lily bulbs in bulb crates

carinb(6b)March 11, 2008

I have been growing cuts for market for 3 years now, but this is the first year that I am growing lily bulbs in bulb crates. Just wanted to know how many bulbs per crate you all are planting. The orientals are bigger, of course, and the asiatics are smaller. Didn't know if I could really pack them in or if I should do more like 12-13 bulbs per crate. Thanks in advance.


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goodscents(z5 MI)

I've done around 20 with no problems but I usually order the smallest available size for each variety (usually 12-14cm). You can probably also ask whoever you ordered the bulbs from.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2008 at 1:17PM
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Hi Carin, I usually put 16 in a crate, a milk crate that is. There are also the large crates that the bulbs usually ship in and these can hold alot more, I get 28 in mine, but like Kirk, I use the smaller bulbs, 12-14cm. Good luck, they should do really well for you. Mine have been a huge success and so convenient. Kat

    Bookmark   March 11, 2008 at 7:18PM
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Sorry to dig up an old post but if anyone can help me with more details on crating lilies for cut flowers id really appreciate the expertise. I'm curious about what everyone does with them in the winter... leave out, bring in, etc. Also a good source for the crates and what you prefer for planting medium. Thanks so much!

    Bookmark   September 16, 2011 at 7:37AM
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diggerdee zone 6 CT

Jennyrey, I'm glad you brought this back up. I too grow in crates, and I have been looking without much success for information how to store the bulbs over winter.

I usually store the crates, still planted, in my garage. Other than a bit of rodent damage (nothing too bad, knock on wood), they do fine and I bring them out in the spring. Top them off a bit (I usually just use Pro-Mix) and put them out to grow.

However, as I add to my crate collection, I want to try to stagger bloom time - it's useless to me to have 300 lilies bloom the same week. So I want to try to find out about possibly digging and storing the bulbs and then replanting them in succession. I even asked Ednie (where I get my bulbs from) for suggestions but they never replied.

If anyone has any suggestions I'd love to hear them!


P.S. Jennyrey, I get my crates from Ednie, also.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 9:44AM
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Dee thanks for the reply! Ive had a lot of trouble finding info about over wintering in the crates too. I had figured we'd move them into one of our unheated storage/production areas for the winter, but I'm starting to wonder if they'd be better left outside with snow cover for water and insulation ... I'm zone 5 bordering on 4b here in NY, so even inside the temps can get pretty bitter cold. Plus lets face it its a lot easier than lugging crates in and out! I'm getting short on time to make the decision about how to overwinter my lilies now that its late September, so if anyone has any thoughts or expertise on that's particular subject id be grateful to hear it!
PS, Dee one of the bulbs companies I've worked with has a shipping plan where you can buy all your bulbs at once and they ship sections of your order staggered throughout the season so you can stagger your bloom times. Its especially nice if you're like me and don't have a cooler. I'm not sure if Ednie offers that option but its worth asking... shipping is a little more, but having a more even flow of bloom time is worth it.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2011 at 8:29AM
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diggerdee zone 6 CT

Jennyrey, I have left some crates outside over the winter. It wasn't on purpose, but they got caught in the snow and that was that. The bulbs outside did pretty much just as well as the inside-the-garage crates. Maybe even a tad better, as they didn't have rodents trying to live in them, lol.

If you have reliable snow cover, and perhaps can put the crates against a wall or something like that, maybe outside will work. But you are a zone (almost 2) colder than I am so I won't give any definite recommendations - but I certainly wish you the best!

That's a great idea about asking for staggered shipping. the only thing is I wanted to stagger the bulbs I already have too. I can plant the new bulbs later than the ones I have already, but soon I will be at the point where I won't really be ordering new bulbs, so I will have to stagger the existing ones.

Don't know why it's so hard to find info on this. Lots of people must do it, I would think.


    Bookmark   September 25, 2011 at 9:35PM
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Lol lots of people with coolers I bet! Might be time to invest in one... I don't see why you couldn't dig them and store to stagger bloom times, after all isn't that what the big bulb suppliers are essentially doing just on a much larger scale.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2011 at 9:14PM
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diggerdee zone 6 CT

Yes, but I wanted more specific info on storing - can I use a regular refrigerator? What temp? How about humidity?

These are the things I want to find out before I dig up, store, and possibly lose (lol) 200 lilies. Can't seem to find that specific info. I don't have a great history with storing tubers such as dahlias, so I don't want to risk my lily bulbs without further information.


    Bookmark   October 1, 2011 at 11:50PM
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I found some information on another bulletin board posted by a rep from a major lily company. He stated that the bulbs need a minimum of 1000 hours of cooling and then they keep them stored at 28 -29 degrees fahrenheit in a freezer for a planned forcing schedule. Hope this may shed some light on those wanting to take last years bulbs and try to schedule them for later use.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2011 at 7:35PM
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diggerdee zone 6 CT

Thanks so much, rjanders. Wow, 29 degrees! Seems like they would freeze and turn to mush. But maybe I'll try it with a few, to check it out. The 1000 hours of cooling is no problem - winter is way longer than that, lol.


