The Sticky Files - Marisca Bakker

Hope blooms with planting in the fall

Marisca is planting daffodil bulbs and enjoying the unseasonably warm fall

“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.” – Audrey Hepburn

I was watching the news the other day and there was a special on climate change and how farmers need to adapt to different weather events.

One specialist talking about the situation said people need to take advantage of climate change. I don’t think he meant it as cynically as it sounded. But it’s true. Sad, but true.

The growing season started slowly this year but it has been extended now further into fall than usual. We have to take advantage of that. And I think we’ve all been enjoying the unseasonably warm weather September and early October has given us.

We’ve been breaking records, it has been so warm. On Oct. 15, it was 19.6 C, slightly higher than the old record set in 1961 of 18 C.

I’m not saying we shouldn’t be planning for and responding to human-caused climate change, but we’ve got to work with what we’ve got now.

I’ve been planning my garden already for next year. My vegetable garden is almost all cleaned out. This warmer weather has been kind to the tomatoes in my greenhouse and we are still getting cherry tomatoes every day. My kale outside is also thriving right now.

READ MORE: September stats could have been a moment of learning

I’ve been planting bulbs outside too right now. The deer seem to enjoy my tulips so I’m going to try daffodils this time around. They are a hardy perennial that come back year after year and I’ve heard that squirrels and deer will leave them alone. I’ll put that to the test. The plants contain oxalic acid and that will deter most animals because it doesn’t taste good.

The bulbs are supposed to be planted in the fall and they pop up in early spring. While there are thousands of different varieties, the most common is a yellow, showy flower with a trumpet-like centre. I’ve learned that when buying bulbs to look for ones that aren’t dried out and the bigger the better.

When planting them, put them pointy end up and at least three inches into the soil and add a little bulb fertilizer in the hole. They should be planted between 2 and 4 weeks before the ground freezes. They like sunny locations but can tolerate partial shade.

There is something about planting flowers in the fall that will come up in spring. Like planting a little hope. And there is nothing better than seeing a tiny bit of green pop up through the snow in March.

Some say daffodils are a symbol of new beginnings and rebirth because they are one of the first flowers to appear in the spring.

I’m going to plant more bulbs this week and try not to feel guilty about the warm weather. We did get ripped off in the beginning of the summer with all the rain and cold, so maybe mother nature is simply just making up for it now.


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