bulb planting

Lemon_Poppy(z5/6 OH)September 16, 2005

This may be a silly question, but since I'm new...cut me some slack ;)

I have a new flowerbed cleared out and ready to do the lasagna method on so it'll be ready for next spring. My question is...can I plant bulbs and then do the lasagna on top? Will that work or not?

I keep getting all these catalogs for fall bulb planting in the mail and I'm dying to buy some things, but worry that it will be a waste of time and money if they won't come up from under the lasagna.

Thanks in advance...

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username_5(banned for no reason)

Don't put the cardboard on top of them. The idea is that the lasagna smothers everything underneath it. It is uncertain whether the cardboard would break down enough over the winter to allow the bulbs to push through in the spring. Next year it should be fine though.

There is nothing stopping you from digging in the lasagna though. I would suggest planting the bulbs a little deeper than recomended though as the lasagna is going to lose much of it's height in a season or two.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2005 at 10:03AM
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Lemon_Poppy(z5/6 OH)

I'm not planning to use cardboard, just layers of newspaper. Does this make a difference?

The bed has been dug up now for 3 weeks and I'm surprised that no grass or weeds have popped up in that time frame...it's still a big oval of dirt.

My H questions the need to do the lasagna method since nothing has sprouted in that time frame. He's thinking that we should just till in some organic compost, plant bulbs and then mulch.

I'm not sure if that's ok or not??

I hate being a newbie :( So many questions!

    Bookmark   September 17, 2005 at 10:09AM
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Your hubby's idea sounds very practical. If the soil is loose from previously tilling, is relatively weed-free, then adding compost as an amendment, planting then mulching is all that is necessary. Lasagne gardening is often recommended for areas which have not otherwise been previously dug or prepared, like lawn areas. The concept is the layers of newspaper/cardboard, organic matter and compost will smother the existing weeds and other vegetation and breakdown over winter, leaving you with a rich, loose planting bed in spring. It is an alternative to digging or otherwise preparing a new planting area, not a requirement.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2005 at 11:27AM
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If your bed has not been wet, then the weed seeds have nothing to cause germination. If you put clean (weed-free or sterilized) compost on top (at least an inch) then the area will be relatively weed-free next year. You can wait until next year to see your weed problems before you need to use the lasgna method.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2005 at 10:12PM
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Lemon_Poppy(z5/6 OH)

ElGrillo...we've had rain several times since the bed was dug out, still no weeds or grass popping up.

We removed the grass (using a sod cutter) before we tilled it the first time. Raked out any remaining grass, roots and rock afterward. About a week or so later we tilled it again, again removing large rocks and such. The tiller went through the area deeper and more easily after having been gone through once before. Used a rake to level it out. Watered it to get let the dirt settle several times.

Yesterday we tilled in 10 bags of organic compost and manure. The soil is loose, looks rich and I think we're going to go ahead and plant some bulbs. Cover the area with a nice layer of mulch soon and see what happens.

Keep your fingers crossed for us :)

    Bookmark   September 19, 2005 at 11:33AM
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Looks like you are well on your way and the hard work is done!

If you had bermuda grass, it may be come back some. Just keep at it until it is gone.

I still think sterilized compost on top is the best method of weed control in a bulb bed.

The bulbs are already on the racks at the chain stores here. The packages usually have guides that provide planting dates and depth for each zone. Someone else may have a better idea as to what varieties to get and which mail-order outlets provide healthy specimens. Also, if you look in the GardenWeb bulb FAQ's, you will find lots of bedding info.

Best wishes

Here is a link that might be useful: Bulbs

    Bookmark   September 22, 2005 at 10:46PM
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Lemon_Poppy, did the bulbs come up??

    Bookmark   July 5, 2006 at 10:35PM
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