Keith Kridler, Texas

Planting bulbs late in the season

January 8, 2008
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Categories: Bulb Information, Growing Daffodils, Planting, Soil

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Ideally we should plant our bulbs back in the ground around Thanksgiving or near the end of November. But NORMALLY the ground is either dried out like concrete or this year it has been too wet to get tractors and tillers into the areas I have left with soil good enough to plant and redig the daffodils. (Remember I bought a 33 horsepower backhoe to dig up bulbs and work mulch down deeper into our soils:-))>

Last weekend was the first time the ground was perfect for tilling. Even with the last cold front our soil temperatures are still at 56*F or 13*C and at this temperature the Imported Red Fire Ants are extremely active. I need the soil temperature to be around 45*F to keep them from attacking. Soil temperatures won’t drop that low till February here.

 

Seven bites/stings from these fire ants are supposed to equal one sting from a European Honey Bee, if you are allergic to bee venom you need to beware of these ants as it is the same type venom! Bad thing about these ants is you don’t hear them buzzing before they attack. Planting daffodils bulbs all day is just about as much fun as going up and kicking a bee hive once an hour because when you till up an area you grind up the ant mounds. There are NO insect repellants to stop these ants from attacking!

 

It really makes for great pictures when you have massive drifts or blocks of daffodils but on a small scale you just cannot afford the equipment and manpower needed to do this economically and compete with the Dutch Growers soooo when I am not working at my paying jobs I head out with five gallon buckets of bulbs on my rare days off to replant small bulbs or varieties that not only survive but multiply GREAT in this area but there is really no market for them.

 

As I get older I cannot last a whole day planting daffodils so it is taking longer and longer to plant the same number of bulbs per day!

 

We are now under a severe thunderstorm/hail warning with expected rainfall of 1>3″ so I have to go bring the tractors up from the bottom fields.

 

Keith Kridler

 

2 responses to “Planting bulbs late in the season”

  1. David Liedlich says:

    Keith;

    Your e-mail made me laugh.  I loved the quote: “Bad thing about these ants is you don’t hear them buzzing before they attack. Planting daffodils bulbs all day is just about as much fun as going up and kicking a bee hive once an hour because when you till up an area you grind up the ant mounds. There are NO insect repellants to stop these ants from attacking!”

    I am glad we don’t have to deal with Fire Ants here.  Yellow jackets are bad enough, not to mention the white faced hornet, definately the most painful sting I have ever experienced.

    Dave Liedlich
    Connecticut

  2. Clay Higgins says:

    I’ll bet that Keith dosn’t have problems with bulb fly.  Those ants like bulb fly grubs for lunch, dinner, and breakfast as well.
     
    Clay E. Higgins
    (240) 632-0002
    cell (301) 814-4206
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