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Bulb help needed

Discussion in 'Flowers & Roses' started by TwinCitiesPanda, Mar 15, 2019.

  1. Mar 15, 2019
    TwinCitiesPanda

    TwinCitiesPanda Attractive To Bees

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    hello all! I just received two types of bulbs I ordered on seed savers exchange, dahlias and daffodils. The daffodils already have green tops on them, the dahlias look a bit less advanced. Embarrassingly enough, I didn’t know they were bulbs and not seeds.


    My ground is still covered in snow and frozen solid, so what do I do with these guys? They arrived in damp paper towels in plastic. Do I keep them in the fridge or garage? Go ahead and plant them in a pot inside? Any bulb advice would be great!
     
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  2. Mar 15, 2019
    flowerbug

    flowerbug Garden Addicted

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    i don't know anything about dahlias. my guess is that keeping them cool and in the dark is ok as long as they aren't actively rotting. a few weeks... the other thing you could do is pot them up in gallon pots and keep them in a sunny window until later when the ground and the outside is warm enough to put them in the ground where you want them to be.
     
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  3. Mar 15, 2019
    ducks4you

    ducks4you Garden Master

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    I have been one of those--like the experts on the panel on Mid American Gardener--who buys bulbs and then forgets about them. If I am Lucky I remember to put them in the ground in December, (or August for summertime bulbs) and not find them until the next March!!
    ALL bulbs need to stay moist. IF they are good to go for your zone, then the ground will keep them from drying out. If not, then you have annuals, like we do Here with gladiolas, although I have had a few survive our winters if they are protected and heavily mulched.
    Keep them in the package, but keep the package in a dry and dark and COOL place bc the package has the correct moisture and you don't want to rot them. Don't know about Dahlias, but daffodils (I think) can be grown in zone 3. It is a spring bulb, should have been planted last Fall, will STILL do fine, only you may Not get any flowers this year. But, GOOD NEWS!!! All bulbs that survive and thrive double every year!! One daffodil will be 2 next year, 4 in 2021, etc. Those that do not flower this year, but are in the ground will flower next year, so be patient with them.
    I dug up my front bed next to the sidewalk last summer. I had planted daffodils, tulips and some other bulbs, but the bed had weeds and some compaction, so I cleaned it out. I found a TON of bulbs. My next door neighbor wanted some, and I gave her the biggest ones. I looked out this week and even the tiny ones are breaking ground. She is not a gardener and asked me about "forcing" her new bulbs. I suspect that she let them all dry out bc I don't see any coming up in Her bed this spring.
    Another story--I bought crocus bulbs in 2018 and started them inside. They came up, never flowered, but died back in my guest bedroom. I was cleaning out pots in January, 2019, and it looked like about 6 of them had NOT dried out, so I put them in a pot on top of the fridge and they grew. The soil that they were in was dry as a bone, but they survived.
    I found some bulbs in my basement that weren't so lucky. They were left in the original packaging and they dried out and died. They were hard as a rock.
    So, the lesson is, don't forget about these bulbs. Do your dahlia research, but the daffodils can go right into the ground NOW, or as soon as you can dig the holes for them. TRY to put them 3x as deep as they are wide, BUT, BULBS WILL DIG THEMSELVES DEEPER if you have planted them too shallow. They are the most excellent way to grow flowers if you don't have a lot of experience. Too bad the flowers are seasonal.
     
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  4. Mar 15, 2019
    flowerbug

    flowerbug Garden Addicted

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    some bulbs will arrange themselves to the depth they prefer and others will not. right now i have several thousand daffodills that are at the surface because they've been ignored for so long. i did get some moved last year when i was working on a garden, but there are so many more that need it.

    tulips and crocusses seem to change their depth more, but even certain ones of those won't move much once they're over their initial seeding stage. chipmunks raid my crocuses too often. :( and the deer will chomp on the tulips too.

    i've always had this fantasy of going up and down the road here and poking some in every 10ft along the edge (near the ditch where it won't get run over quite so much and hopefully not mowed too early so it could flower again next year). alas, i never quite get to it (which is why i now call it a fantasy :) ).
     
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  5. Mar 15, 2019
    ducks4you

    ducks4you Garden Master

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    I forgot to say that you should dig bigger holes than you need and mix the soil with compost before planting them. If you do this your bulbs will have a great big mass of roots and be very healthy. :D
     
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  6. Mar 15, 2019
    digitS'

    digitS' Garden Master

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    I wonder about the legitimacy of selling "spring-blooming" bulbs in late winter.

    Misled on the dahlias? LINK The link will have information on the "storage organs" of various plants but dahlia seed is also sold.

    If the roots look good in the middle of March, they probably have a good chance of making it to the time when you can get them in the ground. The roots absolutely should not freeze nor come close to it. If the buds begin to grow, that can be okay. Try your best to get them planted when they can be without breaking those shoots.

    Year after year, my dahlia roots spend the winter in peat moss. They are on the floor of the basement where it is 47°f right now, about 5' off the floor. It might be cooler on the floor.

    Steve
     
  7. Mar 16, 2019
    thistlebloom

    thistlebloom Garden Master

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    I started dahlias early in pots indoors last year. Worked out really well, because they bloomed earlier in the summer than they ordinarily would here, if set out in the ground at the correct time.
    I kept them indoors and hardened them off like any other plant before planting in large decorative containers.

    I think you could also pot up the daffs and set them outside immediately to let them start when the weather told them to. Even when bulbs come up in the spring, then get buried with snow, they just sort of keep time until the days warm up again.
     
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  8. Mar 16, 2019
    TwinCitiesPanda

    TwinCitiesPanda Attractive To Bees

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    Everyone, thank you so much for your bulb wisdom! From what you’ve all shared, I think what I’ll do is go ahead and plant them in large pots indoors and harden them off before placing the pots outdoors in late April or early May. My last frost date is mid May.

    I had hoped to put them in my garden beds (still might) but my zone research tells me I have to dig them up in fall/early winter anyway as they won’t make it through winter here. Thanks for all the help. I’m glad I asked, as putting them in the garage as I considered would have frozen and killed them pretty darn quick.
     
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  9. Mar 16, 2019
    thistlebloom

    thistlebloom Garden Master

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    Dahlias will need digging for sure 'Panda, but the daffodils should overwinter just fine in the ground.
     
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