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Very warm December & Bulbs

Posted by bake-neko East Ma. (My Page) on
Thu, Dec 15, 11 at 20:45

This is my first try at a bed of bulbs since I was a kid. Dug a nice bed, got everything planted and finally mulched, and though it was a bit late in the season by the time I was done, we were having an exceptionally warm fall so it seemed things would be OK.

Now it's still warm, and no kidding I noticed yesterday after the news reported daffodils blooming, all of my bulbs are putting up shoots. In East Massachusetts, in mid December.

The spikes are between an inch and 2 inches high so far, varying from plant to plant. I don't know how I missed it before.

Heck, I have a potted rose on my deck that's still blooming.

It's not going to be this warm all winter. I'm wondering if, when the real cold finally hits, this might kill them? I doubt there's anything I can do about it now, but does anyone know of anything? I'm not having any luck searching this issue. Not this specific issue anyway...

The bulbs are Crocus (the only ones that appear to have had the sense to not sprout yet), Tulips, Hyacinth, Scylla and several varieties of Iris. I can try for better description of varietals if needed, but I'm new at this and it's been a while since I planted them.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Very warm December & Bulbs

well, except for the iris, I would just cover them up with some leaves or mulch for the winter. I don't rake my leaves up till spring for just that reason. but then I don't have a lawn only flower bulbs everywhere. your flowers should be fine, under some cover. snow won't hurt them, they like the cold. it's frost you have to worry about. that's not good for the bulbs. they could probably use a little more dirt on top of them, too. perhaps they aren't buried quite far enough. not the iris of course, they like being above ground & uncovered. by spring you should see some very pretty flowers come up.

RE: Very warm December & Bulbs

Thanks so much for the reply, aggiegrad. =)

I had planted the tulips at the bottom of the bed I dug, which was about 7 - 8" down. The hyacinth and scilla were planted at ~6", and the iris between 4 & 6" depending on what the instructions for the varietal were - except for a few of them which were larger and the instructions were to have the rhizome just peeping out of the surface.

I mulched everything under 3" of mulch when it got a little colder out. But it seems it just has not gotten cold enough here for the ground to freeze, though there have been frosts.

Normally at this time of year the nights should be in the teens and 20's Fahrenheit. The days should be in the 30's or lower most days. But we're seeing temps between 6 and 10 degrees warmer in the day, and only the last week or so have the nights gotten down to below freezing. This is the problem, I think. I picked a great year to try my first bulb bed. =)

It's a relief to know they should be OK though. We do still have some leaves in the yard, usually we do a first pass in late fall and then clear the rest in spring after thaw - there are a lot of old trees around us. I'll gather a bunch and cover the bed with them.

Thank you again! Happy Holidays! =)

RE: Very warm December & Bulbs

Hi there,
I did the same as you at my place on the cape. I planted after Thanksgiving and was actually worried it was getting too late to plant. Now my crocuses decided to bloom and all the others except the daffies are putting shoots up. I wonder if the crocuses will re-bloom in February/March when they're supposed to.

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