Questions about growing bulbs in containers.

I live near Boston in Zone 6. Currently I am growing some vegetables and herbs in my containers. When they are done for the summer, I want to replace the soil and plant bulbs.
I am thinking of growing crocus, hyacinths and tulips.
Will the bulbs grow in the spring? My containers are made of plastic and they are big. I have the option of storing them in the basement. If I do that, when should I take them outside?
If they can make it through our winters in containers, should/could I allow snow to pack on them and stay for long periods?
Any recommendations on a mail order store for bulbs, such as Parks?
Thanks for your help!
Reneeshay
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It worked for me most of the time, in Rochester NY, zone 5. The only problem I occasionally had was when the first big freeze was preceded by heavy rain. The soil in the pots got soaked, froze, expanded, and cracked the pots. But, that happened just once or twice in 20 years. Be prepared to inspect the pots in February, *before* the soil defrosts. This way, if a pot is cracked, you can move the lump of soil into a new pot without it falling apart and dumping your bulbs all of the place.
Yes - you want snow cover. Based on my experience, crocuses don't suffer much if they bloom early, but the others - unknown. Around here, crocuses sometimes send up a few leaves if the weather turns briefly mellow in January. They quickly figure out that it's too early, and they come back later. At the end of winter, keep an eye on your pots. If it's warm enough to melt the snow, and that's followed by tons of rain, make sure the soil's not becoming mud. If necessary, move them under the eaves or some other partial shelter.
Try this for some really interesting bulbs: www.whiteflowerfarm.com It's a retail place *and* a mail-order outfit, in Litchfield, CT. But, be very careful with the web site. Whatever you do, avoid the "Fall Blooming Bulbs" page. Otherwise, you might be exposed to 4 varieties of Colchicum and end up spending more money than you budgeted. Great plants, but don't look at them.
If you accidentally click the "Bulbs for Shade" section, cover your eyes before you run across Erythronium, also known as the Trout Lily. On the same page, you should avoid reading about Anemones and Chiondoxa. How many pots do you have room for?
For some of the common tulip, crocus & hyacinth varieties, you're probably better off just going to a local garden center. If White Flower sells the same varieties, they're probably overpriced. Look there for the stuff you won't find easily in local stores. If you'd like to browse another source, try:
www.dutchbulbs.com This is van Bourgondien, a very old supplier of bulbs. Their quantity deals used to be quite good, but I haven't done any comparisons in many years.
-Doug
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com (Reneeshay) wrote in message

Best to plunge the pots in soil up to the rim and give them a good cover of mulch because if the pots sit on the surface they won't benefit from the warmth of the ground. A few good freeze thaw cycles and the bulbs turn to mush. After they have had a good 8 weeks or more of cold you can pry them out of the ground and force them on a cool porch or windowsill.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com (Reneeshay) wrote in message

I don't think you need to replace the soil. I just use the leftover soil to plant bulbs. They all seem to grow fine. I have to stake hyacinths.

I don't know. I put them in my insulated garage in zone 5. I bring them inside the house once they sprout break the soil. They flower beautifully inside during winter. I have some planted in the ground for the spring.
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