Bulbs represent one of the least-expensive ways to add color to your landscape. Daffodils, for example, can be had for 50 cents each, will provide years of enjoyment and increase in
number, or "naturalize," when happy. Since the days have cooled off in much of the country, but the ground is still relatively warm, we are in prime bulb-planting time. Bulbs planted now will get right to work establishing their root systems. I've planted thousands of them over the years, and here are some basics based on that experience.
1. Good soil counts. Take the time to prepare the bed where you are going to be planting. Good drainage is particularly important, as most bulbs like it on the dry side during their period of dormancy.
2. A general rule for planting depth is that it should be three times a bulb's diameter. So a tulip bulb two inches across should be planted
six inches deep.
3. Don't be afraid to make bulb "sandwiches." More than one type of bulb can share a planting hole. Put the largest on the bottom, sprinkle on a little soil, add a smaller bulb, sprinkle on a little more, and finish up with a small bulb on top with just a couple of inches of soil over that.
4. Generally speaking, plant the pointy side of the bulb facing up. Sometimes this can be difficult to figure out, in which case plant the bulb on its side and it will actually right itself.
5. Don't fertilize when you plant. This may contradict advice you have read, but I've never done it. Using a product like bone meal in the planting hole can attract critters that will then feast on the bulbs. Instead, apply a good slow-release fertilizer as the foliage starts to appear in the spring. And a twice-yearly top-dressing with compost wouldn't hurt either.
6. But do water when you plant, just as you would something that came in a pot. And in the spring, if you don't get those April showers.
7. More is more. Don't skimp on the number of bulbs you buy. A dozen crocus will go almost unnoticed but a hundred will make a statement.
8. This is not a planting tip, but resist all temptation, after the blooming season, to braid, tie up or cut the bulb's foliage until it begins to turn yellow and flops over. Then it is safe to cut it off. Doing anything else beforehand will impinge on the plant's ability to photosynthesize, which is crucial to the formations of the next season's blooms.
The photos are from companies I have ordered from over the years and can recommend based on my experience. I've included links to their web sites in the captions.
What bulbs are you planting this season?
Commented on Oct 21, 2012
I'm originally from Michigan and love spring bulbs, but live near Orlando, FL now. Douglas, I
see you are in FL. Can we do traditional bulbs even though our ground never freezes or gets all that cold? Thanks!
hallways. It was the snap together kind. Research was conflicting and I probably would have waited another year or two to see how the products develop, but he was tired of the
"construction site" look left over from my various remodeling projects. We have a large dog and a teenager with herds of friends. So far we're 90% pleased.
1. Temperature neutral like carpet, not cool like hardwood or cold like tile
2. Louder than carpet, quieter than hardwood or laminate ... not quite as insulating & quiet as the sales rep led us to believe ... we can still hear the kids upstairs, maybe even a little more than with carpet. Also, sneaking to the bathroom @ night isn't as stealthy as with carpet. I'm probably going to put a few small rugs down. 3. Harder than carpet, softer than hardwood or laminate
4. Easier to clean than carpet
5. Doesn't snag dog hair or dust like carpet (better for our allergies)
6. The finish is a little slippery for the old dog, but not as bad as my friend's laminate floor
7. He went with a very light color to keep the bedrooms/hallways bright ... the look is unusual, but we're getting used to it
8. No vacuum marks ... dust, dirt, dog hair, foot prints, etc. don't show. Always looks great.
9. Pricy for upstairs flooring, I think, but in line with hardwood.
Commented on Sep 09, 2011
I love the way this looks! Nice job. Wish it was less expensive. I'd like it in our new 1950s
It was the easiest thing I've done as far as home improvements and it looks AWESOM!
Commented on Sep 06, 2011
Were your counters in good shape? We are moving into a 1958 house with original cabinets (and
I'm assuming original formica counters!) Some of the edges have come off or are peeling. At some point we want to gut the kitchen, but there are other projects that will need to come first (shower leaks into the master bedroom, etc.) However, we will use the kitchen everyday and I'd like it to look decent. Do you know if this would works over missing pieces of counter? It's really the front "face" that's coming off. thanks!