Each fall as the weather starts to turn and farm clean up begins in earnest, I face two of my least favorite, but most necessary, tasks: digging up the dahlias and planting fall bulbs. Neither are fun, at least in my opinion.
At this time of year, all I want to do is curl up by the fire and drink coffee with a good book. The last thing I want to do is put on full rain gear and lug heavy crates of bulbs and tubers around our muddy fields.
But it’s the only way to ensure we’ll have loads of beauty in the coming season.
I try to approach both tasks with a positive attitude and be present to the fact that they are a gift to my future self.
After a long dismal winter, I will be so grateful for all the effort that I put in this fall. There’s nothing more wonderful than being greeted by flowers in early spring.
The first couple of years we were flower farming we didn’t plant bulbs because they were always an afterthought. I would run out of steam at the end of the season and inevitably miss out on all of the great varieties.
One of the other reasons I resisted planting bulbs is because they were a financial investment and we didn’t have very much money. But after three or four springs of kicking myself for not having invested the previous fall, I finally overcame my hesitation and gave bulbs the chance they deserve.
The first year I planted a few hundred tulips and five varieties of narcissus. They bloomed so abundantly and were so well received by our customers that I quadrupled the following year.
It’s only increased since then and now I approach the task of planting spring-flowering bulbs after the first fall frost as a necessity, not a burden.