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