The Easy Way to Dig Up Bulbs in the Grass

After I mulched and planted in the area at the top of our hill, the paths around our apple and pear trees changed. As a consequence, the two parallel lines of daffodils planted by the previous owner no longer worked where they were. Without knowing their placement, I had accidentally placed the new planting area in a way that meant many actually bordered it perfectly, but several drifts needed to move.

In the process of relocating them, I discovered the best way to delicately dig up a bulb ‘in the green’ (still actively growing, with leaves visible) for replanting. This works best when the bulbs have not yet split into a large mass. The first step is to harvest the remaining flowers.

Next comes the simple three step process: use a spade to slice a 45 to 90 degree angle (making a ‘V’ or ‘L’ when looking down to the soil from above) into the soil a few inches away from the bulb’s leaves; lift the soil segment to identify where the bulbs are; slowly pull the bulbs out of the bottom of the soil segment!

Wedge out, bulbs identified

I dug up between 50 and 60 bulbs. Some are saved for a friend’s new home, some are in holding for our neighbour (until they’re ready to plant), and the rest went into the edge of the new hill-top garden area.

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