honeyooo
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Gonna take a chance on bulbs.......

Hi All.....Im new to the forums as well as to gardening. I have had a basic vegetable garden with some results.....so you can see my gardening is limited at best. So here I go.......

I live in California in the high desert. I got a Brecks catalog in the mail and I want to try growing some flowers.......other than that I have NO CLUE what Im doing. I have looked through the catalog and liked the Mountain Bells Mixture.....made up of different Alliums I guess they are called? It says that they are critter free so Im not real worried about the animals getting to them...but I do need help learning how to even grow them and really...just any advice at all on growing these types of flowers. I would love to have a beautiful garden out front and Im sure all of you can help me achieve that!! :lol:

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rainbowgardener
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mountain bells collection

I looked at it, very pretty and 50 bulbs for $10, can't hardly go wrong. Your bulbs will come with planting instructions. Plant them as deep as they tell you with a little bit of compost, water them in well and forget about them. The catalog says they are hardy zones 3-8 which covers most of the country. Not sure what zone you are in, but if high desert, probably in the right range. The thing is just to be sure you have enough cold days. Bulbs like that need a period of cold dormancy before they come awake in spring.

honeyooo
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Thank you....I was reading the handbook that they send you online but I didnt see anything in there about that particular type of bulb.....maybe I missed it. It gets pretty cold out here in the desert.....winter months between 40 and 60 during the day and 20s to 30s in the evenings(usually closer to 30 and 40 most evenings). Is that cold enough?

I was going to get the 100 bulb selection since there is a 25$ coupon on the front of the catalog.....I figure that I just have to pay shipping so I cant really go wrong with free bulbs.

How much coverage will I get with 100 bulbs?

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rainbowgardener
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planting alliums

(Should it be allia in the plural? :) ) Plant your bulbs about 5" deep with a little compost (or bulb food if you don't have compost) in the hole. Space them 2-3" apart. To plant a whole bunch of them, instead of digging separate holes you can dig a trench and just drop them in. Cover them back up, water in well and you are done. Water every once in awhile through the fall if you are not getting rain. 20 degrees should be cold enough, though it's a little borderline. They are rated to zone 8 and zone 8 gets down to 10 degrees. But as long as you get below freezing, it's hard for me to imagine that 10 degrees vs 10 degrees makes that much difference to the little bulbs in the ground. I think it's more the number of cold days anyway...

honeyooo
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Should it?? See, you know better than I at this point lolll Thank you for your advice. Compost......again....very new to gardening....where do I get that or make it? I have heard of compost but have no clue how it is made or if I can buy it...or where to even buy it. We have several cold days and evenings(at least 3 months) through winter......20s is pretty low for us at night but we do get a lot of cold nights in the 30s. Digging the trench...should I space them at certain amount of space or right next to each other inches apart? Like I said...Im very new to this and want to make sure I do it right lolll thanks again for your advice on this!!

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rainbowgardener
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compost etc

Compost is decomposed vegetable matter that turns in to enriched organic soil. You can make your own (and should if you really want to be doing a good garden), but probably not in time for planting your bulbs. There's a whole compost section of this forum, do some reading! In the meantime buy some bulb food and start a compost pile now for spring....

Plant the bulbs a few inches apart in your trench, but relax. Growing is what plants "want" to do.... And whatever you do will turn out nice. Planting them very regularly spaced will give you a formal, orderly look. Planting them irregularly spaced in little groups will give you a more informal relaxed look. Either can be charming. They are flowers! You can't go wrong.. :)

honeyooo
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Thank you again for the info. I have checked out the compost section just a little and my head is already spinning on who to do it loll I will have to read more. But for now I will just use the bulb food.....or will when I plant. I guess Im just worried that I will do something to mess them up lolll

On a good note......my son planted cantaloupe straight from seeds he purchased atthe 99 cent store and we had our first taste of one today! It was wonderful!! He was so proud of growing them himself!!

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rainbowgardener
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YAY!!! re the cantaloupe! Isn't it wonderful!

Relax re your bulbs and the compost. This stuff is not rocket science. Bulbs want to grow. You have to do something to stop them. Those somethings do happen (squirrels digging them up, gophers eating them, bad droughts), but in general you can plant them nicely, water them in and forget them and in the spring you will have flowers!

Compost is also a natural process that happens on its own. You can do things to speed it up, or you can just throw things in a pile and in the spring you will have compost!

a0c8c
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honeyooo wrote:Thank you again for the info. I have checked out the compost section just a little and my head is already spinning on who to do it loll I will have to read more.
Easiest way in is, build a square frame out of wood, 5'x5'x5'. A nice big cube, then start throwing things in. Leaves, old vegetables, table scrapes, etc. Keep it moist, and come next spring enjoy some great plant food. That's what my dad did, and it works well in Texas, you just gotta keep it moist or it takes forever to compost.

Oh, and I don't consider bulbs taking a chance. I've only had three bulbs not sprout, and that's because the ground they're in is packed like cement.

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