Still time to plant
Don Rogers 8/28/04 Pic sent via e-mailCUTLINE: Peachy tulips in spring at the Avon roundabouts.M.G. GallagherSpecial to the DailyEAGLE COUNTY – It’s hard to believe that the colors are already changing. However, we still have plenty of time to get things in the ground. There are so many perennials, trees, and shrubs that can be planted in the fall here. If you are thinking of ordering material, it’s actually a good time to order perennials, since the turnaround time anymore is a week or less.
Every perennial nursery in the valley has carried a good selection this year. This is the ideal time to go shopping for long-term plants. The weather is comfortable for working outside, and the young plants appreciate the cooler weather. They stress much less and still have time to get those roots growing.There are also some excellent mail and Internet sources. Plants that are shipped from any of the good companies have a fine track record. It’s also a good way to acquire plants that you can’t find here.High Country Gardens is at the top of the list as a resource for plants for the mountain and high desert foothill zones. They have a good online catalog, and their Web site is worth a visit. Go to http://www.highcountrygardens.com.Another first-rate nursery is Bluebird Nursery in Nebraska. They have a good selection of plants for cold climates, and a long-standing reputation for excellence. Visit them at http://www.bluebirdnursery.com.I have purchased plants from both Bluebird and High Country Gardens, and the product was excellent. It’s also time to think about bulbs. It’s too early to plant them, but it’s time to order. If you’re buying bulbs locally, store them properly until planting time.
If you don’t have animal problems, you can use tulips and other bulbs that might otherwise get eaten. If you do have deer or rodent problems, use daffodils. We live where bulbs add weeks of spring color, and should be used everywhere. They are easy to establish. In the foundation bulbs, both tulips and daffodils, there are species and species hybrids that are more durable than other hybrids. This should be taken into consideration if you want a planting that returns year after year. Many will spread, too.Along with this, there are some incredible tulip hybrids that don’t have the toughness, but certainly will give you some seasons of color.Don’t forget crocuses. They add color even earlier, and are easy to plant and grow.If you do a little planning, and space your perennials properly, you will have plenty of room for bulbs. Just make sure you know where they are planted so you don’t accidentally dig them up later.
One other problem people run into with bulbs has to do with soil. In general, tulips and the bulk of spring flower bulbs need a drained soil. If you’ve had bad luck with bulbs, soggy soil very well could be the problem. Add sand or other drainage to your soil, and your tulips will kiss you.I’d like to extend an overdue welcome to Laurel Potts, who has recently taken over as the CSU Extension Agent. Laurel has a background in native pants of Colorado, and gardening in this region. Trying to edit this during the U.S. women’s soccer team final against Brazil is impossible. I’d better quit while they’re ahead. Congratulations on gold!M.G. Gallagher writes a column on gardening and landscaping for the Daily. Vail, Colorado