Confession: I am terrible about planting flower bulbs. I mean, I buy them—tulips, daffodils, crocus—but I rarely plant them. Then I get to find them all shriveled and wasted on the garage shelves during the winter clean out and mentally kick myself. Hang my head in shame. Total up the wasted money. This happens year after year after year…
So this fall, I came up with a way to buck that trend.
I watched a local garden center video on “underplanting”—burying bulbs in flower pots under 4-6” of potting soil and top-dressing with winter flowers or even decorations. And it hit me: It’s the process of digging six inches into the Tennessee clay that trips me up! I mean, can you name one gardener who enjoys digging through six inches of cement-hard or wet clay to plant something that lays dormant for months?? I’ll wait while you desperately think of one…just one…
Okay, maybe you came up with one. But I can’t. And I know a LOT of savvy gardeners.
Bulbs in pots serve two purposes: (1) easy planting, (2) spring surprise. Planting is so EASY because you just bury them in fluffy potting soil. It’s almost fun! And the surprise in early spring—that time in four-season areas when the days are cold and gray and depressing—as the new growth bursts through the soil is unmatched for even the most experienced gardeners!
So I encourage you to raid the bulb bins at your local garden centers this week. Yes—this week! Grab any tulip, daffodil, crocus, and hyacinth bulbs you can find and bury them in potting soil. If that’s enough to satisfy you, great! OR…
Top dress those pots with winter greenery, pansies, decorative moss, obelisks—anything that creates interest and lifts your spirits. Just about the time you’re weary of those toppings, your spring flowers will burst through and inspire you once again.
I have three pots underplanted right now, and I’m jonesing for a fourth. And, who knows? Maybe I’ll get inspired by all this planting to actually dig some clay holes. Probably not…but a gardener can dream.