Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Experimental Crocus planting

Experimental Crocus Planting
I've been reading about bulb planting. Jerry Baker, a well known master gardener, who has written many books about gardening, claims that Crocus can be planted right in the lawn. He claims that they will grow quite well and solves my question about what to do when the Crocus die back and there's nothing but dirt until the next Spring after blooming their hearts out. The claim is that they can just be mowed down with the grass with nary a concern and will rise up to bloom again the next year. Well, we will see.
The best method I could come up with was to dig a trench about 4 inches deep and the same in width. I did this by sinking my spade into the lawn about 5 inches then sinking the spade about 5 inches again about 4 inches behind the first. After two rows of sinking the spade into the lawn, I took my bare hands and reached under the sod and lifted it up and out of the 4 inch trench.
Well, there you have it. A four inch trench which is four inches wide all along the parking by the street. I figured if it will work there it will work any where.

The next step was to plant the 110 Crocus bulbs that I had ordered from Ebay. Yup, they came through the mail right to my door ready to be planted. All were health young bulbs ready to meet the dirt trench.
After the bulbs were carefully planted in the trench, the grass was rolled back into the trench and tamped down with a size 11 1/2 shoe stomp. Fifteen gallons of water poured on top of the now grass covered Crocus and the job was completed. It almost looks as if nothing has been disturbed.

Now we wait to see if it's true what old master gardener Jerry says or if I just end up with a dead strip of grass to contend with in the Spring. With all the digging, planting, stomping, and watering, I think I'll just sit a spell on the poor man's patio and enjoy the warm fall weather.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Not much gardening going on.

Fall Bulb planting

The gardening ended October 10th with four inches of snow. The aftermath has been cleanup from leaf drop and flower bed cleanup from dead foliage. Here in this picture the flower bed is being prepared for Spring bulb planting. Space for the 60 daffodils and the 30 tulips really doesn't take all that long. As you can see the leaf drop continues which makes it the fourth time to rake and use leaves for mulch and compost.

A quick inspired trip to Lowe's nets clearance sale bulbs for the prepared bed. Just a little work in the fall will pop with beauty in the Spring time. The plan is to over plant this area with day lilies in the Spring. Usually by June the Spring bulb display is done and by July the area is back to dirt which makes for a dismal display area the rest of the summer. Day lilies will pick perk up the display just as the tulip and daffodil starting winding down. That's the plan anyway.

Here's the bulbs all laid out and ready to be planted the proper depth of 6 inches with the pointy side up. I can't tell you how many bulbs I've planted the wrong way. It just seems natural that the pointy side should go down, but it's wrong. The next couple days have a weather forecast of rain which should be good for the bulbs. Then it's mulch up all those leaves you saw in the first picture and use it to cover up the bulbs with a protective blanket until Spring. When the weather breaks in the Spring, off comes the blanket and wait for the display to begin. Hopefully, that's how it will work.

I couldn't find any Crocus at Lowe's or any other place
including Mulhall's nursery. I really like Crocus because it's always the first up in the Spring even if they have to come up through the snow. I haven't had any Spring time flowers since I put in the poor man's patio last year. I really missed them this Spring. Anyway I went to ebay to find more bulbs. I have 120 Crocus and another 12 Tulips on the way. According to Jerry Baker, a master gardener that has written many gardening books, Crocus can be planted right in the lawn and usually by the time they are done with flowering the yard will need it's first mow down, which he claims will not hurt them for the next year. What a novel idea. I'm going to try that out and see how it works.

Next year should be an exciting year for gardening. I haven't even started thinking about what to do with the poor man's patio's living wall. The living wall is the main picture of the blog.