Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Lining out bulbs

Where was I?... It's been a bit of a blur since my last posting. We were scrambling around the garden, getting odds and ends done in the days leading up to the Christmas and New Year holiday. 

One job that deserves mentioning was lining out bulbs in the stock bed by the Vegetable Garden. Every year we plant bulbs in the bedding areas, and after the show they are lifted, labeled and stored for the following season. Inevitably, there are groups that become "separated" from their names, and receive the infamous "unknown" label. As we sort through these bulbs in the fall, lots of the known groups get planted out in the garden or potted up for the spring pot displays. The unknows groups, however, are lined out in the garden, where we can identify them as they flower next season.  As we identify them, they will be labeled and then they can be used as cut flowers for the house. When they're done flowering, they will be lifted and re-stored with their new label for later use.  

Digging a trench is the fastest method with this many bulbs

This was my first time lining out bulbs, but the principle is the same as with most stock bed planting. We ran a line the length of the bed so as to keep a tidy row and utilize the space as efficiently as possible.  Although it's not always necessary, with bulbs it's much faster to just dig a trench, place your bulbs and then fill it back in with soil. Since the objective is simply identifying the bulbs, they can be placed so they're nearly touching, again maximizing the space. 

Unknown Tulip variety being lined out 

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