Fall planting: snow crocus

Of all the stuff that we ordered for fall planting this year, the garlic and the grape hyacinth were the two things I wanted. The rest were chosen by my daughters. Especially my younger daughter, who is really interested in flower gardening.

No surprise that she was eager to get out there today, and plant the snow crocuses!

This is the area we worked on today.

The first thing we needed to do was rake and clean up the space.

When I cleaned up in this area, two summers ago, I had to take out a lot of dead trees. I deliberately left really tall stumps, after discovering (the hard way!) what a tripping hazard they were if I didn’t. This year, I have a reciprocating saw, which does a great job of cutting level to the ground.

I took advantage of that.

It took more than a year longer than planned, but most of them are now trimmed. There are just a few further out that I didn’t bother with, yet.

While I was working on that, my daughter finished off the raking, then started scattering the bulbs.

Some of them are so tiny! Like little hazelnuts.

The snow crocus mix my daughter chose included Dorothy, Blue Pearl, Tricolour, Snowbunting and Spring Beauty.

Interestingly, when I looked up the mix on the Vesey’s website, it now has 4, not 5, varieties. It no longer includes the Snowbunting.

After the were all planted, my daughter watered all the areas we planted in, including the grape hyacinth, while I placed more logs to border where we planted.

Here is how it looks now.

It’s too windy to burn the debris from the first rake, which is mostly dead leaves, so that will wait for another day.

This section will have a walking path on both sides. Further north, it’s so shaded under those trees, almost nothing grows under there. Even the row of crab apple trees I found buried under the branches is still struggling – though one branch on one tree did get enough sun to produce some apples! :-/ Anything we end up planting there has to be able to handle a lot of shade, and not much moisture. But that is probably still years from now.

So for this area, we are done with planting for the year. Everything else we’ve got, plus the stuff on back order, will be planted elsewhere. We’ve got another week, at least, of warmer weather, so we will work on keeping these areas well watered.

All of the crocuses are supposed to bloom very early in the spring. I look forward to seeing them! I expect they will be rather spotty for the first few years, until they naturally begin to spread. Until they do, we’ll have to make sure they don’t get overtaken by other things. We can also think about what we might want to plant with them and the grape hyacinth that have different blooming seasons, once we get a good grasp on how they are doing.

At the same time, we’ll be looking into a ground cover in the pathways. By the time this area is done, it should have almost no grass and need no mowing.

One thing we do have to keep in mind as we fill these areas, though, is that we still need to have at least some access into them. If nothing else, we’ll need to pick up fallen branches or remove dead trees!

The Re-Farmer

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