It's now early June, but I'm still in the middle of bulb planting season thanks to being so ill earlier this autumn. But I'm trying to catch up now, and I'm taking a targeted approach to this task.
I'm weeding an area I need to put in bulbs in, and then planting the
bulbs. It's leading to the garden looking very patchy, with wild
unweeded areas, surrounded by neat and tidy weeded sections with
pretty, clearly labelled markers. I like to label all my bulbs when I
first put them in so over winter I can avoid them while doing any major
work in the garden. I'm
hoping once all my bulbs are planted I can then go back and weed the
areas that aren't quite so urgent.
My first job with bulb planting was to get my saffron bulbs in the ground. When I got the email from Bulbs Direct to say they were in stock, I was very excited, as I wanted some for years, but have always missed out. They arrived promptly, and I planted them the same day they arrived on my doorstep, I weeded an area of the herb garden and planted all 5 bulbs. My reason for sowing them in the herb garden, is that I already have other crocus in other areas of the garden, and didn't want to get them mixed up with the other bulbs.
And I have exciting news already, three saffron bulbs have already popped out of the ground. It's only been two weeks since I planted them, so I'm happy to see their needle like leaves.
Garlic bulbs were next to go in the ground. Even though most it's common to plant garlic bulbs on the Winter Solstice in New Zealand, I always like to get them in the ground in May. Down here in Dunedin, by the time we get to the Winter Solstice, the ground is very cold and wet, and it's hard to dig the holes to plant the garlic. So I like to get it done in mid-May while the ground is still warmish, and it gives the bulbs a chance to grow their roots while the temperatures are not freezing.
This year the only variety of garlic I could get hold of was New Zealand Printanor. It grows well for us, and we haven't had any garlic rust as yet. We don't tend to get garlic rust down here in Dunedin, as weather conditions in spring tend to be cool with low humidity.
After I gridded the garden bed and making holes with my handy bulb planter, it didn't take long to pop in all the garlic cloves.
This year I planted 60 cloves, and gave the rest of my garlic bulbs in the packet to my father to plant at his house. My plan is to store enough for us to use for the year, and the rest will be set aside for both ensuring seed garlic bulbs for the year after, sharing with family, and then any left over can be swapped in our local produce group for fruit and veges that I don't grow.
There's something about sowing bulbs in autumn and winter, it makes me hopeful that the cold weather will be over eventually, and that we'll have homegrown food in the spring and summer months.
Have a wonderful day
I can't resist a good plant catalogue, well any plant catalogue really. If one shows up in my mailbox with the plants all decked out in bright and colourful flowers, how can I resist buying bulbs in autumn for the coming spring?
Well I can't of course, and especially when they're tempting me with miniature plants. As you will see in spring, for some time I have been adding to my crocus and Tete a Tete daffodil collections. The tinier the plants the better, in my opinion.
Well this time the Garden Post plant catalogue offered me miniature irises. Teeny tiny irises that would be only 15 cm tall at most, and would be one of the first bulbs to flower in spring. Before I knew what I was doing, four different varieties were in my online shopping cart, and it wasn't too long before 28 bulbs arrived by courier. I ordered miniature irises in shades of blue and purple (Alida, Blue Note, J.S. Dijt, and Painted Lady).
The next weekend I weeded an area of the back garden, near a very small plastic pond with a waterfall that is solar powered. I pulled out my trusty bulb planter I bought a couple of years ago, and got to work.
I use my bulb planter for not only flower bulbs, but garlic bulbs also. The planter has a handy measurer on the side, so you know how deep to dig the soil depending on what bulb type you are planting. When you pull the plug of soil out of the ground with the planter, you just pop your bulb of choice into the hole, and then by squeezing the handle, it will release the soil back into the ground. If you are planting large amounts of bulbs, the planter will not only save you time, but also wear and tear on your joints too.
It wasn't long until all my new precious bulbs were in the ground. And now I wait, through all of autumn, and then winter, and hopefully fingers crossed, as we move into spring, my new miniature irises will appear. I can't wait to photograph them in all their glory.
Autumn has been such a busy time of year with many harvests and processing of produce happening at the moment. But not only that, I've recently had sinus surgery, followed, by a small complication, and now a sinus infection. I'm hoping to continue recovering from both the surgery, and the infection very soon, so I can get back out into the garden. The weeds are taking over, even though the weather is cooling considerably.
Have a wonderful day.Julie-Ann