Bulb planting time is here!

If you want beautiful spring blooming bulbs such as tulips, daffodils, hyacinths and more, now is the time to purchase and plant.

I truly enjoy the anticipation of spring bloomers. The first to come on the scene are the winter aconites (yellow flowers) followed closely by snowdrops, crocus, and early daffodils.

Last Saturday, Master Gardener volunteers in Clark County planted 2,000 daffodil bulbs in one and a half hours in the Snyder Park Gardens and Arboretum!

And, we didn’t have 50 volunteers helping with this project. We had around 10 volunteers and a bobcat; and the bobcat was pulling large shrubs most of the time.

We planted this “river” of blooms using a technique developed by Brent Heath of Brent and Becky’s Bulbs in Virginia. I heard about it several years ago and tried it at my house with great success.

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Rather than digging holes or digging a bed around six to eight inches deep, we put the bulbs on top of the soil and cover them with compost or soil.

A few years ago I happened to find a bunch of leftover tulips and daffodils at a garden store that were marked down to almost nothing. This was after Christmas and the temperature was supposed to be in the 50s the next day.

I took a chance and bought them all, put them all in a big bucket and mixed them up. I then put them on top of the soil in one of my perennial beds.

Next I covered them with about eight inches of compost and left them alone. I planted around 200 bulbs in an afternoon.

It was beautiful the next spring with minimal work.

Keep in mind this technique won’t work everywhere in the landscape. You need the right location such as a space where you can get away with raising the level of the bed somewhat.

You also need to mulch the bulbs after you plant so that the mounded soil or compost doesn’t wash away with a heavy rain.

Our bulb-planting project was on flat ground in a good location. Our MGVs planned to raise the bed area to put the bulbs in as well as perennial grasses next spring, making a nice border planting.

The MGVs marked the area for planting with string first, dumped the containers of daffodils on the ground and then spread them out to around two to four inches apart.

We also had some assistance from a few Wittenberg students to help with the wheelbarrows and shoveling. They brought the compost mix and dumped on top of the bulbs and the MGVs spread the soil out to completely cover the bulbs.

Mulching will be the final step and then the wait.

The river of daffodil blooms will be quite incredible next spring and I’ll be sure to share.

I want to give a personal thanks to everyone who helped with this project! I can’t wait until next spring!

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