when to stop watering bulbs

jmac_2008October 23, 2008

This is the first year I'm planting bulbs, and I'm hoping to plant some fall bulbs this week. All of the instructions I have for fall planting advise watering well after putting the bulbs in the ground.

My question is when do I stop watering the newly planted bulbs? I think the first frost in my area will be around mid November or Thanksgiving.

Thanks in advance for your inputs.

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At this time of year - when evaporation from hot sunlight is minimal - watering once thoroughly after planting is sufficient. In my climate, I even skip that as fall rains will be around momentarily :-))

    Bookmark   October 23, 2008 at 4:08PM
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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

Same here. I don't recall that I have ever watered bulbs.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2008 at 6:43PM
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vetivert8(NI-NZ zone 9a)

Agree with gardengal48. It's to get the bulb roots started before the first frost in places where the frost will arrive ahead of any significant end of summer rains. Once the roots have started the bulb closes down for the winter and goes into 'anti-freeze' mode. Usually the roots start months before the green shows above the soil.

For those of us with autumn rains and temperate weather - it's not something we need to do, but it is very important for gardeners who work with the inner continental extremes.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2008 at 4:34AM
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I'm in zone 4 and was wondering the same thing. I actually just planted my first ever bulbs today. I'm hoping that they will come up in Spring. I watered them after planting them, and would like to know if I shouldn't water them again... and just let them be until they sprout.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2008 at 4:52PM
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vetivert8(NI-NZ zone 9a)

If you know by physically checking that the water you applied did not get down as far as the bulbs - not enough, very parched soil - whatever - then it could be useful to add a little more.

If you dug the hole/s, watered the bottom, then placed your bulbs - you probably don't need to add any more.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2008 at 1:23AM
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ladychroe(z6 NJ)

I don't even bother watering mine in at all, unless we're having a very dry fall and no rain is predicted.

I've planted thousands of bulbs without watering and they always come up fine. I imagine too much water could make them rot, though.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2008 at 11:35AM
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Thanks to everyone for these very helpful responses. The instructions that come with the bulbs are too vague.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2008 at 4:51PM
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