Planting a tulip and daffodil field in the orchard

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After a bit of inspiration from another farm on Instagram, we planted just the beginning of our tulip and daffodil field in the orchard.

mom and baby planting a tulip and daffodil field in orchard

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I love when inspiration strikes for this little country farm of ours. It usually happens when I am doing something totally unrelated. And usually, I come up with the beginning of an idea and tell my family this long, drawn out thought about all the projects we could do related to that one little bit of inspiration. It usually ends with someone begging me to finish the other fifty projects I have already started before starting this one. And I usually act on it anyway.

Maybe I should name my farm the half way farm. Part of the way farm? Just get it done Elizabeth farm? Please don’t start ANOTHER project farm? I’m sure it is a joy living with me. That’s a joke friends.

Anyway, it is actually with most projects that I mention one detail of an idea and then Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, or that farmer down the road shows me something similar solidifying that it all must be the voice of the Lord telling me I should act on it.

This is a long story just to say, I had an idea about adding daffodils to the farm. That is not a new idea or even a creative one. A lot of farms have daffodils. A lot of people without farms have daffodils. In fact, the inspiration for that idea came from my grandmother who 10-15 years ago planted just a few yellow daffodil bulbs in front of the original barn and they still pop up every year. I didn’t want to move them because she planted them there and quite frankly, they aren’t mine to move. But I also really love them and want more.

That’s when Flower Valley Farm started talking about her plan to plant daffodil bulbs all throughout their newly planted orchard. Obviously hers is much larger than our small orchard but she listed out all of her reasons why. Photo opportunities on the farm, early spring u-pick crop, repels critters and deer to protect her fruit, and low maintenence that also allows for her sheep to run the orchard with little to no damage.

goats in freshly planted daffodil field

We don’t have sheep. We have goats. Goats are destructive. So running animals through the orchard is not one of the benefits to us (even though they were in the orchard while we planted eek) but all of the other reasons she laid out were perfect for us aside from just looking across the orchard and seeing a daffodil field stuffed full.

The orchard is right next to the barn and the daffodils my grandmother planted so they would all be together. It is also highly visited by deer. But the orchard is still very small and while I do have plans and space to grow it, it will be over the next few years. So we started small under the four apple trees we planted this year.

I grabbed some bulbs from the store and a few nights before it rained my mom, Ila and I got out in the orchard digging and planting. My husband even joined us on day two just for a minute before going to build some more! He is usually in the background. He works hard on these dreams of mine but sometimes, I come up with more projects than he (or anyone including myself) can handle at any one time. He’s not a big camera guy but sometimes I catch him in there hehe.

I actually ended up getting some tulips too because it just seemed like a good idea. I love tulips and I thought it would add a great addition to have tulips intertwined in all of the daffodils. I bought one package of yellow daffodils, a package of a white and peach variety and a package of white tulips. Eventually I will add more color in but for now, I love that color scheme. These aren’t the exact daffodil bulbs I got but these are similar in color and look beautiful. And the same with these tulips. I also really like these red tulips and these pink centered daffodils.

daffodils and tulips

The first night we dug 4-6 holes around each tree and then rows down each side and middle. We just dug with a shovel. I know some use these bulb planters and some use drill augers. I have heard great things about both. But we have an auger for the tractor and a large handheld auger. We have used both for planting and building our farmhouse and don’t have a lot of luck with either. We live on a rock bed. In parts of our property, you can walk across large areas of rock. In fact, behind my grandfather’s house, there is a full on patio sized rock bed that is nearly perfectly level.

It makes plant really hard but I have found a shovel gives more control and is just the easiest way. And I said easiest, not easy. We have done a fair share of digging lately for the orchard and the farmhouse. We were able to use the auger for the orchard some but man, it took several attempts per hole.

I mixed my peach colored and yellow daffodils so it would look more natural. Then I added tulips randomly in between.

We dug holes around 3-6 inches, planted each bulb with the root end down (the flat end) and then covered it back with the soil, removing any rocks.

cleaning dirt out to plant daffodil bulb
planting daffodil bulb root end (flat side) down
covering daffodil bulb with loose soil and removing the rocks

After all were planted, it rained so I did not have to water. I love when that happens.

The hardest part of this was the overwhelm of how to plant them. Randomly throughout the trees? In circles around each tree? In straight rows alongside the trees? So many options! And honestly, I kind of just mixed all the options so hopefully it does not look like a disaster when they bloom. I’m hoping for a naturally wild look, not a my toddler planted this daffodil field kind of look. Even though she did haha.

baby digging holes to help plant daffodil field in orchard

Do you have daffodils planted? Tulips? They are some of my favorite flowers and I love that they are lower maintenance. We will see how this daffodil field turns out because I have never grown them for myself!

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