So we'll see how that goes.

ladychroe(z6 NJ)February 6, 2011

Last fall, I got a big shipment of bulbs from the B&B Thanksgiving sale like I do every year. But this year, the ground froze around that time, and stayed that way until today, which is very unusual in NJ. Storm after storm along with the rest of the northeast, and these poor lil guys were sitting in the cold part of the laundry room the whole time.

I got about half of them in today. I cleared away the 6" of melting snow and put the bulbs in with the bulb auger. Sometimes as many as 5 in one hole! Early blooming daffs and late blooming tulips? You're roommates! Bye bye! *dumps dirt*

Most looked pretty good, I had some spongy corydalis and tulips, and some dryish dwarf iris, but the rest were happy and firm with green sprouts. Tomorrow will be 40 so maybe I'll get the rest planted or potted then. Wish me luck.

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vetivert8(NI-NZ zone 9a)

I definitely wish you luck! (I'm going through the bulb pots and refreshing for the coming season. I'm not yet into 'mixed plantings' - but I know the feeling already!) Hope they do splendidly!

    Bookmark   February 6, 2011 at 7:42PM
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I hate throwing cold water on bright spirits but --sooner or later you will get the bad news....they wont do anything.
You planted them too late. Ask yourself, why did you buy them in the fall, why are they made the fall.
Because that is the optimum time to plant them so they can gain their roots in the cool soil. You gave them a soil that is hardly thawed from an air temperature of 40�...but they don't grow in the air, they grow in the soil and right now I would imagine the soil temperature is near freezing. Maybe down 6" it is less severe cold, but cold nonetheless. And, of course, you watered them.
That would bring about ice crystals forming and next to the bulb would bring their temperature down....down, down maybe sufficiently to freeze what's inside the bulb...everything.....the stalk, the stems, the leaves, the bloom....its all in there waiting for the correct interval of time and temperature of soil to begin their coming up.
The bulbs you planted now will not have the interval of time required, nor the cooling soil temperature.

If they do show something, let them do what they can..maybe some foliage or maybe just a stalk will appear.
If you wish to keep them, then let them go brown with the others to send their starkches and sugars down back into the bulb. Then they stand a chance of returning next year.
But I suggest instead, after they go brown, remove the foliage, dig them up and re-plant them at their proper depth and hope they come to year.
If they have acquired roots....and I doubt that happening....but if they do, chances are you have a viable bulb that can return next year. If they haven't, sad to say, they cant be stored longer than 2 - 3 months in a cool environment. The refrigerator is the normal place to think of on spring/summer temperatures go up. But then you would have to count on 'forcing' them after they have been given their proper cooling period. For tulips, 15 - 16 weeks. For other bulbs about the same or slightly less time is required.

Cross your fingers....and your toes!

    Bookmark   February 12, 2011 at 11:33AM
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katob Z6ish, NE Pa

It's good you got them in, I can't even find a spot of ice thin enough to get through to the frozen dirt underneath! My B&B goodies from the fall sale just barely made it into the ground. I was in the mood to just be done with it even though it was getting dark and cold... luckily I did, the next day the temps dropped and they haven't really come up since..... but I've been right there with you a couple other times, sneakin' in bulbs whenever there's a chance Jan-Feb!

if I remember correctly, your bulbs should still be quite a show with or without the new additions.... I think I remember some monster pink impression tulips that showed up in your last set of pictures :) or at least I THINK they were yours!

    Bookmark   February 13, 2011 at 8:26PM
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katob Z6ish, NE Pa

Hey the search function worked....... and I guess May of 2007 isn't last spring.

Wish I could remember anniversaries etc like that.

Hope you don't mind me posting a link, they're worth looking at a couple more times!

Here is a link that might be useful: daffs tulips and hopes for spring

    Bookmark   February 13, 2011 at 8:36PM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

So we'll see how that goes.
With a lot of luck, they will all be fine and some of them will maybe bloom this spring, though they would be later than usual. With less luck 'some' of them will make it and be fine. I would suggest you not disturbing and replanting those that make it, until well after bloom time in 2012, after the foliage has pretty well withered.

The ground has started to thaw here and we are to have much above normal temps all this week, so I imagine it will thaw much deeper this week. I too have bulbs I didn't get planted, though a was a good girl and resisited B and B late sale. After tonight the lowest night time temp until at least next Sun is 36 degrees and a high of 63 this Thursday. Later this week, I'll plant the rest of mine, probably a bit shallow, and then mulch well. They have been stored in the cool basement.

