September 23, 2009
If you are ready to put in bare rooted plants or fall bulbs to over winter and bloom in the spring, this auger can make holes fast. The auger fits 3/8th " drills which you can use on your own household drill, and is sturdy steel construction. The auger is 24" long so you don't have to bend over so far and can move easily on to the next hole to be dug. A real time and back saver.
At Garden Auger Bulb Planter 2.75" x 24"
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September 18, 2009
Now is the time to order and plant anemones. Anemones have the advantage of overwintering nicely in zones 5-11 and the tubers propagate and can be divided in the summer when the plant is dormant. These De Caen Anemones flower in early spring and will take partial shade. They come in a wide array of colors from white to blue to red and violet and brighten the border of a flower bed.
At De Caen Anemone Windflowers 25 Bulbs
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January 1, 2009
Every year I force a handful of paperwhites to bloom in January. They are so fragrant and pure white and cheer up any room. If you can, start a new batch every week throughout the winter. You'll need a container without holes in the bottom and some small stones (I like 1/2" diameter). My container is much shallower than the one pictured above and it works well, too.
Fill the container 1/2 way up with stones. Make a small well in the stones for each bulb. Typically they are arranged in a circle. Put the bulbs in the wells and make sure they are stable. Eventually the roots will stabilize the bulbs. Fill the container with water until it is 1/3 of the way up the bulbs. Keep the water level constant and watch as the bulbs sprout slender green stems. After a few weeks, they will bloom!
These are available from Amazon for $7.95.
September 14, 2008
Now here's a site to get lost in - at least I did. Lots of bulbs, good prices and good information about growing, planting, etc. My favorite bulb is scilla. They are small and maybe a little expensive for their size, but they are one of the longest lasting bulbs.
The site recommends planting them under spring flowering shrubs such as azaleas and rhododendrons but I like to plant them in the lawn. After they've naturalized for a few years, they create a beautiful spread and blend with the spring green grass. Plus, you don't have to mow the grass until after they stop blooming. I mean, who would want you to mow down flowers?
To make sure you don't order more bulbs than you have time to plant, here's a way to estimate the work load. Time yourself as you dig a hole with your bulb planter, add bone meal or whatever you like to add, stick a rock or, better yet, a gold coin in the hole, and tamp it down. If it took you 1 minute and you want to order 300 bulbs, plan on spending a minimum of 6 hours planting bulbs. Another way to get the job done is to make a crock pot full of chili and some corn bread and invite people over for a bulb planting party. If everyone plants 30 bulbs, you need 10 hungry people.
September 3, 2008
If you plant these now, you'll see them bloom this fall. This is an heirloom bulb which will multiply freely and help stretch the summer with its happy, yellow flowers. From White Flower Farm, 12 for $16.50.
August 17, 2008
Hey, why not have as much power on your side as you can? We use this auger for planting bulbs and it does a great job. Not only are you standing up while you work, but (as is the nature of augers) the auger pulls the soil out of the hole while it is making it so you don't have to get down and pull it out.
Just drill the hole and drop a bulb into it. We like the extra thick blade that can be sharpened again and again. The bulb auger (at Amazon for $32.99) and cordless drill make short work of this task, which is important if you went a little crazy buying bulbs and now are wondering how the heck 200 bulbs are going to find their way into the ground this fall. Nothing helps the motivation more than knowing it's a quick job. Well, except if you say you can have a beer when you're done.
For tips on a good cordless drill, go ask my brother-in-law at ToolSnob.
August 16, 2008
If you are looking for a cool collectible, this is it. These are beautiful blue fall-blooming crocus bulbs with stamens of saffron, the world's most expensive spice. Available from Amazon for $8.99 for ten bulbs. A very unusual and unique gift would be a tiny box of your own home-grown saffron. You could also give small containers of other dried herbs from your garden, such as dill, oregano, mint and thyme. Or a red-themed gift of saffron, strawberry jam and tomato sauce all from your own backyard!
August 15, 2008
Here's another long-handled bulb planter that looks promising. While it doesn't have the sharp and pointy blades of the last one, it does have a treaded foot bar so you can use your weight to get through the sod instead of your shoulders. For anyone with shoulder problems or arms that aren't quite as strong as they used to be, this is your bulb planter. Available from Amazon for $59.00.
August 14, 2008
If you're going to order bulbs, you'll need a bulb planter to get the job done in a reasonable timeframe. This is an interesting one based on the post hole digger design and we think it's worth trying.
With ash handles and steel blades, they've intended for this to be around for a long time. On sale at Gardener's Supply for $39.99.
Even though everything in the garden and yard is crying for more attention, it's time to think about ordering bulbs for fall planting. Don't wait until all the good stuff is gone. The bulbs can sit around in the basement for a few weeks where it's dark and cool until you have time to plant them. Most companies don't mail them out until planting time in your area, anyway. The key thing is to get the order in.
Here is a great mix of blue and purple tulips from Hirt's Gardens available through Amazon. Blue is one of the most unusual and highly sought after flower colors and these are gorgeous. They would look great amid crowds of yellow daffodils.