OK, so the planting timing problem was caused by my wanting to plant lots of spring-flowering bulbs where I was planting wildflowers earlier and not wanting to walk on the sprouting wildflowers. I had to think on that a while.
Solution? Walking-boards and cheap plastic tubs.
The walking boards will be some pieces of 2"x12" boards left over from the deck construction last year. With small pieces of 4"x4" scrap wood attached to the bottom, the footprint will be minimal, but allow me to walk out to the pre-dug holes for the wire cages for protecting the spring flowering tulips and hyacinths from the voles.
Each spot for the spring flowering bulbs will have a predug hole with a cheap plastic tub of the soil there. I will walk out on the supported boards, lift the tub, set the wire cage down, add an inch of soil, set the bulbs down, add the rest of the soil, walk off the board and lift the board off the wildflower sprouts.
Every problem has a solution...