Let's try and report back in later this year with the results of our late planted bulbs.

Good luck!


    Bookmark   February 14, 2011 at 10:08AM
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vetivert8(NI-NZ zone 9a)

If you have room in that cool laundry - could you pot up the dwarf Iris? I'm guessing reticulata.

Make it a seriously gritty mix, perhaps with some leaf mould in the basic potting mix (NOT a peat-based mix, though). And barely moist.

I'd use something like an azalea pot just for this season. Plant so the bulbs are barely covered with mix.

What is likely to happen is that some (even several) will be 'blind'. They'll come up, have miserable leaves and be rotten to the core. Pull them out and discard. (Happens even when you plant at the 'regular' time. :-((( )

Hopefully there's a bit of root emergence on your bulbs along with some pale green sprouts already. They need good light but be wary of too much heat (no more than 45F) because they won't have the roots there to supply moisture to the leaves, yet.

Don't be surprised at the end of the grow season to find that the bulbs have broken up the way fritillaries do if they're too shallow-planted. Just keep them and let them grow on.

When there are leaves after the flowers feed them every two weeks or so with a good 'flowering houseplant' fertiliser. They'll probably come right for you though it may take a couple of seasons.

The Corydalis. I'd be wary of too much damp. Persnicketty little creatures. They don't like dry, either. Again, if you use a gritty mix with, perhaps, some good loamy soil in the mix, and leaf mould so it has that 'free-draining and moisture retentive' mix beloved of garden gurus. Keep them cool with indirect light.

I'm looking forward to enjoying your 'brag' pictures... Good luck!

    Bookmark   February 15, 2011 at 11:36PM
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I used to work at a garden center. AFTER the season was over, the unsold stuff was inventoried and credits issued for them by the vendor (we bought bulbs from a company that had a commission type deal, which was nice), I got to take home many leftovers. It could be anywhere from Thanksgiving time to as late as mid-January before this was done.

I would store them in my barely heated garage until planting time, which was whenever ground was thawed. I've planted these bulbs in November, in mid-winter during a thaw, and as late as late March.

MOST of them do fine. The later you plant, the more messed up some things will be. Some bulbs will die waiting. Most will live. Things that didn't get adequate chilling like tulips will be short.

But, most recover and grow normally in future years -- at least, those things that will succeed in your climate anyway.

Well worth it, IMO, if you get bulbs free or really dirt cheap at a clearance sale after the season.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2011 at 4:27PM
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ladychroe(z6 NJ)

Kato, I am very touched that you remember my garden from all those years ago! I finally got a good camera this year, so hopefully I will have even better photos next year.

Goren, I have planted as late as mid-January in the past. Usually the ground does not solidly freeze here until then, and it is mostly thawed again in Feb. Most everything I planted then in the past bloomed happily, though late. Those that didn't were usually not a surprise, because the bulbs were not in prime condition when they went in. So I have high hopes. And no, I never water when I plant this late, in case the ground does freeze again. I planted them deeply for the same reason.

So I'm confident that most will do all right, if not this year, then the next. Though I feel pretty good this year too! And yes,Denninmi, both the corydalis and dwarf iris were toast. I plopped them in the ground anyway, with other bulbs, and called them "compost."

Yes, Sue, I will try to post back here come spring and report!

    Bookmark   February 18, 2011 at 6:07PM
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ladychroe(z6 NJ)

Pretty much all of them are coming up! Late, yes; ready to bloom, I don't know... but they are not dead :)

    Bookmark   March 18, 2011 at 9:08PM
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katob Z6ish, NE Pa

even the corydalis? If so I'm a little jealous.... oh wait, looking back at your post I see you calling them and the iris "toast". Did they actually come through and make it?

*someone I know* might have bought corydalis at the B&B sale two years ago and didn't get them planted in time... they didn't make it :(

Sooooo that person tried again last year and lo and behold they are sprouting well. I got both Beth Evans and George Baker..... plus the straight c. solida from Van Engelen's sale. I can feel an addiction coming on.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2011 at 9:30PM
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ladychroe(z6 NJ)

Oh right, the corydalis and iris didn't. But I figured that would happen; I planted them as fertilizer.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2011 at 10:16PM
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I have planted daffs & iris late & had no problems.
When I say late, I mean after the ones in the ground have already finished blooming.
I am planting some today in zone 7b/8a.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2011 at 12:24PM
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