What follows bulbs

DaveKarn@aol.com DaveKarn@aol.com
Sun, 15 Aug 2004 12:27:18 PDT
In a message dated 8/15/04 8:35:43 AM Pacific Daylight Time, 
janemcgary@earthlink.net writes:

> What plants -- ornamental or edible -- do others sow over their bulb beds?

Well, Jane, let's face it!  Most of us are not so tidy as to determine just 
what to sow over a bulb bed!  Usually, 'ol Ma Nature pretty much dictates that 
one will have a luxuriant crop of weeds -- and totally without trying -- no 
fertilizer, no irrigation, no planning, no preparation, no choice, etc.!  

I have the very devil of a time with some particularly pernicious composites. 
 I can usually knock the majority of them back in very late Fall with 
herbicide but late germinators always seem to make it about the time the daffodil 
foliage is in full growth.  In other words, no sprays.  It's the old hands and 
knees process in a partial attempt to keep things under control until things dry 
out with the advance of Summer!

All kidding aside (and to provide an answer to the question raised!) back in 
Minnesota (when I actually had "bulb beds" instead of bulb acres, moss rose 
(Portulaca) was usually the annual of choice.  There was enough moisture early 
in the summer to promote germination and the occasional summer thunderstorm 
dropped enough moisture to keep them going.  Each morning, as that day's crop of 
blooms opened, the beds looked like an oriental carpet.  From time to time I 
would sow a packet of the mixed double form and each season enough seed from 
the offspring would survive to renew the carpet and in the mostly double form.  
Easy and colorful and requiring no maintenance (other than removing the dried 
bulb foliage and occasional few weeds); what more could one ask?

Although, at this point, I think I need to interject the fact that, as a bulb 
grower, dealing with "untidy dying foliage" and having bare beds (rows/field) 
is all accepted as part and parcel of the process and certainly causes no 
great concern about hiding anything!

Dave Karnstedt
Silverton, Oregon, USA
After weeks of hot and dry with daily temperatures in the mid-nineties, so 
far, today has been blessedly cool -- for a much welcomed change!

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