Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Pointy Side Up! Bulbs and Easy Planting Tips

A few minutes spent planting bulbs on a lovely afternoon this autumn will chase away old man winter early, ushering in a graceful spring with weeks of color and excitement before the rest of the garden wakes up. Crabapple LandscapExperts suggest that fall bulbs are best planted when the nights start to cool down. 

Just about all you need to know is “pointy side up”.

The Big Three

Daffodils make the most impact; in fact, in metro-Atlanta the earliest varieties begin blooming in January, showing their cheery faces in yellow or white. Daffodils are also known as narcissus (the scientific name) or jonquils (the flat cup varieties) and will grow in sun or shade. An added plus is that the squirrels and chipmunks won’t eat them because daffodil bulbs are poisonous to critters. If all those benefits weren’t enough, daffodils are reliably perennial around Atlanta, so once planted they will return every spring like a visit from old friends. They can be tucked next to perennials or foundation shrubbery, or planted underneath groundcovers like vinca or ivy in order to pop up through the foliage.

Tulips come in a wide assortment of luscious shades, and based on the type of flower will appear from early through late spring, for example, Early Singles, Darwin Hybrids, Lily-Flowered or Late Doubles. They come in every color except blue, and one company matches bulbs tothe house color and suggests varieties to plant. Around Atlanta, though tulips won't usually come back next spring, so you'll have the joy of choosing new ones and trying new color schemes in fall.

Hyacinths are super-fragrant and are so easy to grow that they can even be forced in a glass of water. Choose from pink and rose to blue, yellow, orange and white. March 7 is World Hyacinth day, so you see, they are pretty early bloomers. Carl Sandburg said, "Poetry is the synthesis of hyacinths and biscuits. " 

Fast, Easy, Foolproof
Planting bulbs is fast, easy and foolproof. The Dig, Drop, Done Foundation, a consortium of bulb growers, highlights these features with amusing videos of bimbos planting bulbs and enjoying flowers. The good news is that bulbs are very forgiving, so however they get in the ground, they will bring flowers in early spring. 

Yes, you can carefully prepare a bed adding compost and organic matter, OR you can just dig some holes and drop in the daffodil bulbs, pointy side up. cover them with the soil from the holes and you're good to go. 

Yes, you can measure the designated depth to plant each kind of bulb, OR you can scoop out some soil with a hand trowel and the bulbs will find their way to beauty (contractile roots ). 

Your Crabapple LandscapExperts know that planting bulbs teaches anticipation and rewards patience, so try some this fall. What do you have to lose? 

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