Planting bulbs in the fall is an annual tradition if you want to grow many things including garlic, tulips, and many other lovely flowers that do not grow from seed. Bulbs should be planted in the months of September, October, and November. Tulips should not be planted until November. The prime time in Texas to plant garlic is in October, but it is okay to plant in November as well.
Good Monday morning. This morning, it was 43° and cold outside. Yesterday, it was so hot and humid after church but it began to cool off around 5pm. Several times in the night, I heard rain. I have stepped outside in the dark this morning with the dogs but that is all. It is still dark out so I don't know how much rain we got.
I was starving so I had some coffee with oat bread toast and strawberry cream cheese. David is still asleep. The dogs and cat have been fed. The cold air is such a nice change but I wonder why we can't just have some nice normal fall weather instead of it jumping from horribly hot to terribly cold...It is always like this in Texas, from one extreme to another.
It is now 3pm and 47° Fahrenheit. It stayed cold and rainy all day long. The sky is gray and the wind is blowing. After two hours, one of our employees went home ill. It has been just the four of us all day long today. The whole day, I have been pulling and mailing seed orders. We have had zero visitors but who can blame folks for not getting out in this icy weather?
I would like to be in the house in front of the fireplace, reading a book but work comes first. We have been watching Blue Bloods Season 12 out here in Fulfillment as we work. The heater is blowing on me because it is cold.
It stayed in the 40s all day and into the night. We got another blue egg from the Easter Eggers. We put plastic down from the top of the coops for the rabbits and chickens. It is just too cold and should be in the 30s soon. Then it will go back up, getting into the 50s at night. The weather is crazy for Texas.
Fall means it is the time for planting bulbs. Here at David's Garden Seeds®, we don't normally carry bulbs with one exception and that is garlic bulbs. Every fall, we get garlic bulbs in. This year, 2023, we have seven varieties of garlic. You can find our garlic bulbs here when they are in stock. Each year, we will have different varieties, depending on availability and price. Sometimes we have soft neck garlic which does better in the South but it costs two to three times the amount that hard neck garlic costs. Last year, we had two varieties of soft neck garlic but they did not sell well because they were so expensive. By planting garlic every year, we have found that the hard neck garlic grows fine in South Central Texas so this year, that is all we have.
In Texas, October is the ideal month for planting bulbs, garlic bulbs specifically. However, we have also planted them in November and they still turn out fine. Garlic takes about 240 days or eight months to grow from the time it is planted. If you plant garlic bulbs in October, you will get a June harvest. If you plant them in November, you will get a July harvest. It is better to plant them in October because July gets super hot in Texas.
Once you plant your garlic bulbs, give them a good water. They will send up green shoots. This is supposed to happen. We get a lot of questions about that. Before the weather turns cold, cover all of your garlic bed with about two inches of hay or mulch. Three is even better. This will protect the garlic from the cold, ice, and snow that we seem to get every year now. In the spring, the garlic will take off and grow beautiful greenery. Don't pick it until June or July, depending on when you planted.
If you don't know how to plant garlic, here is an article I wrote on garlic and planting bulbs.
Good morning. We survived another cold night. Everything is wet so I guess it rained some in the night. I hate this cold weather. I wish it were pleasant, you know 50s and 60s like they get for a while in most places around the country. Here, we get the extremes, nothing much in between. It is now 8am and 48° so slightly warmer than it was yesterday at this time. I will have to don my hoodie again.
I know everyone is concentrating on Halloween, costumes, and parties because the orders are way down today. It is like this on every holiday and then either that night or the next day, it goes back up. Since Halloween is at night, we won't expect anything today or tonight. Just remember that the garlic is on sale now and you can still plant it into November with a July harvest.
Nacho is here today working outside on projects with two helpers. It is 10:57am and 50° so at least it is warming up a bit! I just finished orders for the day. There sure weren't many. Our teen helpers are here today and that is really good because the employee that went home sick yesterday called in today.
The mowing got done and they are trying to glue down the floors in Production and Fulfillment since they were installed so poorly.
It is almost 5pm and 58° right now. No customers again today. I am hungry. I need to go in and cook some food for dinner. There is nothing going on tonight for us. We are out in the country and kids can't get in the gate. Around here, everyone has a gate and the sheriff has told us all to keep them closed and locked so I guess people have to drive in to a town if they want to get some Halloween candy. It is definitely strange compared to how I grew up.
This evening, Nacho and his crew left here after 6:30pm when it was almost time for the sun to set. Our gate automatically closes at 5:15pm. If you open the gate to leave and then sit there blocking the sensor, instead of going out, the gate forgets and stays open, even after you finally leave. This must have happened as they were leaving.
David took the puppies out in the back to investigate the work done today and then went out front. The puppies ran ahead of David but no problem because he thought our gate was closed. No. It was wide open and the puppies were out in the middle of the road with all of those sand trucks speeding by. Fortunately, they came when David called and were safe but they could have died.
