After a long, dreary winter, fall planted bulbs fill the garden with bursts of floral sunshine in a celebration of spring. What could be a more welcoming sight! Bulbs produce a colorful display with little effort. Once planted, they give years of enjoyment with little care.
For simplicity, the word bulb describes plants that store energy for their seasonal cycle in an underground storage organ. These include “true” bulbs such as daffodils and tulips, corms such as crocus and tubers, rhizomes and tuberous roots. The time to plant spring blooming bulbs is now (November) before the first frost as all bulbs need certain “chilling time” with temperatures below 40 degrees for at least 12-14 weeks in order to bloom. Buy good bulbs with no blemishes, bruises or soft spots — the larger the bulb, the better the bloom. Bulbs need plenty of sunlight and rich, well-drained soil with a PH of 6.0 to 7.0. Work the soil to a depth of about 12 inches and add a half-inch to one-third inch organic material or peat moss, compost or aged bark. The rule of thumb is to plant them twice as deep as they are tall. So if you have a 3-inch bulb such as a daffodil, plant 6 inches deep. You can even plant smaller ones above larger ones. (November 5, 2010, Page 5B)
Master Gardner Beckett Howorth III makes an argument for making the dandelion a part of your garden. (September 3, 2010, Page 4B)
After the Fourth of July, I usually say to Mother Nature: “Just let ‘er rip.”
This year, however, she started a wee bit too early for me. Granted, we have had nearly enough rain so far, but the next week bodes a really dry one.
So between sipping iced tea in the shade and dragging the snarled hose around, I leave a little time for pondering some of these truisms of nature. (July 23, 2010, Page 2B)
EAGLE Co-Publisher Tim Phillips thinks back over the memories about the garden plot that he and his father, EAGLE Publisher Emeritus Jesse Phillips, plant and harvest each year. It’s a labor of love for Jesse Phillips, and Tim Phillips says it’s something that he has come to appreciate just as much as his father. (July 14, 2010, Page 4)
Becoming a Master Gardener is way more rewarding that I expected.
I am so amazed by the beauty and “raw-ness” of the nature in Mississippi. I have an area in my backyard with kudzu, honeysuckle, other vines and trees that is as wild as any growth. It’s like Tarzan could come swinging through at any moment — hopefully Jane, also. (July 1, 2010, Page 6B)
Garden columnist Dickie King spotlights the daylily garden of Lafayette County resident Carol Parcher. She has been collecting them for years and still has quite a show of them at her wonderful “piddle” farm. (June 25, 2010, Page 3B)
With the weather appearing set to stay warm on through the end of the spring and start of the summer, there are a wide variety of things that you may want to do in May or June to keep your outdoor gardens and landscaping luscious and colorful. The Oxford Garden Club offers several tips for local gardeners to consider. (May 28, 2010, Page 2B)
Lafayette County Master Gardener Susan Boehm writes about planning for the summer’s dry heat by planting native plants that are accustomed to living in the climate. She discusses the benefits of xeriscaping in addition to giving reminders and tips around gardening in the month of May. (May 7, 2010, Page 3B)
A CONVERSATION WITH — Principal Margaret Boyd enjoys sharing her longtime hobby of growing flowers and vegetables with children at Lafayette Elementary School. Recently, she had the opportunity to show kids how to plant vegetable seeds when the University of Mississippi’s Students for a Green Campus came out to host a Green Field Day for second graders. (April 29, 2010, Page 3)
Lafayette County Master Gardener Barry Whitehouse writes about the history of Heirloom tomatoes and other heirloom vegetables, and gives a few hints on growing the variety in local gardens. (April 2, 2010, Page 2B)