Tuesday, August 2, 2011


Pictured above:  Dynamite, Casablanca, Maywood, Pink Virtuoso, Lake Carey, and Tiger Edition

'Tis the season for lovely LILIES--Orientals, to be exact.  The big beauties are either in big buds, or fully  out,  a few more blooming each morning. Now is the perfect time to order your lilies for fall planting.  Since lily bulbs are never dormant, they need to be planted as soon as you buy them, or, as in my case, receive them in the mail.  But, if you absolutely can't plant them right away, you can delay planting them for a few weeks by keeping them in a cool, dry, dark area of a garage, basement, or refrigerator.  (around 34-40 degrees).  If you bought them and they are in a shipping box or bag, open it and make sure no moisture has seeped into the container.   When planting, choose an area with good air circulation and, most importantly, WELL-DRAINED soil.  A place that is waterlogged, or the drainage isn't good will prove fatal to the bulb.  If you have heavy clay soil, be sure to mix in perlite or even some sand with the soil you have.  Raised beds are a great way to keep standing water off the bulbs, and you can do that with any good top soil.  I use top soil plus on just about everything. Although it does have some steer manure, it is well composted, and is a good growing medium for your bulbs.  I always take a handful of bone meal and mix it in good with the surrounding soil before planting the bulb.  Plant at a depth of 3 X's the bulbs size--usually around 6-8" deep.  If you live in an area that is real hot and your soil is sandy, I've read that you should plant your bulbs a little deeper.  You should avoid places where you've got thick, aggressive ground covers. Cover the bulb with nice, fluffy soil, and water in well, then wait for Mother Nature to do the rest.  Lilies look the best and most natural planted in groups of three or five, spaced about 8-12" apart.  Pick a place that gets at least 6 hours of sun. Dappled sunlight works best in my yard, especially for the Orientals, which are a pick more finicky.  Mulch them their first year, and they like regular fertilizer and water, but not soggy soil, just moist, but not wet.  Most varieties grow anywhere from 2 feet up to 4 or 5 feet.  The tree lilies can reach 8 feet.They will reward you for many years if conditions are right, producing more and more of their fragrant blooms each year.  Lilies are an all-time favorite in my garden!

Susanne Holland Spicker Mother, Grandmother, Homemaker, Gardener, Teacher, Photographer

Passion is defined as the love of, or the object(s) of affection and emotion. I am passionate about family, friends, flowers, food, photography and fabulous music! This blog is dedicated to those loves.

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