Bulbs Before the Ground Freezes

Bulbs Before the Ground Freezes

bulbsToday, Chicago is getting a blast of sleet, snow, and gusts of 50mph winds.  All on Halloween, and all to remind us of the coming of winter.  If you have not planted spring blooming bulbs, you should now.  By tomorrow, I feel many of the annuals will be ready for the compost or the trash.  It’ll be time to dig up summer bulbs and tubers to store for planting next Spring.

If you are a little behind or just plain forgot to plant your bulbs, you still have a few options.  You can get them into the ground as long as the ground isn’t frozen solid.  Otherwise:

Force Bulbs

  • As a good rule of thumb, most any bulb will need 15 weeks of chilling.
  • Pot up your bulbs in a container, date, and place in the back of the fridge (away from fruits and veggies).  If the fridge is full, keep them in an unheated garage or attic where temps remain between 35-40 degrees.
  • Check the moisture from time to time.  They’ll need to have some moisture to grow a root system.
  • Remove chilled bulbs and water.  In 2-3 weeks, you should see some blooms.

Keep Bulbs chilled til Spring

  • Again, plant and chill the bulbs in the fridge or unheated area.
  • Once Spring arrives and you can dig into the ground, plant your pre-chilled bulbs, or let them come up in the containers you planted them in.
  • Wait for blooms.

 

I plan on forcing these pictured above.   I know by mid February, I’ll need them!

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