What an informative article and beautiful pics! I'd never heard of a bulb augur before, but I think I'll be getting one. I always wondered how folks planted 100's of bulbs. I can just envision the Daffs around my Apple, Plum and Pear trees next spring.
I've also fallen in love with the pic of Paperwhite 'Ziva' (Tazetta Narcissus) and decided I *must* have some. If DH disagrees I'll just tell him that "daffodils, like diamonds, are forever." I love that line!
What an informative & encouraging article! I just ordered a couple hundred more daffodils -- not quite a bushel, but I'm sure I've planted a bushel or two altogether out there!
The bulb augers seem to work best in relatively loose soil. Maybe my drill simply lacked power, but it hardly made a dent in the clay of an unamended area of my hard. I've switched to digging a larger hole and planting clumps of 5 to 15 (still spaced 4 to 6 inches apart). I've also tried the random method of placing bulbs by throwing them, but I can never find them all to plant them! LOL Maybe I need to hit them with a little florescent pink landscape paint first...
Your type of soil may also affect how deep you plant the bulbs. In the dense clay I have here, bulbs planted 8 inches deep would never see the light of day... I dig my hole only about twice as deep as the diameter of the bulb, but most of my daffs are in areas that get mulched for winter protection.
And by all means, when you're ordering daffs, get some "little bulbs" to plant with them. They can go right on top of the daffs in the same hole. Using the 2 to 3 times the diameter of the bulb rule for depth means a 1 inch crocus bulb needs just an inch or two of soil covering it. :-)
Thanks for a great article, with lots of inspiring photos!
critter. Are you putting something in the hole to help with drainage? So many grey haired ladies have told me how their Brownie Scout group helped plant the daffodils at the historic house here. I think the trick to keeping them found was to keep a Brownie in each area until the "diggers" got around to the entire space that was being planted.
Clay soil can be a real challenge. Thanks for your input.
Most of my bulbs get planted into areas that have been amended with good compost, which helps. I also give a little sprinkle of polymer moisture crystals into the hole for nearly everything that I plant, including bulbs... they work to soak up extra water in wet soil, also, so they're good for soil that could use a little extra drainage. But even amended clay is still denser and moister than sandy loam. :-)
I generally use the rule of thumb that bulbs should be planted 2 to 3 times as deep as their diameter, so I've never planted anything as deep as 8 inches except some really enormous "Naked Lady" bulbs. My mom planted some daffs 6 to 8 inches deep when she first moved to Pittsburgh (also clay based soil), and she never saw them again. I think how deep to plant may vary with zone as well as with soil... in the south, maybe they need to be a bit deeper so they stay a little cooler. For me, 4 to 6 inches deep works fine for daffodils.
I think if I had a Brownie troop on hand, I could keep track of a bushel of tossed-around bulbs! I love that image of a troop of giggling girls running around an old estate, helping to place and plant the bulbs.
I've been working on a Daffodil 'border' along the lower side of a curve or rock across my front garden, over the years have planted several hundred I guess - I just bought a mixed bag of 50 or so every fall.I plant by digging out a large hole and putting in a
5-6 bulbs and then covering, beats digging individual holes. Mine go about 6 inchs deep.
No bulbs that need that bit of freeze can grow here...Although one year I did start some columbine and then put it in the restaurant freezer for a bit...they did well for me for a short time, but our weather is too extreme for most bulbs. More's the pity.
Gloria, Thanks for the great article. I've done volunteer work at Lanark (Home of the Alabama Wildlife Federation) where we planted 5,000 or so a year. We planted them in clumps, in what we called "swooshes) (sort of flowing things that look like water running through the pine trees). They are really beautiful in the spring. On a negative note, I am concerned about our drought. Thanks.
Bleek (of eflowergardens.com) recently recommended Narc. 'Saint Keverne' http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/73074/ to me as a good, early yellow daffodil. In looking it up, I discovered it's said to be one of the best daffs for the south... you might just ask Bleek how he thinks it would fare in the Marshall Islands!