How do you plant all those bulbs

finchelover(5b-6)November 4, 2010

I'm no "spring chicken" but still how do you plant all those bulbs I've been reading like 300-400 Do you use an auger or what.

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vetivert8(NI-NZ zone 9a)

(Not serious) - I think they all read 'Tom Sawyer' when they were kids... ;-)))

    Bookmark   November 4, 2010 at 6:10PM
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luvahydrangea(Albany, NY 5)

I don't know about others, but the way I do it, is a dig out a bed where I want to plant, ammend the soil, then back fill with a layer of about 2 to 4 inches to bring the soil to the proper planting depth. Then I take however many bulbs I want in the bed, i did a tulip bed of 200 bulbs and I just scattered/dumped the bags into the bed, got down and turned them all the right way up and pushed them down a bit, then covered them over. Voila! 200 bulbs planted in less than an hour. Daffodils I usually plant in groups of 9 or 12, so same idea on a smaller scale.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2010 at 6:45PM
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linnea56(z5 IL)

I have tried the augers,and special bulb planters: more trouble than they are worth. I just use a narrow trowel.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2010 at 8:59PM
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cynthianovak

depending upon the bed and roots I either use a flat shovel or a sharp, strong trowel with a comfortable grip.

you can plant a lot of bulbs quickly if the soil is soft because you recently pulled out the dead stuff. It helps me be patient for a month while the tulips chill in the fridge and after our first hard freeze.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2010 at 11:16PM
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paddlehikeva

I did read Tom Sawyer many times as a child. And all my attempts to make it look like fun to my friends and neighbors have failed to make them pick up a trowel and join the party.

It is a labor of love...

Kathy

    Bookmark   November 5, 2010 at 8:16AM
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tkhooper(7)

I've never done over 50 at one time. I use the same technique as everyone else has mentioned. And I so agree that soft soil is the key to making it easy. I don't think I would try it before the soil is amended.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2010 at 8:38AM
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Campanula UK Z8

a long handled bulb planter is a lifesaver - those little hand ones are useless, you need to be able to lean into it - they also take a neat plug of soil out without compaction (which certainly happens with dibbers and even trowels) - I plant at least 500 bulbs most years and couldn't imagine not having one especially when planting among perennials when you cannot get in and dig about freely. I use it for planting the potatoes too.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2010 at 5:32PM
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denninmi(8a)

Well, I got my annual Van Engelen order a few weeks back -- $458 plus S/H. So, yeah, that's a pretty large quantity of bulbs -- tulips, daffs, hyacinths, alliums, scilia, brodeia, hardy glads, alliums, crocus -- well, a little of this and a little of that.

How to plant so many -- easy -- dig a trench or hole for the number being planted in the location. Amend the soil if necessary. Dump in the bulbs. Fill the hole.

I never even bother to "right" the bulbs -- they do it on their own.

I've been doing it this way for probably 20 years, and never had any issues with it.

I plant my garlic the same way, and it is really happy, too.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2010 at 6:41PM
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cynna_leaf(8b)

I planted just over 400 in the garden this year. Just recovered from surgery and had to take it easy, did 300 over two days last week, then the last 120 (crocuses in the lawn) today.

For some I would use Denninmi's approach, digging out an area, laying out each bulb (I'm picky about placing them right side up), then covering with soil. Planted 100 allium ostrowskianums in long, narrrow trenches, and several other varieties of alliums by digging individual holes, same with anemonies.

I tried pretty much everything for the lawn crocuses, finally broke down and pulled out an old dandilion weeder - it was amazing for zapping perfect sized holes into the grass.

I've yet to find a way to avoide aching knees, strained butt muscles, back pain and sore palms. That's what cold October gardening is all about, and it's all worth it come January-July.

Tomorrow I do the easy part - bulbs in my patio containers. Just under 100, but way easier than today's 3 hour crawl on a wet, cold lawn! :)

    Bookmark   November 13, 2010 at 4:26AM
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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

It helps if you garden regularly all year so that you are in decent physical condition to begin with. :) But, as my middle aged body seems to be entering a new stage, I am learning to plant one area at a time. In good soil, I can plant a couple hundred in an hour. I push a narrow trowel straight down into the soil, pull it back, drop in the bulb, and then push the soil forward over it. It goes fast.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2010 at 8:50AM
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aggiegrad(5)

well, unless it's just a couple, what I usually do is dig a hole deep enough & big enough for all the bulbs I want to plant. then, I open all the bags of bulbs that I want in that hole, mix them up & spread them out in the hole, all right side up. I love the mystery that creates in the spring. I know pretty much what will come up in that area, but, since their all mixed up, I won't know what comes up where till they bloom. that's the fun part, the mystery of what blooms. in fact, this year I moved things around in my yard, everytime I accidently dug up a bulb I put in one designated area I dubbed the "mystery spot", now I can't wait till spring just to see what comes up there. I know it's all kinds of assorted spring bulbs, but what exactly is the fun part. next year is going to be really cool. I can't wait.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2010 at 1:36AM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

How do you plant all those bulbs
With so many new named daff cultivars, I'm asking myself the same question. It seems I am always having a race with Mother Nature to try and get them all planted before winter sets in. I was talking to another daff crazed collector friend last night and she said that next year she is going to start her planting in Sept, even if it is a bit early and even if the ground is hard and dry from no fall rains. The fall rains still have not arrived here to loosen the soil any, and it is really hard digging....sigh.

Sue

    Bookmark   November 16, 2010 at 8:27AM
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sunandshadow

I have one of those hand-tillers that you twirl, it's like twirling spaghetti on a fork. That removes any weeds and loosens up the soil. Then I make trenches with the hand spade, place a row of bulbs in the trench, and cover with the dirt. I wouldn't try to plant more than 100 in a day though.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2010 at 1:09AM
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