Preparing Pineland Farms Flower Beds for a Colorful Spring: A Step-by-Step Guide

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Every November, the Grounds Department at Pineland Farms begins the exciting process of preparing the flower beds around our campus for the upcoming growing season. This annual ritual involves a careful blend of composting, planting thousands of bulbs, and eagerly awaiting the vibrant colors of spring. In this blog, we’ll take you through the step-by-step process of how we bring our flower beds to life.

Step 1: Composting for Soil Enrichment

Each year, we kick off our flower bed preparation by enriching the soil with nutrient-packed compost. Our compost, made from a mix of grass clippings, tomato vines from Olivia’s Garden, cow manure, sawdust, and fall leaves, is ready to amend the soil in the flower beds. This enriches the soil with essential nutrients and ensures optimal moisture retention for root growth.

Tulip bed compost

Step 2: Top Dressing for Soil Health

One of the crucial steps in the fall preparation process is top dressing the annual flower beds. This practice involves spreading the compost-enriched soil over the beds. Top dressing is essential to ensure the soil retains moisture and nutrients, creating the ideal conditions for robust root growth.

Top dressed tulip bed

Step 3: Planting Thousands of Bulbs

After enriching and top dressing the flower beds, it’s time to introduce the stars of the show – the bulbs! We plant a staggering 7,000 tulip bulbs imported from Holland, which will burst into a stunning display of color when spring arrives. These vibrant tulips add a splash of color and cheer to our landscape. We drill holes in the soil, approximately 4 inches deep, to ensure the bulbs are securely placed. After planting, we cover the bulbs with soil, protecting them until they’re ready to burst forth in spring.

Tulip bulbs

Step 4: The Return of Daffodils

In addition to the tulips, we also have a returning cast of characters. Every year, 5,000 daffodils make a comeback, adding to the spectacle of colors in our flower beds. Their dependable return is a joy to behold.

Yellow daffodils

Step 5: The Long Wait

As winter blankets the landscape, we eagerly anticipate the arrival of spring. The flower beds, enriched with compost and filled with tulip and daffodil bulbs, lie in wait beneath the snow.

Snow at Pineland Farms

Step 6: A Colorful Spring Reveal

Finally, when spring arrives, the flower beds come to life in a burst of color. The vibrant tulips and dependable daffodils create a breathtaking spectacle. The big flower bed behind the Market, with a backdrop of snowy Mt. Washington, reminds us of the changing seasons and the beauty that nature has to offer.

Tulips and Mount Washington

The annual preparation of our flower beds at Pineland Farms is a labor of love and anticipation. From enriching the soil with compost to planting thousands of bulbs, this process sets the stage for a colorful and stunning spring display. It’s a reminder of the beauty that nature brings to our lives, and we can’t wait to share it with our community every year.

To learn more about how you can compost at home read this great bulletin by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension.

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