A Tale of Two Bulb Beds

So here’s what happened…

I planted bulbs from the same three packages in two different beds in my yard within an hour of each other.

I even blogged about it here. This was just a few months ago, right before we experienced the most difficult winter ever recorded in eastern Massachusetts.

There was a lot of snow.

IMG_8601Here’s the backyard herb garden today.  Remember how I carefully planted bulbs along the path, in the nooks and crannies? It was going to be amazing! The herbs are slowly coming to life but there’s not a bulb in sight.

IMG_8599And then there’s the sunny front yard…same packages of bulbs, same planting time and their blooming to beat the band.

I’ve been reading about microclimates and I think that this situation is a good example of two very different climates within about twenty yards of each other. The front bed gets morning sun that’s reflected off of the house and the big windows just above it which makes warm soil, almost like a greenhouse. The herb bed in the back gets afternoon sun and it’s kind of tucked in behind the hemlock tree and shielded by the house until later in the day. As the sun rises higher in the sky this spring it will hit this spot earlier in the day. Right now, it’s still pretty cold out there.

Or maybe squirrels dug everything up when I wasn’t looking!

I don’t think so, I would have noticed.

It could also be related to the soil. That front yard soil isn’t anything special. I kind of neglect it, but it does have years of good mulch composted in. The herb bed was just dug last spring and fertilized with compost from our piles and a few bags of organic compost that I bought.

So, I’m on bulb watch! I’ll let you know if anything pops up.

How’s your garden growing? Did your bulbs come up?

Enjoy it all!

Michele

It’s Not Too Late to Plant a Few Bulbs….

Maybe your feeling kind of done or like  you’ve missed the window to get those bulbs in the ground….

…but guess what? You haven’t!

As long as the ground isn’t frozen you can still plant bulbs.

And in a few short months when spring springs you’ll be glad you did!

IMG_7542I decided to put some daffodils and dutch iris along this little walkway in my herb garden.

IMG_7543I used simple bags of bulbs from a big box store. You can be fancy and order them, or buy organic or whatever you like… or, you can just go buy some up the street like I did.IMG_7560Here’s the key.. Read the label and plant as directed. Be sure to take note of the planting depth and light requirements.

Considering the light requirement is so important, just like it is when you plant everything else!

The correct light, soil type and water, that’s what does it!IMG_7551I like to loosen up the soil well then place my bulbs a few inches apart.  IMG_7555Next I dig holes to the depth indicated on the package and gently place the bulb in, pointed side up. In this case the daffodils are planted six inches deep and the iris 2-4 inches. I’ve also seen gardeners layer them with the deeper bulbs sitting under a layer of soil with another layer on top. I was working in and around the herbs so I planted them randomly but if your grouping them together to fill in an open space they’ll look great if you use the layering method.

Does that make sense? I hope so…

You can add a handful of bonemeal as you plant if you have some. I didn’t have any on hand but it helps!IMG_7556Fill back in with soil, and their all set!
IMG_7557I chose to scatter bulbs along the sides of this pathway, in between and around the herbs. Most of the herbs are perennials so they should be part of the arrangement when spring comes.
IMG_7547And now we just wait!

One last quick tip… don’t add manure of any kind to a bed where your planning to plant bulbs in the near future. Some lighter compost will be fine, but manure will burn your bulbs and you’ll never see them again.

Let’s just say that I learned this lesson the hard way 😉

Hope your inspired to grab a bag of bulbs off of the sale rack and spend a few minutes brightening up a corner. Look for a spot near a doorway where you’ll enjoy them often!

Hurry, before the polar vortex sinks down and gets us all!

Enjoy everything!

Michele

ps/ Since I wrote this post this week the weather systems have ramped up and the snow is coming, so I’m clicking publish and telling you to hurry! You can do this!