Saturday, October 22, 2011

Planting Bulbs for Spring Color

Planting bulbs identifies a gardener as a true optimist. Who else would plant brown orbs of varying sizes hoping for brilliant Spring color?

The cooler night time temperatures and frosty fall mornings mean it is time to plant. Valley View Farms still has a complete selection of bulbs including daffodils, tulips, iris, hyacinths, alliums and much, much more.

Many of the bulbs are deer resistant, in fact, all animals leave the toxic bulbs of the daffodils alone. Others would benefit from an application of Bobbex when they are planted to keep pesky chipmunks and squirrels away.
Choose an area that receives six hours of sun or more for optimum results. Plant in a well drained area as most bulbs don't like "wet feet".  Add compost to the bed as you plant, but don't worry about adding a fertilizer right now. The best time to feed will be in the spring as the flowers fade.
In general, larger bulbs like tulip and daffodils should be placed 6-8 inches deep. Smaller, minor bulbs like crocus are fine planted just 3-4 inched deep.  Planting them deeper may prevent some varmints from getting to them and allows for adding winter-hardy pansies over the planting bed.
Choose tools that are comfortable for planting. Bulb planters are great for planting individual bulbs. Look for an auger for the household drill to speed things up a bit. Because I plant my bulbs in clumps of 6-12 bulbs, I generally use my garden shovel for most planting tasks. Plant pointy side up, but don't worry if your not sure which end is up; the bulb will grow towards light regardless.
There are many good websites with wonderful ideas for planting. Click here to view the new website from the folks in the Netherlands called Dig, Drop, Done. They have some videos and a gallery for some added inspiration.
Planting bulbs is easy. Add them to your garden now and you'll be enjoying spring flowers for years to come.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Pumpkin Art

We have some talented people working at Valley View Farms. One of our long-time employees, Carey Wilkerson, is especially artistic.

She personalizes Christmas ornaments in November and December, and creates hand-painted signs for all of our departments. This time of year, Carey also decorates pumpkins. Here are four of them that we presented to local television stations.

The ballerina pumpkin is painted pink. An added tutu and a tiara make this extreme makeover complete!

Talk about about a whopper of a hamburger;the burger and fixin's are made of felt. The lettuce is tissue paper. I love the sesame seeds made from pumpkin seeds.                                                              .

This scary pumpkin is painted black. Those eyes sure are creepy, but scarier yet are the roots. They are made from that spray foam found in the hardware store. Creepy!

My favorite decorated pumpkin is the puppy. Faux fur was used to create the adorable paws, tail and floppy ears. The puppy's muzzle is some type of clay. She is adorable!

Thanks, Carey, for sharing your creativity with us. Now when I pick out my pumpkins, it won't necessarily be for carving.