Deer Gardener says: it’s time to plant bulbs

  • Oct. 16, 2009 2:00 p.m.

This season is really rocketing by. Mid-October has given us the first touch of frost signaling the need to lift tubers, plant bulbs, divide perennials and prune hedges or other shrubs. The wonderful part is that most of these chores can be done eventually. The ‘tyranny of the urgent’ is not present, in the fall.I like to choose a section of the yard to work in. Then I remove weeds, bulbs that need separating (they show themselves as I weed), and perennials that need dividing. This gives me a mostly bare expanse of soil to improve.Mixing two scoops of basic fertilizer with one scoop each of lime, bone meal and of wood ashes (a scoop to me is a soup-can), I scatter this onto a wheelbarrow full of compost, mixing it in with gloved hands. This is adequate rejuvenating material for a three by four metre perennial and shrub patch that only gets fertilized this time of year.So, how to plant your new or divided bulbs? Try to dig a trench deeper than one spade. Lift the deep soil out of each trench, then place the top soil in the bottom of the hole. Mix the soil that was deeper with the improved compost. Plant the bulbs four times the width of the bulb and fill with the composted soil mix. Whew, that was an easy job, but hard to explain. The bulbs or perennials you plant this way will have a very good start, and perform well next year.If your soil is ‘perfect’ just dig a hole and place the bulbs in it two inches apart. In soggy soil bulbs will rot. Create a raised bed in these areas.If you are inclined to pamper your lawn, this is the time to lime it. Moss takes over throughout the winter. We have given our lawn over to whatever doesn’t mind getting mowed every now and then. It isn’t any worse than it ever was and I don’t need to fret about it. Lawn care is just not that interesting to me. I do dig out the most obnoxious weeds now and then.Outside potted plants and hanging baskets should be taken to a sheltered location, like a nursery area, now. If they are annual flowers, clean out the debris to the compost, dump the soil in a veggie patch and wash out the pot and saucer. For perennial potted plants like mums be sure they are supported against harsh winds and enjoy them for another month.Any time now, the wind will whoosh all the fall leaves (and lawn chairs) off the property and into the ditch. Knowing this allows us to prepare for it, or not.Blackberry dumplings are easy and delicious. Try them! The berries are still producing. For an A-1 recipe email me at

Just Posted

Oil tanker ban to be reviewed by committee

Indigenous groups for and against Bill C-48 travel to Ottawa to influence the Senate’s decision

Man charged following Q.C. house fire that set off explosives

Thomas Daniel Kendall may face up to 14 years for causing bodily harm by breaching duty of care

Wind warning issued for Haida Gwaii today and overnight

Another wind warning has been issued for Haida Gwaii for today and… Continue reading

Haida leaders join coastal First Nations push for tanker ban

Elected and hereditary Haida leaders met some Ottawa senators last week, and… Continue reading

Grim situation in coming year for northwest, B.C. fisheries

Annual post-season review in Prince Rupert informs DFO on how to manage 2019 fishing season

Man caught on camera allegedly trying to defraud ICBC

Auto-insurer warns B.C. drivers to record info after crashes

Warning issued as forecast calls for 20-foot waves in Tofino

Dangerous waves, strong currents and upper-shoreline flooding expected for Tofino-Ucluelet area

An 800-pound pig named Theodore needs a forever home, B.C. society says

‘Theodore is not destined to be somebody’s bacon’

2,000 Canadians died of an overdose in first 6 months of the year

New data from the Public Health Agency of Canada shows the crisis is not subsiding

Teenager Alphonso Davies wins Canadian Men’s Soccer Player for the Year Award

Derek Cornelius and Chilliwack native, Jordyn Huitema were named Canadian Youth International Players of the Year

B.C. teen MMA fighter shows heart

Young Unity MMA competitors bring home Ws

Another B.C. city votes to ban single-use plastic bags

First six months of proposed ban would focus on education, not enforcement

UK Prime Minister Theresa May wins party no-confidence vote, but troubles remain

May won the vote of 317 Conservative legislators with a 200-117 tally

B.C. trustee’s anti-LGBTQ comments got him barred from schools

Barry Neufeld calls vote to leave him off liaison list ‘workplace discrimination’

Most Read