10-29-2009 04:07 AM
For a spectacular spring and early summer display, 'lasagna' planting of bulbs is highly recommended. Here is a diagram and a video of how to do it. Which bulbs you plant will vary according to the Zone you live in but the theory is that you plant late flowering bulbs, like tulips, at the bottom and early flowering ones, like snowdrops and crocii, at the top with mid-season daffodils inbetween. All must be able to withstand the type of winter you have in your region - any suggestions Becke?
The article with the diagram mentions using curly parsley as ground cover on top of the container but another way of giving interest to bare soil before bulbs show through is to take cuttings of variegated evergreen plants like aucuba 'crotonifolia' (spotted laurel), euonymus and golden privet and yellow leaved evergreens, like my favourite Choisya 'Sundance'. Take cuttings below a nodule, leaving a short stem to push into the soil. When the bulbs have broken through gently pull the cuttings out and you may find that they have rooted and can be potted on or given away to friends.
Does anyone else have seasonal tips?
10-29-2009 11:37 AM
Great suggestions, Choisya! When I lived in Chicago, we moved into a subdivision that I later discovered had been built over a gravel pit. Gardening there was a real challenge, and I needed to improve the topsoil the builders provided. In the section of the garden where I grew my fruits and veggies (before the raspberries tried to take over the whole yard), I planted a covering of rye grass over the winter. It added nitrogen to the soil and made my veggies a lot nicer the following year.
10-29-2009 09:03 PM
Well I had good results with dafodils, tulips, and vegis so far doing this.
We moved into this house around 7 years ago. The previous ower had never done much of anything for backyard drainage, and the front beds (as I found out the hard way) had that thick black plastic 8" down. So the back was a mass of multi colored moss and grass, and the front soil was a light tan. So hubby and dad after the first hard rain, put in proper drainage. When that dried out, I shoveled off all the moss and the top inch with it. From rose planting dug holes in front to find the plastic, so all bed soil came out 1 1/2 down. Had to just to get that cruddy plastic out.
Now here's how I "fixed" my damaged soil.
We compost. Vegi scraps, moldy bread, stale cerail, egg shells; just no meat, oil/fat, or dairy. The acumulation gets burried, covered with leaves, pine straw every couple of months; then tilled in every spring.
The garden area, the flower beds; all get covered all fall long with mulched up leaves.
Between compst and leaves My garden soil is almost black, and the flower beds a nice coffee. But they get better every year.
BTW that diagram looks complicated to me, impressive though.