Anyone A Bulb Lover? I need advice

Hairy_Potter(z8 NWLouisiana)August 12, 2005

I live in zone 8 (NW Louisiana). We often have very mild winters (no snow, very few nights below 30F) but sometimes have moderately hard winters (some snow, temps as low as single digits for a few nights). I am wanting to incorporate bulbs this year - tulips, iris, daffodils, lilies, hyacinth, hardy cyclamen, allium, crocus, etc.

Would it be best to have a dedicated "bulb bed" or plant bulbs throughout existing beds? In my zone, will I need to keep bulbs in the fridge for awhile before planting? Will I need to dig them up each year? What fertilizers are best? I have read some books on bulbs, but find that getting suggestions from actual gardeners is best. Thanks in advance!

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greenelbows1(z9--so LA)

Well--I've gardened where it's much colder, and I've gardened down here where it's some warmer, and I gardened in about your zone in Washington State where zones can be the same as ours but gardening is wildly different, so you must take what I say with a good handful of salt. I think a lot of bulbs can be grown right in your flower beds, but be careful to mark them so you don't dig into them (as I did!). A good way is to plant something beside or even on top of them that will cover the dying foliage but not be too vigorous to crowd them out--maybe just something that comes up later. If you're growing bearded iris it would probably be as well to have them in a dedicated bed as they prefer to bake in the summer. I remember the better iris growers in Nebraska had their iris beds 'out back', as one said 'where I can just shut the gate and forget them'. I'm not sure if you'd need to pre-chill--probably not. We do, but I think you'd be enough cooler in the winter. You could ask at the Extension Service if you don't know local gardeners. I always try to make the acquaintance of good gardeners when I move, because, as you say, local gardeners have the best information. Well, except for the ones one place I lived that said I'd better learn to like plastic flowers, since that was all that would grow there. I found lots of things that grew there, and I still don't care for plastic flowers.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2005 at 1:16AM
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i started planting bulbs this last november and here we are in january,and my bulbs are fine and my asiatic lily's are looking nice

    Bookmark   January 11, 2006 at 5:04PM
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Hi,Im in Shreveport too!!All of the plants listed would not require the same treatment.Iris usually get there own bed,alliums,crocus,lilies,daffodils will be fine in your flower beds.Here in NW LA you need to refrigerate tulips and hyacinths,so they would have to be dug up and then planted around this time of year(I have to get my DDs out of my frig and plant soon)I usually just treat them as annuals,leave them in the ground and replant.The next year the old ones may come up,but no blooms and stunted leaves.JoAnn

    Bookmark   January 17, 2006 at 12:11PM
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HI! I'm in West Monroe 100 miles due east of you. I also refridge tulips only. I'm more into summer bulbs like lycoris, glads, Rainlilys. Esp La. Iris. If you check out my site below you'll see my bulbs are integrated in beds, inculding my iris. I just make sure not to overplant them and let them sun bake- no soil or mulch on top. You must try a crinum also.

Here is a link that might be useful: Gingers Flower Garden

    Bookmark   March 4, 2006 at 4:18PM
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