How to estimate quantity for an area

redsox_gwApril 25, 2009

We are embarking on our first bulb order for Fall 09 planting. I am wondering how to determine the number of bulbs you will need for an area, as well as the bloom time.

For example, we are thinking of planting daffs under the forsythia. I would think that we would need very early bloomers to time it with the forsythia, no?

Then we are hoping to put tulips under our cherry tree. It is not enormous and gets sufficient sun under there. The cherry tree blooms about 2 weeks after the forsythia, but would that still be early or midseason bloom? I was thinking about 20 bulbs under the tree.

We have another area we were planning to plant and it is fairly thin but long. Is there a metric to estimate how many bulbs of a type that you will need?

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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

Many bulb catalogs will give you an estimate, like "four bulbs per square foot", Brent and Beckys Bulbs, for one. If you can measure your area (length in feet times width in feet equals square feet), then you're in business. I would advise you to work on one area at a time (as budget permits) and fill it well, rather than putting a few bulbs here and there and everywhere. You'll get alot more bang for your buck that way. Also, if you're just starting out with bulbs, I would recommend that you first concentrate on bulbs that will multiply, so that time becomes your friend. Tulips are, for the most part, strictly annuals.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2009 at 8:24PM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

For example, we are thinking of planting daffs under the forsythia. I would think that we would need very early bloomers to time it with the forsythia, no?
I made the mistake of planting some daffs and other things 'near' the forsythia. Then the forsythia exploded with new growth. Needless to say, there are now things under the forsythia that need moved, along with giving the forsythia a severe trimming up.


Forsythia having a bad hair day.

Sue

    Bookmark   April 27, 2009 at 11:44PM
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redsox_gw

Sue, I see what you mean! Year before last we trimmed the forsythia late in the season. Next Spring: very few flowers. I only had to learn that lesson once.

Forsythia look great when in bloom and then an unruly mess the rest of the year!

    Bookmark   April 28, 2009 at 1:40PM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

Below is a neat pic of one that is all limbed up. It looks neat but not like some that trim them into balls in a more formal setting.

Mine is far from the house, so I can't take electric pruners or a chain saw to it. I sure wish it was planted somewhere other than where it is. Isn't that often the case? A couple of the branches that touched the ground have rooted, so I might transplant those and just do away with this big one, in time.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   April 28, 2009 at 2:29PM
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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

VERY cool picture, Sue! There's nothing I love better than seeing full view pictures of plants, since pruning without a clear goal in mind can be so disastrous.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2009 at 10:15PM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

Thanks...It is not my pic (should have said that before posting it). Yes, I would like to be able to get mine trimmed up like that. It would likely take several seasons and diligence to get it that way, and to keep it that way.

Now one really could plant some bulbs under, or near the bottom of that one in the pic.

Sue

    Bookmark   April 28, 2009 at 10:47PM
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jeannie7

Bulb planters all agree, the more the merrier---so don't worry about planting a particular number in any particular spot of ground---put lots in....one ever width of the bulb you have and don't be counting them.
Mass planting of bulbs is always the norm.
And don't plant different colors in one area---plant one color enmasse--then do another color...
this makes for a much better sight.

Putting different colors together takes the eye off the planting --ruins the whole effect.

You know better about how much sun each area under the plantings gets....but bulbs appreciate full sun....the more the better.
Putting any plant under another and depending on the shrub to leave sufficient moisture in the ground for the bulbs...which are very shallow planted, is one way to deny them sufficient water.
But, its your wish to see the color under there...so if anything happens---

'Course all this is for consideration ...NEXT FALL

    Bookmark   May 1, 2009 at 12:01PM
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