Art Wolk's book Bulb Forcing

ontnative(5b Can/USDA 4)October 29, 2012

I just read Art Wolk's book on Bulb Forcing. He really loads the pots, and usually layers the bulbs in the pots as well. Now I have to buy more bulbs with which to experiment. Looks like fun. I usually just do single species and only one layer in each pot.

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Lost cause? I bought too many bulbs and didn't get them all in the ground in time. I'm certain it's too late now for for them to root properly, so I want to store them for spring planting. Only problem is that I've kept them in my unheated garage and we've had temps between 9-29 degrees the past week or more. Do I toss them because they would just rot? Or, is it worth the effort to try anyway? Storage is an issue as well, I don't have a nice cool/dry basement. If I put them in sawdust and in a bedroom that I keep at 55-60 degrees, will that suffice?

My husband is giving me the hairy eyeball for wasting money, so I really want to do something.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 10:15AM
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ontnative(5b Can/USDA 4)

I would pot them up, water well, and put them back into your unheated garage for the winter. You didn't say what kind of bulbs you purchased. Tulips can be planted outdoors as long as the ground is not frozen. Daffodils and most of the smaller bulbs need to be well rooted before the ground freezes solid or they will just rot over winter. There should be just enough warmth in your garage to allow the bulbs to develop good roots before the worst of the cold weather comes. When in the garage, they will need to be watered a few times as long as the soil is not frozen.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 9:21PM
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This brings up an interestting point about Rooting, of bulbs before winter in the colder Zones. I'm in Zone 5 and I waited until mid-November to place hyacinth and crocusses in the outdoor planter, because I was told that I wouldn't want them to Start Rooting now.

ontriative, Are you saying that Daffodils can survive a Z5 winter? I've been digging them up all the time but is it possible I could just leave then in the ground?

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 11:03AM
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Yes, most daffodils can survive Zone 5 winters. Actually, Brent and Becky Heath's website ( shows that most are hardy to Zone 4 ... and a few to Zone 3. Have a look.

Most paper whites (tazettas) are not as hardy, although a few (e.g., 'Geranium') are hardy to Zone 5.

Art Wolk

Here is a link that might be useful: Brent and Becky's Bulbs

    Bookmark   December 16, 2012 at 2:32PM
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ontnative(5b Can/USDA 4)

As Art says, most daffodils can survive zone 5 or even zone 4 with no problem as long as they are planted early enough in the fall to get well rooted before the big deep freeze. In my area (USDA z 4) I try to have all my daffodils planted by mid-October. If I purchase them on sale after that, I just pot them up for the winter and keep them in my cold cellar that first year. They will flower in my window in late winter/early spring and then be planted out in the garden in May.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 1:57PM
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