Madgardener's post is a good lead-in to my question. :-)
I bought a huge bag of fancyish tulip bulbs on clearance in late November
because the weather had been warmer than usual and the ground was still
soft. Well, the very night that I bought them the temperature plunged and
the ground froze. The bulbs are still in the bag in my basement. The weather
has been unseasonably warm the whole month of January, but still below
freezing. Is it worth refrigerating the bulbs and then planting them at the
first thaw in spring?
You don't have to refrigerate them if they've been in the basement. I would
think the basement is cool. Go down there and sort thru them, feeling them
to check for softness and dry, dead ones. No moldy ones allowed either.
Or should I plant them now in a huge pot and sit it out in the garage
(where it will take a *long* time to freeze if the weather holds.) Or should
I throw them away? I only paid a couple of dollars for 70 bulbs, but I hate
to throw *anything* out. (you should see my basement) Bob
I vote that you go to the local Lowes or Home Despot and get some good
bagged soil and pot them babies up. Make sure they're seven inches deep,
which means a good size pot of course. If you have any bulb food leftover,
sprinkle it around the bulbs before you topdress them, and firm the soil
good. Water it really well until it's all drained and set them in the
garage and let them discover that they're really in SOIL!!woo hoo!!!!! and
you might start seeing little green tongues poking up when the weather
finally starts acting like Spring in yer neck of the woods.
The neat thing about potted tulips is that you can bring a few into the
house where it's warm and force them to enjoy when you're going nuts for
color, and the rest you can just let them grow as they discover it's truely
spring. You will then have a choice. Either leave them in the pots and put
them around your yard and porch and what not, or gently tip them into holes
and plug them into the garden to finish out their time in the real ground.
You don't HAVE to do that, but it would be instant pockets of tulips. What
kind of fancy tulips? Parrots and Peony tulips will do wonderfully the
first year, fair the second year and compost the third. Lily tulips on the
other hand might actually return for you if you feed them granulated bulb
food in the fall. I have a Marilyn tulip that returns for me from a
container she lives in at the end of the sidewalk, but I think that it's two
reasons......she's a tender "perennial" tulip, and I feed her and all the
other bulbs in the fall with granulated food. (and she's seven inches deep
in the pot!) Let us know what colors and kinds and how they do. You'll
have a blast potting up those bulbs.
by the way, in pots, you can plant them "cheek to jowl" and they won't mind.
If you decide to plug some of the pots in once the ground is soft enough to
dig that hole for them, the closeness won't matter either. It will depend on
what kinds of tulips you got that will tell wheather they'll return. For a
sale and some smiles, you did great!!.