Fall planting and unplanting

Nice day to poke around the garden and try to get about 400 tulips, hyacinths, crocuses (crocii?) and garlic bulbs into the ground and take out, for winter storage, the giant dahlia tubers in the flower beds.

Tulips are a matter of late season brinksmanship with the local nurseries. During prime planting season — September through the middle of November — the going rate is about $8 for 25 tulips and  $6 for five hyacinths. Not a good rate, but around this time of year, when the shelves are still stocked with bulbs, the nurseries have to cut prices, and usually do about 50%.

Dahlias are big, showy, finale flowers — the closers of the flower growing season. Here’s my big orange ones from this October. I cut them back last weekend after a frost blacked their leaves, and dug them up with a spade this afternoon, washed off the dirt, and cut out some tubers for next season’s garden with a utility knife.

The garlic I found at the local feed and grain while picking up bird seed. The owner suggested I give it a try, so I bought two dozen seed cloves and put them in the ground this afternoon. Won’t realize the fruits of my labors until next summer.

All in all a good day in the dirt. My back will have something to say about it tomorrow, but this is a quasi-vacation week, and aside from some random calls, I’ll be back out in the yard later this week with rake, shovel, and wheelbarrow.

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