Saturday, December 6, 2014

Where's Winter...Might as well Plant!

Wow, it just doesn't seem like December when day after day it's in the 50s and there's no chance of snow. That's how it feels in the Denver Metro area these past few weeks.  So what's a gardener to do outside when the weather could change any minute?  Plant more spring and summer flowering bulbs is the short answer. Really. If your ground isn't frozen or wet and you have found planting bulbs that are in good shape AND discounted, there's no reason not to plant. But get out there now!

No winter at Washington Park
This morning I found a great deal on bulbs in one of my favorite garden centers. I could have purchased and planted twice as many, but I kept my pocket book in check. I know I'm over my landscape budget for the year and even the old "but honey, they were on sale" rationale can only go so far. 

I'll plant the crocus along a walk way in front of the house that is pretty boring until the 'Jack Frost' brunnera wakes up in mid-spring. The herb bed in the backyard could use more interest and early spring color so the yellow daffodils are going there. The only downside of planting this late is that I now have a brief period of getting my hands in the dirt and feeling useful in the garden.  Maybe this will make time go quicker until we can enjoy these flowering bulb beauties? Probably not, just wait...because we've had such a dry fall, we'll have snow on the ground until May!  

So what else can you plant this late outside?  Check the garden shelves for any deals on ornamental bulbs and don't forget the garlic planting bulbs either. They may need a few more weeks to mature next summer, but that's no big deal, you'll have fresh garlic and it will be so worth the effort if you get them in the ground now. Spring-planted garlic is okay, but they never grow as large as fall planted garlic. Read more about planting garlic on my blog from October 14th. Growing Garlic is Grand

If you're into bare root perennials or roses, now is a good time to dig and amend the planting hole in preparation for their arrival in late winter (mail order is the way to go for the best selection). Just be sure to cover the hole with a board or something so you don't trip or fall. Or loosely fill the hole so it will be easy to dig and plant later. Keep in mind that if the ground is snow covered or too wet you can't plant during the short bare root window (late March to mid-April or so). If you miss the window you can easily pot up your plants or roses and keep them in a frost-free shed or garage until after the final spring frost. They'll root in the pot so you can plant them just like regular potted plants.

I'm not going to speculate on the cause for this late season planting opportunity, I'm just going to seize the carp and plant some bulbs!  

Read more about fall planted ornamental bulbs on my blog from September 28th. Bulbs for Spring Bling


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