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refrigerated bulbs in paper bags?

Posted by shinyalloy_5 5 IN (My Page) on
Sat, Feb 6, 10 at 11:36

I have some bulbs (species tulips and crocus) that I had stored in my unheated shed waiting for that one last warm day that never came. Realizing the ground was frozen I moved them to paper bags in my fridge the first week of Dec.

My question is what would be the best course of action. Should I pot them up and try growing them inside? Would it be better to put them in soil and move them back to the unheated shed? Is forcing an option? or do I just put them in the ground the next time I can work the soil?

Any suggestions welcome, except tossing them. There will be no money to replace these in the upcoming year. Since my layoff I've only been able to find part time work for minimum wage. The recession has hit this manufacturing town hard.
I will gladly do whatever it takes to save these bulbs even if it means no blooms the first year. Thank heavens I got most of them in the ground before it was too late.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: refrigerated bulbs in paper bags?

I'd plant them in pots now, water them, and take them to the unheated shed for a week or so and then put them outside or put them outside right away (just be sure they're not too close to where squirrels can get to them). When they come up in the spring, enjoy them and let them "complete their course" and then lift the bulbs, store them in the unheated shed, and put them in the ground in the fall. On another note, hopefully things on the job front improve for you.

RE: refrigerated bulbs in paper bags?

Thanks, I went ahead and potted them up today and moved them to the shed. I do hope they make it. Most of the bulbs looked to be in good shape, only one had mold on it.

RE: refrigerated bulbs in paper bags?

You'd be better to remove them from their pots and plant them in the ground as best you can.
Digging into the soil now might not be too tough, once you get down below a couple inches I think you will find its much easier and where you cant, then use potting soil mounded up the required depth of your bulbs.
Water them as you would normally. They should do something for you this spring in normal growing.
Let them wither as they would normally also and when the foliage has gone brown, dig them up, and plant them in their normal fashion.
They may only produce foliage, with no, or possibly poor flowering.

Putting them into a pot, watering them as they require, invites the soil to completely freeze.
The bulbs have to produce roots before they can ever produce foliage and flowering. In a pot, they will not be able to withstand the freezing temperatures, and without roots will rot once the mild temperatures of spring arrives.

RE: refrigerated bulbs in paper bags?

Thanks so much for all the advice. I did go ahead and put them in my shed (not actually a shed but an exterior closet on my house 3 interior walls) My husband broke my thermometer so I can not tell the actual temp. in there but I estimate it stay between 48-65 degrees most of the winter, still I'd like to pick up a new thermometer just to be sure. I didn't have as many pots as I would have liked so they're packed in awful tight. I really do want to get them in the ground as soon as I can break dirt with a shovel. I'll probably need to harden them off to get them adjusted to the light and cold. Although, there is a window on the door, I don't believe it gets any direct sunlight throughout the day.

Now for the best part. They've started sprouting!
crocus &tulips
I have a few sprouts of each of my tulips and crocus except my mammoth crocus (still holding out hope for them)

RE: refrigerated bulbs in paper bags?

they look really good! I wish I had as good luck with my own potted bulbs...

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