Early snow, still have bulbs to plant :-(

greenhavenrdgardenOctober 29, 2011

Ok, so I am in CT and we are having the earliest snow storm I have ever seen. We have over a foot on the ground. I still have about 200 daffodil bulbs (various kinds) waiting to go in the ground. When this snow melts and our regular fall weather returns can I plant them or are they done? I hate to think that only 2/3rds of my yard is planted.

Thanks in advance,


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You can still plant them!

The reason we plant bulbs in the fall is because other plants are dead so it's easier to get access the ground, and because they begin developing and growing underground over the fall and winter, so like to have some time to develop roots before the ground freezes.

This is a freak snowstorm, but under the snow the ground is no colder than it would have been if it had never snowed - in fact, snow insulates like a blanket, so it might even keep the ground warm longer this year than it would be in other years. As soon as the snow melts you can plant your bulbs and the ground will be nice and soft for you (hopefully it won't be too muddy).

    Bookmark   October 29, 2011 at 11:22PM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

Not to worry...you will have quite a bit of time to plant yet once the snow melts off. The temps at the link below for New Haven look pretty sunny and nice this week.

The only time I get stressed about finishing up, is when the ground freezes due to low night time temps and the daytime warmer temps and sun aren't enough to thaw it out.

Happy Planting!


Here is a link that might be useful: New Haven CT weather forecast

    Bookmark   October 30, 2011 at 1:46PM
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Thanks for the help. I am a little worried bc I planted so much this fall (i'm in a new house). I was thinking that my plants and bulbs are ruined. Maybe the plants still have a chance? They've been in the ground a few weeks. If nothing else, I'll have my bulbs but I hate to think the ton of money/time I spent getting my garden ready for next year was a waste!

    Bookmark   October 30, 2011 at 4:18PM
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katob Z6ish, NE Pa

It wasn't a waste! I've still got some perennials, bushes and trees to plant and transplant and I'm not at all worried.

Unless the temps really drop, I'll be moving stuff until thanksgiving and beyond if the weather stays decent. Once the ground freezes down two or three inches I'll give up. Some years I've cracked through a couple inches of frozen crust to get bulbs in and they did perfectly fine the next spring.

The snow reallly doesn't make a person want to garden though (me at least)... I was eyeing christmas decorations instead.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2011 at 8:17PM
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A snowy winter will be much, much better for newly-planted flowers and bulbs than a cold and dry one!

It wouldn't be crazy to see the snow as a positive thing for perennials in their first year. It's moisture for your plants and it insulates the soil to help them grow roots and establish, while at the same time chilling the tops so they put their energy into root growth rather than leaves.

The biggest danger to new plants is frost heave - when freeze/thaw cycles push them up out of the ground and expose the roots. Wet snow cover stops freeze-thaw cycles; it keeps the soil surface really stable at 33 or 34 degrees just below the snow itself. The snow itself is, of course, below 32 degrees.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2011 at 11:14PM
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