The Bulbs Are Planted

blog-bulbs.jpgWhat was I thinking? Every year I do this. Bulb overindulgence. They didn’t look like so many in balmy September, but after a temperate fall, I was forced to plant them in winter, out in the cold. All 262 of them.

On the packaging, planting bulbs looks hard. As a novice gardener, I was intimidated. All those diagrams showing the little spade digging a very deep hole. All that math complete with rulers that I guess you are supposed to stick in the hole. Have I told you all how much I hate math? I’m probably a writer simply because the journalism school at OU didn’t require any math for a degree.

Plus, I’ve got three kids, one of whom shares a birthday with my mother (today) almost one week after Christmas. If I took the time to plant per the instructions, I would never get them in the ground. This would mean no spring show for Easter at our house, and that would be a pity. I like a few flowers while I hunt Easter eggs. Looks good with the attire.
So, this is how I do it. Dig hole. blog-hole.jpgPlace odd number of bulbs in it. Throw down a mix of bone meal, blood meal and maybe a long acting fertilizer. Cover the entire mess with more soil. Throw some chopped leaves on top.

Voila!! The bulbs are planted.

A couple of notes. No, I don’t dig to the standard depth. You’re supposed to dig at a depth of three times the bulb’s size. You can if you want to, but I’ve found, in Oklahoma, it makes absolutely no difference. In fact, for most winters, you may want to place the hyacinths in a refrigerator in September and leave them a couple of months so they will get their full chilling. Hyacinths like a little chill. Closer to the surface is colder.


As to tulips, treat them like annuals. It doesn’t get cold enough here to make them multiply. After they’ve flowered, pull them up. Next fall, I’m planning a species tulip trial. I’ve heard they will naturalize somewhat. A few bulb companies supply them, but don’t expect them to look like the tulips seen in magazines. I repeat . . . those are annuals here. However, the last few years, tulip bulbs are pretty cheap, so I just throw some in with the narcissus (daffodils,) hyacinths, grape hyacinths, anemones and others. This year, I decided to try rununculas. Those are some crazy rhizomes. I had to consult the internet to see which end was up.

I braved the cold and got the bulbs in the ground. Hooray for me!

One thing I forgot to mention. The stringy roots should be planted on the bottom, and the pointy end should be pointing upward toward the sun.