    Bookmark   October 5, 2011 at 2:49PM
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bfff_tx(z8b TX)

RAnders is referring to the bulletin Board of the ASCFG. I have posted the topic entitled
"Succession Planting Lillies" - each poster begins with >>>> and ends in >>>I'm guessing that when pre-cooled lily bulbs are shipped, they "wake up," and cannot be further delayed by placing in a cooler for a few weeks. In other words, I can't receive a shipment of 200, and immediately plant just 50 in crates and store the rest in the cooler to plant in batches every couple of weeks or so. Has anyone been able to do this?>>>zone 5 Nebraska on Tues, September 27, 2011
Yes, you can do it! There is of course a limit to how long you can hold them and that can vary by variety.They can also be planted into bulb crates and put into the cooler and then pulled out at intervals to stagger them out.>>>>Zone 7, MD on Tues, September 27, 2011
Depending on how long lily bulbs are in transit, and the temperature during transit, lily bulbs may still be partially frozen when they arrive. You'll want to let them thaw completely before planting - don't try to pull them apart while frozen. Once they thaw out, the'll "wake up". You can plant some and hold some in the cooler for a short period of time. You want to get them planted before stem shoots start to sprout. Every variety is different, with some sprouting in a few days, and some taking much longer. The same variety can change throughout the year depending how long they have been held at the suppliers freezer. If you hold some bulbs in the cooler to extend your planting time, be sure to keep an eye on them and be ready to plant them if they start to sprout.>>>>>>>

>>>>>Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - 02:09 am:
Can someone advise me on a lily problem I had? I received some lily bulbs several weeks back, but didn't check each bag thoroughly upon arrival. I immediatly did open the crate and set each variety out in a dark air-conditioned room. Upon opening a couple of the varieties a couple of days later, some of the bulbs looked dry and freezer burned. Needless to say most of those didn't come up and the ones that did turned brown. I planted them in Promix-BX in very clean/bleached crates. The other lilies are doing good. In the 106-110 F. weather that they arrived in, the bulbs on the outside edges of the crate were warm. Can someone advise me if I should have done something differently? Could the freezer burn have been from the shipping conditions? Should I accept bulbs like this in the future? Since I didn't inspect them closely enough the 1st day, I didn't bother to call the supplier. I am not always sure what should be acceptable.>>>>> Wednesday, September 28, 2011 -
Does anyone have experience with programming their own lily bulbs? I can no longer use the pre-programmed ones until I find an organic source. What are my chances of success if I re-plant those I have in crates, put them outside, place in cooler probably Feb/March,and bring out in succession? Any resources you can point me to? Experience with this? Not sure I'll have a big enough cooler!>>>>>>>Wednesday, September 28, 2011 -
If you replant the lilium bulbs you have outside then they will naturalize/perenialize and will be starting to bloom in their natural cycle next spring. Most of the lilies bloom from late spring into the early summer period. If you want to time crops, then you have to give lilium bulbs a minimum of 1000 hours of cooling and after that you need to freeze them in at 28-29 fahrenheit to keep them stored for a prolonged period, and bring them out on a planned forcing schedule. A BIG enough freezer is what you will need, NOT just a big enough cooler. The cooler you will need for your flower storage. And for the question above about the lilybulbs, by all means please contact your supplier and discuss the issue you have. The day when a customer thinks that a supplier should not be bothered, is NOT the day that I want to see happen.>>>>>Thursday, September 29, 2011 -
I get a shipment of lily bulbs every two weeks. I plant all the bulbs into crates as soon as they arrive. During warmer months I put half the crates into the cooler for one to two weeks and half the crates go into the greenhouse. The cooler slows down the time the lilies take to sprout which helps stagger their bloom time. The longest I've kept planted lilies in the cooler has been three weeks. I have noticed that some varieties, especially when it's very hot catch up to the other lilies and they all bloom at once anyway. Sorry, I don't know which varieties.>>>>>Iowa, Zone 5 on Friday, September 30, 2011 -
We do the same as K..., except that we put all of them in the cooler for two weeks as that gives them more time to develop roots before they hit the heat. This year because we had a very cool time, which slowed the early ones, and then a very hot spell which accelerated the later ones, we picked three separate plantings is about a weeks time. Nuts!!!!!!!>>>>>Zone 7, TN oanon Monday, October 03, 2011 -
I also store in cooler a week or two and then plant out to stagger, but another method we use is to cut when in bud and store in refrigerator. I can delay bloom a couple weeks that way. We have to keep our cooler at 44 or it frosts over and lilies open at that temp so we use extra frig at lower setting

>>>>>Iowa, Zone 5 on Tuesday, October 04, 2011 -
? at what 'bud stage' are you harvesting? I know that the ones that are brought in are usually cut green and are not as nice as 'vine ripened'. I usually try to harvest about the day before they open naturally and then can hold some varieties for over a week or two in the cooler (38). There are a few that do not like that treatment.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2011 at 11:33PM
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diggerdee zone 6 CT

Thank you, Kim, for that added info. I need to make a decision soon as to what I am going to do! I think I will dig up a few crates and experiment a bit - some in the cooler, some in the freezer - and see how things turn out in the spring.

Thank you!

    Bookmark   October 24, 2011 at 3:41PM
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What type of soil do ya'll use?

I planted asiatic and oriental lilies in ground and crates.

On 11/30th, I crated 6 crates of lilies (3 asiatics @ 20per, 3orientals @ 15per), and stored them inside our barn that once used to be a potato barn. Cemented. Dark. Pretty big--so i think it get enough circulation. The soil that I used was a mix of native land's loam (which is very fertile) and organic compose. I hope the mix is sufficient for these lilies to grow and bloom.

I read a lot about lilies requiring drainage....the compost i incorporated in the soil has a lot of shells, so i hope everything else will cooperate.

Something about the soil mixture is bothering me though...will compaction be pretty bad that the roots won't be able to grow by the time spring arrives?

I watered the crates before storing them in the barn. Do i continue watering the crates over the winter?

i have also planted triumph tulips in succession. (a week from apart) should i expect them to come up at once anyway?

your help is greatly appreciated.

newbie grower, long-time bloom lover.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2013 at 2:33PM
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