Loyce McKenzie, Mississippi

Digging and planting time in North East Texas

January 9, 2008
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Categories: Bulb Information, Daffodil Types, Growing Daffodils, Planting, Soil, Standards

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In a message dated 1/9/08 12:07:56 PM Central Standard Time,  title= writes:

Now we and the other speakers (“southern” bulb experts) recommend that you
plant your daffodils and other bulbs that you buy IMMEDIATELY or as soon as
we get fall rains in the Sept.>Oct. time frame! I tell people who dig and
replant small numbers of bulbs to dig them in May and IMMEDIATELY replant
them as bulbs ALWAYS do better on average in the ground than in the garage
in our summer heat!

Keith, you say to plant immediately, or as soon as we get fall rains.
Well, October is our official “drought” month here in Central Mississippi.
We’ve learned from hard experience not to plant before Halloween, or until the soil cools.
Between the rock and the hard place?
Some Southern gardener, maybe Martha Anderson, said “go on and plant, but don’t water.”
How would that work?

Loyce McKenzie
Madison, MS Zone 8a/7b

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One response to “Digging and planting time in North East Texas”

  1. Keith Kridler says:

    Loyce asked,
    Keith, you say to plant immediately, or as soon as we get fall rains.
    Well, October is our official “drought” month here in Central Mississippi.
    We’ve learned from hard experience not to plant before Halloween, or until the soil cools.
    Between the rock and the hard place?
    Some Southern gardener, maybe Martha Anderson, said “go on and plant, but don’t water.”
    How would that work?

    Loyce McKenzie
    Madison, MS Zone 8a/7b

     
    This is another example of not all things being done completely by the book or by the rules. Depending on hurricane seasons the Gulf Coast states of the USA might be in a drought or buried under water in the fall. We normally get some sort of soaking rain in Sept. with adequate soil moisture till spring bloom time. Air temperatures will drop even if we stay warm in the south. For your region you probably should tell people as Martha suggests.
     
    What we are trying to avoid in Tyler is the general rule of waiting till Thanksgiving to plant bulbs which is so often mentioned in gardening magazines. The problem with this is that MOST people get caught up with family events and travels. Frost is killing annual plants about mid November in the south and people generally don’t have enough time during this season with daylight savings time changes to do “normal” yard and garden work. Bulb buying and planting really get pushed back for the average person till it is WAY too late for the best results!
     
    I have found that just because you tell someone that they can begin planting in mid September does NOT mean that they will!
     
    Most daffodil purchases today are an impulse buy as someone walks by a Dutch Bulb display in a big store!
     
    Also the Tyler Texas bulb sale sees lots of Rain Lilies, Oxblood and Lycoris bulbs sold and for this area they are already blooming in the region and should actually have been in the ground for months before sale time!
     
    The bulbocodiums should have foliage up several inches in September and they would need water if planted in August most years. Poets, jonquils, tazettas are all “daffodils”! You all KNOW they need to be treated differently. Most people end up buying two bulbs out of every box at the store!
     
    Martha Anderson’s advice would probably be the “best” for pure daffodil beds for people who are growing them to take blooms to a show. Of the hundreds of millions of bulbs sold each year how many blooms end up at all the shows in the USA?
     
    While at the Tyler sale in Sept. you are selling bulbs to people who will need to take them home and plant them in existing flower beds, among annual plants that still have two good months of life before a freeze. They will probably still be watering their flower beds or most have automatic sprinklers for lawns and flower beds today.
     
    The nice thing about this sale is that with two or three different speakers we try to teach people who are buying the bulbs as a one time use annual.
     
    Those who want bulbs in combination flower pots.
     
    Those who want perennial bulbs and plants in their flower beds.
     
    A very few who want to naturalize them in a field or pasture.
     
    One of the questions I always try to ask a group is for everyone to hold up their hand if they bought ANY bulbs during the last year. THEN I ask how many still have them in bags or boxes left over from LAST fall when they bought some. MANY, MANY people still have bulbs because of a variety of reasons. MOST just forgot them since they thought they had to “wait” to plant them or some thought they needed to be refrigerated for six weeks before planting.
     
    Then again MOST mail order companies don’t receive, let alone start selling bulbs till October. I think we ship all of Old House Gardens bulbs the second or third week in Sept. Some years my Lycoris or Oxblood lilies have a few blooming in the drying racks before I even ship them to Scott.
     
    Anyway I believe it would be helpful for others who go out and talk to garden groups or just your friends and neighbors and share what works for you and from other parts of the world and country. Look to see how daffodils are used by the general public. See how they are allowed to ripen off and see if the varieties used are good for the area. Keith Kridler