outdoors — 24″ in coldest winter regions, and that they have drainage holes so water can drain. Fill container with high-quality potting mix (not garden soil) and plant as you would in the ground (see above directions). Water well after planting. If your containers is too small for the bulbs to winter-over, or made of terra-cotta and need protection, keep them someplace cold, such as a garage, shed or greenhouse. Don’t bring them inside. Basements are too warm for them to develop properly. For a spectacular winter display which then morphs into a glorious spring, plant winter vegetables such as ornamental cabbages and flowering kale on top of the bulbs and enjoy your container garden all through winter and spring. Then it’ll be time for summer perennials such as marigolds and cascading petunias. Happy gardening. Plant bulbs, Golden Agers, now, and you’ll have beautiful color next spring. Nothing says Spring like daffodils and tulips!

Plant those bulbs, Golden Agers.
As ye sow shall ye reap

Watch this video by P. Allen Smith on planting bulbs in containers:

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Here’s one by Better Homes & Gardens on How to Plant a bulb:

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And a simple bulb planting guide:

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