David came in and told me. He said it was still wide open as he could not get it to close. By this time, it was after 7pm and was dark out. I put on shoes and ran to the truck to get the gate remote. I ran out, freezing, to close the gate with the remote. It closed. I told David that from now on, our guests have to leave before it closes. It only gets stuck when you stop in front of it. If we have guests who stay late, we have to go out and make sure the gate closes. Of all nights, you sure don't want your gate open on Halloween night and have kids trash the place. Trick or treating is not a thing out here because everyone has a locked gate on this long, country road.
Tomorrow is November 1. In 17 days, I have a birthday again. How that is possible, I do not know.
I know. I said fall is the proper time for planting bulbs, but there are always exceptions, right? There are some tender bulbs for flowers and plants that are not cold hardy and those need to be planted in early spring for summer blooming. They include:
Some of the summer bulbs will stop blooming at the end of summer and others will bloom into fall. At this time, we do not sell flower bulbs but I think it would be a good idea to carry a limited amount. I will need to talk to David about this.
I woke up cold several times in the night. At 4am, it was 37°. It is now 823am and 41° so at least it is warming up fast. The high is supposed to be 61° today. We safely made it through another Halloween season out here.
Matthew graciously fed and watered our outdoor animals so I didn't have to but I still went out at 6am with the dogs and it was very cold. The sky was clear though.
I just made eggs for breakfast for David and me. There are no seed orders at all so it sounds like everyone had a good Halloween, much too busy to think about gardening.
About a month ago, we started our Etsy store back up. Yesterday, we received an email saying they de-listed a product for being dangerous. What? Seeds? Yes, our Butterfly Hummingbird Mix is dangerous and we cannot sell it on Etsy. Furthermore, if we keep putting up seeds that are dangerous, they will shut us down. What??? They are insane.
Once our listings run out on Etsy, I will shut it back down. We hardly get anything ordered from there but the Maroon Bluebonnets so it won't be much of a loss. Who needs this kind of nonsense? There is nothing dangerous about planting wildflowers that butterflies and hummingbirds enjoy.
I was taking lunch to David over in his office and a customer, the first all week, was in the parking lot. Was here for quite a while but bought only one pack of seeds that was on sale. It was so disappointing. I get that most people don't garden this time of year but here, you can. Our people are picking more pole and bush beans right now. I have a ton to snap and blanch.
The sky is bright blue and the sun is shining. It is a beautiful day and at 2:30pm, it is 61°. I have filled a few orders but there have not been many today.
I am currently filling the pond. The pond has gone way down but I don't see how since it has been very chilly. The fish have been clinging to the bottom of the pond all week long. I guess it might be not so cold there?
Today, I am adding bags of pine cones to our products. They are for crafts or whatever you want to use them for. They make good kindling or fire starters for camp fires.
Again as mentioned above, planting bulbs in the fall is the norm, especially if you live in a climate with cold winters. I would like to say that I grew up in upstate New York and we had flowers in our beautiful yard that came from bulbs planted before we moved into that property. Not once did my parents ever dig up or plant bulbs in the yard, yet the flowers came up every spring in magnificent splendor. I have heard that some folks dig their bulbs up every fall and refrigerate them over winter, then plant again in early spring. That was not the case with us. We had tulips, irises, hyacinths, daffodils, lilies of the valley, and crocuses in our yard. I really loved our yard.
Bulbs do have to be cold enough to grow the next spring so if you live in a warm climate, your bulbs might not do well. Here, we have planted tulip bulbs in the spring and they grew that summer and that was it. They never came back. Maybe we should have dug them up in the fall and refrigerated them because South Central Texas gets way too hot. For the past four years, we have had snow and/or ice but this is the exception, not the norm.
By doing some more research, I found that bulbs planted in the Southern United States should be packaged with ventilation and refrigerated for 12 to 16 weeks before being planted since it is normally not cold here. They should be kept between 40 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit while refrigerated. Not sure how because our refrigerators are kept around 34 to 35 degrees so our food doesn't spoil. Maybe you need a separate fridge for flower bulbs. We don't have that here because at this point, we do not sell bulbs except for garlic.
Good Thursday morning! We finally have both of our employees here plus the teen helper who comes on Thursday mornings! I made a German pancake for breakfast and invited Matt to come in and enjoy some of it. It was so good. The sky is cloudy but we had a beautiful sunrise.
It is time to put some makeup on and go greet the day.
Shopify decided to be down so it would not let me in to access the website, products, or orders. That was fun. Then SBI would not let me in and we fought over a password. Fun times.
It is now 2pm so I need to get busy and get some work done.
At 4pm, David texted me to get some water boiling. He had snapped four large bowls full of bush and pole beans and they were ready to be blanched. I went in the house and blanched them all. I got six quarts of beans to put away in the freezer for later. Yay!
