Can you believe it’s almost December? It happened again. I let the early fall slip away, finding myself with almost 1200 bulbs, a front and back yard covered in leaves, and now—it’s snowing.
I don’t mind winter, really. I enjoy the time away from gardening, and I like imagining that I might actually take up snow shoeing, cross-country skiing, and/or some kind of low-impact sledding. In the meantime, the snow is really pretty—when it’s here—and there’s plenty of time to enjoy reading, fireplace inserts, stews made from locally-raised meat, and the glorious tropical atmosphere of our local botanical garden. And Barbados, if possible.
I am left with one necessity. The 1200 bulbs have to go somewhere. Thanks to my big pots and forcing program, I’ve managed to get most of them under a coating of soil, but a few hundred still require actual in-ground planting. This is almost impossible on my property, riddled as it is with maple tree roots and loaded as it is with other bulbs I’ve planted and forgotten about.
When I first started gardening, I thought that the bulb planting tools they sell in garden centers or online actually worked. Ha! Most of them are useless, though I suppose wooden dibbles are fine when you’re planting a bulb at a time. Which I never do.
These days, I rely on two tools for bulbs: the Cobrahead and my big heavy shovel. The Cobrahead is technically a weeder and a cultivator, but I’ve never used it for either of those purposes. For me, it’s perfect for getting through roots so I can plant 5-7 species tulips or other small bulbs. As for the shovel, if I stand on it, it will get in deep enough so that I can use my Cobrahead and pruners to create a space big enough to drop in 7-10 larger bulbs. Or more.
And that’s how I get it done at this stage of the game. Thanks to rough and ready methods, I can contemplate winter with an attitude that transcends resignation.Posted by Elizabeth Licata on November 26, 2012 at 8:00 am, in the category Shut Up and Dig.