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After a trip to Costco last Thursday, I now have two bags of tulips chillin’ in the meat bin of my fridge and bags of daffodils and alliums sitting on the counter, waiting to be planted. I wasn’t planning on buying bulbs that day, but the display got to me– stack upon stack, row upon row of colorfully labeled bags full of fresh, firm spring bulbs. At $8.29 a bag, they were irresistable.

We’re talking 50 tulip bulbs and 50 daffodil bulbs for $8.29/bag. The ‘Gladiator’ Alliums were 3 to a bag. They’s special, I reckon.

Now that I have a bulb auger, I’m no longer intimidated by the thought of planting 153 bulbs. I used to own one of those long-handled “bulb planters” that works well only if you’re planting in a bed of tiny marshmallows. I have clay soil… the kind of clay that’ll make a man out of you… or that’ll make you scan the horizon for a set of biceps attached to a man.

Since I ditched the bulb planter and took a chance on a bulb auger I’ve never looked back. If I were putting together one of those You Don’t Need A Man lady tool kits, it would definitely include a bulb auger.

Mail order bulb companies I’ve had good luck with include:

Dutch Gardens, Inc.

A few bulb companies highly ranked on Garden Watchdog include:

Old House Gardens Heirloom Flower Bulbs
Brent and Becky’s Bulbs
John Scheepers, Inc.
Van Engelen, Inc.
Easy to Grow Bulbs

Californians, also check out Far West Bulb Farm, which sells native California bulbs.

Where the heck are my bulbs from? Let’s see… looks like they’re from the Netherlands’ Langeveld Bulb Co., by way of Garden State Bulb Co. (the U.S. office and warehouse) in New Jersey.

Now, let’s see how Langeveld ranks on Garden Watchdog.

SCORE: 75/100

Hmmm… interesting. Come spring, we’ll know if my bargain bulbs pay off. I’ll report back. I buy bulbs from independent nurseries as well. What I like about buying from a local nursery is that you often get to pick each bulb from a bin. You’ll most likely pay more per bulb, but you’ll have the opportunity to select the largest, least-bruised bulbs. The longer you wait, the funkier the selection usually. Plus, sometimes bulbs get put back in the wrong bin. As always, shop early for the best selection.

Where do you shop for spring bulbs locally, blog readers? And your favorite mail order bulb company(ies)?

Trey, are you reading this? I’m curious about which bulb companies you use and why you like them.

Being sporadically bargain-minded, I just did a price comparison; My Costco tulips and daffs cost 6 cents a bulb. I’d be paying more in the vicinity of 69 cents a bulb locally. Right now I feel like I got a really good deal. Time will tell.

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