Overwintering bulbs in pots

newbiegardener101September 13, 2009

I have several bulbs that I am planning to layer in a large pot and overwinter in my attached unheated garage. I've been researching gardenweb to determine just how to go about doing this. Almost everything I've seen has to do with forcing bulbs before they would naturally bloom. All I want is to have the bulbs blooming in a container at their own pace. My only reason for not leaving the container outside all winter is to keep it from freezing solid.

Is it alright to plant the pot full of bulbs in late September and just put it outside until the temperatures start dipping below freezing? My plan would be to keep it in the garage, watering every few weeks, until the weather warmed up above freezing again. Is this a recipe for success or a plan that will end in disaster? Any insight you can offer would be very much appreciated!

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gardengal48

Sounds like it should work fine......I follow virtually the same practice each year, except I only keep my pots out of the weather (rain) rather than a need to protect from freezing. Be very sparing on the watering - you only want the potting medium to remain barely moist.

The bulbs will likely bloom earlier than their cousins in the ground. Once temperatures warm in early spring and you remove the pots from your garage and place outdoors, the soil in the containers will heat up faster than the ground and that tends to encourage earlier, faster growth and blooming.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2009 at 11:27AM
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newbiegardener101

Thank you, gardengal48. It's good to hear that this practice has worked for you in the past. What about those of you in my zone? Has this practice worked for you?

    Bookmark   September 14, 2009 at 1:20PM
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joannemb

I'm wondering the same exact thing. I am also trying to find as much info as I can (since I'm investing a bit of $ in over 100 bulbs.) I also would like to ask if it is alright to keep the bulbs in the garage right off the bat. I have a horrible chipmunk problem, and that is part of the reason I'm trying the containers.

Also, if I want tulips to be blooming late april early may, should I get mid season tulips, or would a late bloomer be a better bet? (since you mentioned that they will bloom earlier in the containers.) I already ordered Triumph pax tulips (mid season bloomers) so I'm hoping they will be ok! I had Maureen late bloomers in my cart and changed my mind at the last second...

Just would love to have lots of white tulips blooming for my daughter's First Communion party. If I time it right, it will really be beautiful :)

    Bookmark   September 15, 2009 at 8:14PM
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kvenkat(5a Colo)

I usually wait until early February to pot up my tulip bulbs. The pots are fairly large and live outside. I don't water them. They get whatever moisture Ma Natures give em'. I forgot what kind I planted this spring but they bloomed in mid to late April. I guess there is more than one way to do it....

    Bookmark   September 15, 2009 at 9:52PM
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