Beginning gardener frets over mulch

victoria2393(USDA Z8/ Sunset Z6)January 28, 2009

Hi Folks! I read the FAQ, but am still worried about my bulbs, hoping for a little advice.

In my area it does not normally snow, so I covered my newly-planted bulbs (in mid-november, which was as fast as I could prepare the beds,)with 2-3 inches of fine bark mulch. One month later, we had three weeks of heavy snow and unusually hard freezes. Now it's doing the freeze/thaw thing.

I planted tulips, grape hyacinths, english bluebells, english irises, double poppy-anemones, lavendar mountain lillies, and alliums. I know that my timing could have been better for some of these, and that the anemones may not have survived the cold... but I'm very new at this and the learning curve is steep.

So my question is: Since all of the bulbs were planted at recommended depth, should I remove the mulch when the weather warms up? Will my baby plants know to grow? Will they be able to make it through two inches of bark? I marked the plantings well and also made a map, so if I need to selectively uncover them I will be able to.

Thanks so much!

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jqpublic(7b/8a Wake County NC)

You did everything correctly! They will make it through the 2 inches of mulch very easily. You planted at the correct time...although maybe Late October would have been ideal. You may notice them starting to raise the bark a little as you get into February and March. The plants will do all the work and just push them aside. Try not to disturb it as you might break off the shoots accidentally. Again great job! Do show us some pics when they are emerging and blooming!

By the way, ours started peaking through the mulch a couple weeks ago. We then got 6" of snow on Inauguration Day. Today it got close to 70degrees. The bulbs are used to the roller coaster ride that is late winter/early spring temps. Mine look un-phased. I hope this helped!

    Bookmark   January 28, 2009 at 8:19PM
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cnid(z5b Ont Canada)

I can't believe you were organized enough to make a map of where things are!! In late planting season, esp if it gets cold, I practically throw the last 50 bulbs at the flower bed and hope that's good enough!

I have had tulips and grape muscari get snowed on when they were blooming and they were fine. Allium are very forgiving for me but come up much later. I hope you enjoy the show they give you when they get blooming - you will be hooked.


    Bookmark   January 28, 2009 at 9:35PM
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victoria2393(USDA Z8/ Sunset Z6)

Thanks so much for your reassurance-- it's great to have experienced gardeners to turn to. I'll try to relax and let the bulbs do their thing :)

    Bookmark   January 31, 2009 at 1:46AM
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