Monday, April 9, 2012


So many people think that you can only move blooming bulb plants in the fall on the year. My thought on this is good luck finding them in the fall even if marked. At the very least you are likely to mince a few with you spade or pass a few that fall through with the loose soil only to present themselves in the Spring ( in a much more spindly incarnation). Although Spring is a slightly more stressful time to move them I have found that I have much more success in locating everyone in the move as well just as great a bloom presentation in the following year. In fact; normally, I find that there is better bloom than those moved in the fall.
Here is the rub. It is important to make sure that you get all the bulbs and for this I use my trusty garden fork. Mine stands about 3 ft tall and has slightly rounded tines at the ends. This is important because what we are looking to do here is break up the soil, but not demolish our plants. Start out about four inches from the bulbs if they are large cluster ( or colony) and step you fork down in as deeply as possible. Next begin to gently lift up on the soil from under you plants. Next repeat this process in a complete 360 degree circle around the bulb set. Remember to keep lifting the soil very gently mind for the first few diggings. It is important to not rush so that you don't cut the stem from the bulb or than you are back to treasure hunting. As you move forward in the digging process you should have more and more ability to raise the soil higher under your plants. Begin to break the soil with your hands around the plants crown or top area as you do most generally the soil will fall away with little effort. Once you have the soil loosened your bulb plants should come freely out. At this point I will transport them to there new location. Here too there is a little preemptive preparation. I always, always prepare the hole before and will double dig a little manure, bonemeal, or similar to help them feed while they readjust to the move. The other extremely important thing is to keep them well watered; NOT DROWNING, just enough to help them through the shock. Too much water and bulbs will begin to mold and rot especially until they can develop the root structure to process the excess moisture.
I have used this process for years and have always had great results.
In the early fall sprinkle a little bone meal around the area next Spring you should see great results. The daffodils in this picture were dug in the Spring prior to the blooming season pictured. Friends bought a new house and wanted no flowers. Imagine !!!!
Note: Be sure that where you site your bulbs can support them. It is always best to find out what the growing requirements are for different varieties.

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