Tag Archives: Grand Rapids

Plant Bulbs in the Fall

Daffodil & Grape Hyacinth Mix - Tall bulbs in back - short in frontTulip Bulbs - Pointy end up

The good news is that planting flower bulbs is fast, easy, and nearly foolproof. One reason bulbs are so beloved of both beginner and master gardeners is that, with so few issues to consider, gardeners can put all their effort into the fun part of gardening — design.

  • When the bulbs arrive. Bulbs should be planted as soon as the ground is cool. In most parts of the country, this would be around the time of the first frosts, when evening temperatures average between 40° to 50° F. But you should plant at least six weeks before the ground freezes. You can, if necessary, store bulbs for a month or longer, if you keep them in a cool dry place. When in doubt, however, the bulbs belong in the ground. They won’t last till next season.
  • Read the label. And keep the label together with the bulbs until planting. Without the label, you can’t tell the red tulips from the white ones just by looking at the bulbs.
  • Where to plant. You can plant bulbs just about anywhere in your garden — so long as the soil drains well. The Dutch say, “bulbs don’t like wet feet.” So, avoid areas where water collects, such as the bottom of hills. Bulbs also like sun. But the spring garden is very sunny — the leaves aren’t on the trees yet. Get creative!
  • Prepare the planting bed by digging the soil so it’s loose and workable. If it’s not an established garden bed, chances are the soil could use the addition of some organic matter such as compost or peat moss. These are available at most local garden retailers.

Tips for Planting Bulbs

  • Plant the pointy end up. That’s about all you need to know. It’s easy to spot the pointy end of a tulip; tougher with a crocus. But in most cases, even if you don’t get it right, the bulb flower will still find its way topside.
  • Plant big bulbs about 8″ deep and small bulbs about 5″ deep.
  • No fertilizer is necessary for the first year’s bloom. Bulbs are natural storehouses of food. They don’t need anything to flower the first year. For bulbs that are intended to naturalize or perennialize (return for several years) or for bulbs that are coming into their second year, spread an organic fertilizer such as compost or well-rotted cow manure, or a slow release bulb food on top of the soil.
  • If you do fertilize, never mix fertilizer in the planting hole. It can burn the roots. Also don’t follow the old adage of adding bone meal. Modern bone meal adds little nutritional value. It can also encourage pests and even dogs to dig up your bulbs looking for bones!

Design Ideas

  • Plant bulbs in clusters. Don’t plant one bulb alone, or make a long thin line along the walk. Clusters give a concentration of color for greatest impact. Even if you don’t have enough bulbs for a big bed, small clusters can make a super spring show.
  • Plant low bulbs in front of high. This is a good general rule for bulbs that bloom at the same time. Our website will give you the height of the plant and it’s approximate flowering time. Of course there are times to break this rule. For example if the low growing bulbs bloom early and the tall bulbs bloom late, plant the tall in front. Their display will camouflage the dying foliage of the smaller bulbs!
  • Try a double-decker effect. You can plant small bulbs in a layer right on top of large bulbs. If you plant bulbs that flower in the same period you can create an interesting double-decker effect (picture bright pink tulips blooming above cobalt blue Grape Hyacinths). Or you can stagger the bloom time by planting mid- and late-season bloomers together, creating a spring display that blooms in succession, for a whole season of color!

In the end, what you do with spring bulbs is limited only by your imagination. A few hours one brisk autumn afternoon can yield months of colorful excitement in your yard or garden next spring.

If your thinking of building a new home in Michigan, give us a call.  We build energy efficient homes in new home communities or on your land.

GR “Top 100 Places to Live”

Annual listing from RelocateAmerica

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – It has made the Top 100 but could become a Top 10 nominee with your help.

RelocateAmerica has named Grand Rapids as one of the Top 100 Places to Live in 2011. This is the organization’s 14th annual listing of top communities in the United States.

“We are thrilled to rank in RelocateAmerica’s Top 100 Places to Live. Such a designation speaks to our community’s pride, diversity, innovation and remarkable quality of life not found in most cities,” Experience Grand Rapids President Doug Small said in a news release.

Now residents can post content, photos and videos that showcase the city for the Top 10 application process. The deadline for submissions is July 31 and the results will be released August 2.

“I encourage you to participate by submitting content that highlights our great city and why we deserve the recognition,” Small said.

“West Michigan is quickly becoming a national and international destination for growing businesses and talent,” said Birgit Klohs, president and CEO of The Right Place, Inc. “The innovative companies and talent of the future are locating in cities that are engaged, vibrant and unique. RelocateAmerica is providing the Grand Rapids community with a platform to speak to the special quality of life that is Grand Rapids.”

Rick Baker, president and CEO of the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce, recently relocated to Grand Rapids from Illinois.

“As a newer member of the community, it makes perfect sense to me that Grand Rapids would earn a spot on this list,” Baker said. “Our business community is strong, we have a diverse mix of industries in the area, and our cultural and civic institutions are thriving. We have a lot to be proud of in this city, and I’m sure that will come through in process of voting for the Top 10.”

“Community pride is a good indicator of great leadership and a mark of what makes it a great place to live, work and play,” said RelocateAmerica President Steve Nickerson.

It’s a great time to buy or build on or Sables New Energy Efficient Homes.