After that, I closed the store. There were no customers at all today in the Farm Store. I guess local folks are done planting fall or winter gardens when this is the best time for them to grow things now that the horrible heat is gone. We have all sorts of things coming up in our garden and in our pots all over the farm.
Planting bulbs in the fall for spring blooms should be done only when the ground temperature is cool and the air temperature hits between 40 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit consistently every night. Right now, November 2, 2023, it is still fairly warm, with temperatures in the 60s and 70s at night.
Normally, the ideal planting bulbs time is about six weeks before the first hard freeze. However, according to Almanac.com, our first hard freeze will be November 22 so we have less than three weeks and temperatures are still not right for fall planting.
Good morning! It is already Friday! I am not sure how a week can go by so fast. My birthday is two weeks from today. Talk about a fast year...
Tomorrow night is the time change where we fall back an hour which puts us on regular or standard time. I wish they would just leave it alone from now on. It is stupid and crazy and really upsets my body each time the time changes.
It is still dark. I think today we will be sending some roosters on to freezer camp. It will be our first time to do so. If it goes well, we will get some meat birds to raise in the spring and send them on to freezer camp.
Turns out there is too much else to do today so no roosters will go to freezer camp. It is bright and sunny, breezy with big, white fluffy clouds, 73° at 1pm here. We had a couple who came to ask about gardening but only bought a pound of our pecan coffee. I shipped out a lot of garlic this morning in orders so that is good. It is not too late. I did have Matt move all of the Easter Egger hens over to the big coop. The three Easter Egger roosters appear to be getting along well.
I have heard that the best bulb to plant in fall for early spring is the daffodil. Daffodils are beautiful! Bright and cheery, ours were bright yellow or white with yellow inside, so gorgeous. The reason they are the best is because deer and squirrels don't bother with them. Plant the bulbs six inches deep and six inches apart with the point of the bulb facing up for best results. Water well. Top fertilize after planting using a fertilizer with low nitrogen. Mulch your bulbs.
Good Saturday morning! It was 55° when I went out to feed the animals. It went fairly smoothly. The Easter Eggers are doing well in the big house.
I pulled orders, worked on computer pages, and waited on a few customers today. At 2:30pm, I went in the house and put on a beef shoulder roast along with potatoes, onion, carrots, and mushrooms. It turned out so delicious. I also made some tropical quick bread from scratch with pineapple, banana, and coconut oil. It was very good.
We watched the Svengoolie movie with William Shatner, Kingdom Of The Spiders. It was creepy, about tarantulas. It made my skin crawl the entire time. It was just gross. The food I made was so good, though.
Of course, tonight is the night to move the clocks back an hour so once again our bodies can be all confused. I wish this nonsense would just stop.
Today, we will talk about some things you need to know.
If you have cats, lily blooms are toxic to cats so don't plant them.
Lily of the Valley is toxic to horses, cats, and dogs. We had these in our yard in early spring. Our cats never touched them and they were outdoor cats. They are deer resistant.
Tulips are toxic to dogs, cats, and horses. Our cats (and we had many) never went near the poisonous flowers.
Winter Aconite is deer resistant. These are toxic to dogs, cats, horses, and humans. Teach your children to never eat flowers or anything they find outside to eat.
Irises are not deer resistant. Interesting that they are toxic to cats, dogs, horses, and humans but they don't kill deer.
Good morning. I had a miserable night, waking up every one to two hours. I finally got up at6am which really should be 7am.
I took the dogs out and then made egg muffins which turned out pretty well.
I went out to feed the fish and for the third day in a row, I found worms floating in the pond, some three to four inches long, just floating, yet moving so they were alive. What on earth? I have not found them before three days ago. Where did they come from? What are they doing in there? I fed the rabbits and no baby bunnies. I fed the chickens and found two more eggs.
I made a grocery order from Walmart which we have to go pick up tonight. Then I got ready for church.
It is now 2pm and we went to church and then came home to eat the delicious leftovers from last night. Then I fell asleep with the TV on for a little while. I am so tired from the lack of sleep last night.
I hope you learned a few things from this week's discussion on planting bulbs.
Oh, by the way, our weather here is back on track. It was 55° Fahrenheit when I woke up and now it is 82°, a beautiful day, maybe a bit too hot.
The cold was a bit too much for our luffa vines and flowers. Most of the leaves are now dead and the flowers look sad. The luffas will dry but there won't be anymore new ones...I was hoping for a lot more.
First of all, when you are planting bulbs, the tip or point of the bulb goes up.
Plant your bulbs in well-drained soil so they don't rot from being too wet.
Plant your bulbs before the ground freezes so the bulb has time to establish strong roots.
Add mulch to the soil before you plant the bulbs. Then mulch after the bulbs are planted.
Plant your bulbs at least six inches deep for most bulbs. Always read package directions.
Water your bulbs well after you plant them so they can start establishing good roots before the ground freezes.
The rule is to plant about five bulbs per square foot. The bulbs do multiply so you don't want to crowd them.
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