Urban Garden Denver Blog

If you can see dirt, plant your bulbs

Back in October when it was 80 degrees, I was telling you to wait for the weather to cool off before planting bulbs. Well now is the time, if you can see the ground between snowstorms. Saying “I should have” last weekend isn’t much good now. The reality is that last weekend my outdoor activity was picking up branches that had broken off in the 1st snowstorm. My husband helped out last Sunday by firing up the chainsaw and cutting up branches (he loves his power tools). Since they have backed off the snow forecast for Saturday, it looks like Sunday is the day to plant bulbs.

However, if you don’t get around to it yet, actually you can plant bulbs for as long as you can work the soil. So assuming we don’t get weeks of below freezing, unlikely this time of year, you can plant bulbs sometime in the next month. I remember one year when I put the turkey in the oven on Thanksgiving day, then ran outside to plant a few dozen daffodils.

Along with bulb planting, off-season is a great time to get big projects accomplished. Today I signed a contract for a new ornamental iron fence in the front yard, to replace the decades-old chain link fence. I’ll be trimming back honeysuckle and roses this weekend, as they are likely to demo the old fence next week. Another advantage of off-season, is that workers are available. And I don’t have to worry about my plantings getting trampled, as they are dying back anyway. I’ll take picture of progress and report on it here, of course.

Other than a definite cosmetic improvement for the front yard, the new fence will change my philosophy of planting. I have spent the 15 years that we’ve lived in this house planting to cover up the fence. Now I can spend the winter thinking about planting that uses the fence as a backdrop but doesn’t necessarily cover it up. I’ll probably still let some honeysuckle grow back over the fence, but I am looking forward to getting rid of all the old dead vines that have built up over the years. Hmmm — dreaming about what I want more of in  my front yard … lavender, coneflower or more roses? It’s great to have some new plans to mull over during the winter.


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