I bought a heap of spring-flowering bulbs, tulips mainly, last year and
never got around to planting them. They are all still in the bags they
came in and some have started to shoot. Is it too late to plant these
now? Is there a way I can store them (without planting) until next
season? We're talking about 200+ bulbs here, so something that's not
going to take a lot of time would be best. TIA...
Hi Doug, thanks for the info. Is the reason that most of them will
probably not bloom because they never got chilled, like they would have
had they been planted in the ground? The bulbs were stored in my
laundry over winter, so they probably never saw temps below about 65.
That's most of the reason, I suppose. And, they've had no time to make
roots. You may get some flowers, but don't expect miracles this year. By the
way, the reason for planting them is for moisture control. I've forgotten to
plant a few bulbs over the years. Sometimes they shrivel or get moldy, and
other times, they're fine. The reason is clearly lack of attention on my
part - I could've kept them in good shape if I'd tried. It's much easier to
just put them in the ground.
Go ahead and plant them now... if you need to do it in a hurry, scoop
out decent depression and put 'em all in, and cover with soil... you can
dig them up next fall and replant "properly". Right now, even the ones
that look dormant are metabolizing, using their stored reserves. Might as
well give them a chance to replenish what they can with photosynthesis.
There's a fair chance with storage at about 65o, they're already pretty
well through most of their reserves. Getting them in the ground now
will give them the best chance.
Oh, and if you want easy digging next fall, you can cover them with, say,
50-50 sand and compost. They'd probably appreciate a little fertilizer, too,
especially when you replant next fall.
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If you live in an area where Tulips are not Perennial (ie, not enough
cold to make them bloom), then you can pack them in shipping boxes with
tons of peat moss and store them somewhere cool (if possible). The peat
usually keeps them from rotting, the cool keeps them from sprouting.
Here in Texas, storing in a cool place is not an option if you actually
want to have food in your refrigerator. We toss them.
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