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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

More Bulb Planting Fun

The Project That Never Ends continues...  WHAT was I thinking when I ordered 350 tulips/hyacinths/daffodils to plant?  Well, I suppose because I had new space and I decided in September to landscape rather than just plant grass.  And its not the bulbs, its the making of and the digging for all the wire cages to protect them from the Evil Squirrels and Nasty Voles.

Just planted in the ground, the squirrels dig them up from above and the voles eat them from below.  I'm hoping the wire cages keep them safe and blooming for years.  But I never expected it would be so much work!

I've bored you with the process before, so I won't do that again.  But even to do a few cages takes time.  It's the weather...

In one sense, I have been very lucky with the weather.  The ground is usually frozen hard by mid November and it has stayed oddly warm this year.  So I have had more time to plant them.  On the other hand, it has rained some  almost every day for 6 weeks.  Not that we are flooded; the rain is a soft drizzle.  But that's enough to make the soil slippery and muddy.  And you don't want to dig in wet soil because it packs down.  And at the end of a day working in wet soil, I would look like The Swamp Thing!

So I have a large 36'x30' sheet of plastic I cover the area with every day.  OK, the bottom 4' are not covered, but that section was the first I planted so I don't have to step in it.

So every day when it is not raining, I take all the stones off some of the edges of the plastic, peel it back for where I want to plant, and get 3 more bulb cages (holding 9 bulbs each) set in.  3 cages take about 90 minutes and after that I'm tired.  Well, each hole has to be 14"x16" and 12" deep.  And the dug up soil has to go somewhere other than on top of the previous plantings (I have styrofoam plates marking the planted spots and I can't cover THEM).

So putting the dug-up soil gets trickier the more cages I plant.  I have all the tulips planted (20 cages) and I am on the hyacinths at the outer edge on one side.  That side (of the 30' edged circle) is the easier to dig in (sandier soil vs clayier soil), so I favor that area for digging.

The other side of the circle will be for daffodils, more about those when I plant them, but they are FAR easier to plant...

So I wanted to start on the hyacinths yesserday.  The forecast looked good.  The Weather Channel website for my town said no rain until 6 pm.  Hurray!  I got started at 2:30.  It took 15 minutes to get the ools and bulbs outside and peel the plastic sheeting off.  So I started to dig the first hole.

And then it started to rain!  Misty at first but then more steadily...  Dammit!  I waited a few minutes as the rain got heavier.  But I gave up and re-covered the planting site with the plastic and put all the tools away. 

Fortunately, I also needed to go grocery-shopping, so off I went with rain falling on the windshield.  For 2 minutes...

Then it stopped completely.  For the rest of daylight.  ARGHHH!

Well, at least I got the grocery-shopping done...

1 comment:

Megan said...

Slowly, slowly you're getting there Mark. Keep plugging away.

Sydney, Australia