Bulbs and Fruits

dooyensanOctober 25, 2009

Hello. I know that when you're trying to force bulbs to grow, one place to put them is in the fridge without any fruits around. I share a fridge with some people and they always have fruits (mainly grapes) in it. They won't corporate with me when I request they don't leave any fruits in the fridge for a couple of weeks. So my question is: Would the bulb still be damage if the fruits are in a container (like in a ziplock bag or Tupperware) with a lid on it? Thanks!

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iris_gal(z9 CA)

"Hello. I know that when you're trying to force bulbs to grow ................"

Umm, no, the bulbs go into the fridge to prevent them from growing. To provide a chilled dormant condition in mild winter areas.

I doubt ethylene would penetrated the tupperware container but the danger is the bulbs softening. Don't know if shredded newspaper would help? Good question.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2009 at 11:23PM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

Faced with the same problem on a yearly basis, I opted for a small(four cubic feet)refrigerator, reserved just for bulbs, seeds, and scion wood. It is simple and cheap, about $100, manual defrost, so much less drying effect. Have had about 10 years and just unplug when not needed. Al

    Bookmark   October 26, 2009 at 9:05AM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

Hi dooyensan,

Welcome to Garden Web and The Bulb Forum.

Where are you located? If you will put your location in the one box provided for the garden zone in your profile, it will be shown on your Member Page and will also automatically be shown whenever you post on the forums. Having one's location is usually quite helpful when asking and answering questions. See I am zone 5/6 S IN
Just click on the Member Pages link found in the green banner at the bottom of any page and follow the links from there to update your member Profile.

Now, assuming, you 'might' be in a cooler zone, might you be able to leave then in an unheated garage for their chill time, or a crawl space, or a protected area somewhere outside, or with family or a friend?

Would you putting your bulbs in sealed containers in the frig maybe be a better option that asking others to seal up all of their fruits and veggies?


    Bookmark   October 26, 2009 at 9:22AM
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Put the bulbs and/or the fruit in those Debby Meyer Greenbags. They are specially treated to absorb ethylene gas. They really do an amazing job keeping produce fresh, and I think they would help prevent the ethylene from fruit from damaging the bulbs.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2009 at 8:54PM
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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

I can tell you from sad experience that your bulbs will not like being in a refrigerator with fruit. I have ordered pre-chilled bulbs from Brent and Becky's in the past and there's no comparison with my home-chilled bulbs. They are oh so much better. I am currently keeping my eyes open for a dorm size fridge like Al mentioned. That really seems to be the way to go if I want to grow tulips in the southeast. As chemocurl points out, it is very helpful for you to provide us with your zone and the state where you garden. Depending on where you live and what bulbs you are trying to grow, chilling may not even be necessary.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2009 at 12:20PM
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flower_addict88(7A NC)

What about if in a fridge the bulbs are in the bottom two crisper drawers away from the fruit?


    Bookmark   October 27, 2009 at 10:55PM
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Thanks for all the tips and responds. I wish I could afford a mini fridge but I can't right now. I've asked around and my sister said she would be willing to let me put my bulbs in her fridge for a couple of weeks. So I guess problem solved.

Since I'm completely new to forcing bulbs I do have a question. When you are using just water and pebbles to force hyacinth bulbs, do you start off the first 12 weeks or so by just leaving them in the fridge in a bag of some sort and THEN take them out into a warm spot and put water and pebbles? Or can you place them in the fridge already with water and pebbles and wait until the roots appears?

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   October 28, 2009 at 2:22AM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

For bulb chilling 6 weeks should be considered the MINIMUM time. Modern refrigerators defrost themselves and circulate the air throughout with a fan. There is no place in the refrigerator safe from the gas produced by ripening fruit. Al

    Bookmark   October 28, 2009 at 8:54AM
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And it's not just fruit that produces ethylene - a number of vegetables also emit this gas. Really, the only safe place to chill bulbs is in a refrigerator dedicated to this purpose or a wine/beverage cooler.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2009 at 12:40PM
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Do decorative alliums need a chill before planting?
I have grown them previously in zone 5 successfully but last year I planted them ( in zone 8 ) and they produced blooms miserably, even though we had an unusually cold winter. Thanks for any suggestions.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2014 at 10:00AM
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