Shut Up and Dig

Crazy gardeners in Buffalo spotted planting bulbs in January


This will surely be the test of the theory that bulbs planted too late in the season—or, really, after the season is well over—will have difficulty settling in for a spring bloom Our local über-gardener Gordon Ballard took advantage of two days of 60-degree-temps last week (I had to work, dammit) to plant a half dozen perennials, replant a climbing rose, and plant well over 300 bulbs. That brings his bulb count well into the four-figure range.

Sadly, the warm spell had receded by Wednesday, but it was enough to get rid of the snow and we’re still in the high 30s. Makes me want to get out there and at least throw some mulch down. Or something.

That’s quite some bulb auger he’s got there.

Posted by on January 13, 2008 at 10:41 am, in the category Shut Up and Dig.
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13 responses to “Crazy gardeners in Buffalo spotted planting bulbs in January”

  1. Lisa Albert says:

    Wow, I want one of those! Wonder if hubby would notice if his cordless drill went missing…

  2. Impressive Gordon, do you always garden in winter white?

  3. I’m envious of that bulb auger!

  4. Peter Hoh says:

    Heh. I’ve got some daffolils that didn’t get into the ground. After the ground froze in late November, I tossed them in a trash can outside. I was going to put them in a container, but I haven’t gotten around to it.

    If they really want to live, they’ll have a chance to prove it.

    First I’ll have to thaw some soil/compost mix that I have sitting in containers in the back yard. Then I’ll pot the bulbs and leave them in my cold basement for a few weeks. Then I’ll set them outside to freeze a while longer, before they warm up with their sibling bulbs in the ground.

  5. Soil temps here are still in the upper 30s and lower 40s: Last week shattered all kinds of records including my favorite, a ‘record high low’ of 54 on Jan. 8. We have July nights here that get colder than that.

  6. firefly says:

    Well, if we could see the ground here it might be tempting, but even after 10 days of January thaw (we had snow fog in midweek because it was melting so fast) there is still about a foot of snow everywhere and repeated melts and refreezes have turned it into a very hard pack.

    And we’re about to return to our regularly scheduled winter program, with a nice 8-12″ nor’easter predicted for tomorrow.

    Since winter showed up so damn early, maybe we’ll catch a break and have an early spring too.

  7. I planted bulbs just the other day, but I am further south. I figure they’ll come up.

  8. emmakw says:

    When the temps hit 60 last week, i went and hit a large bucket of golf balls! Tomorrow we get 10-14 inches, but for a brief fleeting moment we pretended it was April in New England!
    And can I just add…….. GO PATS!!!

  9. Sixty-five says:

    I planted bulbs today in northern NJ (6B). I’m guessing we may have a late spring (like last year) and they’ll have plenty of time to do whatever it is they do underground.

  10. Man, I think Gordon and I would be fast friends if we got to know each other. He’s so charmingly IRRESPONSIBLE! What is he doing, paying for 300 bulbs and not getting them in the ground on time?

    I really need to know if Gordon’s attempt to cheat the seasons works. My attempts to plant tulips in little thaws have so far been failures.

  11. eliz says:

    Michele, you’re in a colder zone than Buffalo, according to the maps anyway-but according to Craig it’s all about the soil temps. You have sand and we have clay–do you think this would make a difference in soil temps?

    I feel uneasy venturing into botanical arcanity like thus.

  12. Curtis says:

    I know a fellow Oklahoma garden blogger that just planted bulbs. Heck I may try it myself.

  13. jeff-nhn says:

    I live in Nebraska and every so often we get the chance to plant in the month of December or January. In fact a number of our tulips were planted in January weather. Doesn’t happen to often but when it does it sure is a good feeling.