Is late Nov./ early Dec. the best time to buy bulbs?

HighlanderNorthDecember 4, 2011

I was initially going to buy bulbs from a John Scheepers catalog we got in on Sept 15. But, they werent shipping til mid Oct., so I held off.

Then I went into Lowes one day in Mid October, and I saw the same variety of Daffodils(Delnashaugh) I was going to buy from Scheeper's. Only Scheepers wanted like $12 for 10 bulbs, and Lowes had them for $7.95 for 15! That means that at Scheeper's prices, the cost for 15 would've been $18, which is much more than double the price at Lowes.

So I bought them, but I procrastinated and didnt try to buy the other fall bulbs I wanted til yesterday(Dec 3rd). At that time, I went online and found that Holland bulb Farms had a clearance sale, and I bought several double and fancy tulips, Alliums, etc. for 1/2 the regular price! Plus, I found an extra coupon code that dropped the price another $3.50....

So, maybe it's best to wait til now to buy these bulbs, or else I might have paid 2 times as much or more!

I had initially worried about it being too late to plant them, but the temperature around here has been unusually warm for the last 5-6 weeks, and we've only had 1-2 minor frosts so far! It's been in the mid 50's and 60's until 3 days ago, when the high dropped down to 49 degrees. The low temps have been in the high 30's to low 50's as well, so even if I would've planted any bulbs before now, they would've been fairly warm anyway......

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It's not the BEST time to buy - bulbs should be planted a little earlier for the best reliability and performance. Sometimes clearance bulbs turn out funny the next year; if they didn't get time to root before the ground freezes, you'll get things like daffodil flowers 1 inch above the soil line.

I like to get the ones I really want early on from catalogs, which I'll pick out after doing a lot of research about the cultivar and the location I want to put them in. Paying full price for a handful of bulbs that are really well-adapted to perform in their particular spot, will reliably perennialize or even double every year is still a great deal!

But then I score a lot of really cheap ones for pennies each later in the year. They tend to be more generic tulips and daffodils that are great in the first year but not perfect for the location.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 2:20AM
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