Best Fall Bublbs

mainerose(4)September 12, 2004

I am innundated with catalogs for bubls, but my experience in this area has not been positive. Do you have a favorite local or mail order source? I'm especaillyu looking for snow corcus (crocii?) and daffodils. Hope to plants lots of them this fall so price is a consideration. What are your favorite suppliers? Any tips on planting, fertilizing, etc.

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veilchen(5b southern Maine)

I like Scheepers. Very good quality, good-size bulbs.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2004 at 7:06AM
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gardengardengardenga

SELLECTION OF BULBS
go to holland and pick your own if you are able.

I hope to some day....but that day is not in sight yet!

The way it was explained to me is that most all these bulbs are suppied from Holland. Companies participate in a lottery each year to see who get first choice in the quality and size or the pick of the best sort of say. They try to keep it fair in the business that way. That way nobody has control of the best, except for the folks in Holland.

My understanding is that you find out who won the best choice selection and go with that company- for that year...How you find out, well that part I am not really sure. My supplier told me this story, a few years ago when they were excited as they were given high choice for selection that year.

I guess what I am saying is that if you go with the same company every year there may come a year where you may get heart broken with the selection, but that it may (?) improve the following year....its just the cycle of plants and the business world of plants. Supposeably everyone has to take their share with the least wanted bulbs.

For instance, one year all the bulbs I recieved were beautifully large and full, nice and firm. Then 2 years later almost every box had blue mold and some were beyond hope. (Could have been the climate, too) These were all from the same company. I believe some companies just order direct from Holland and never see the actual bulbs as they ship direct to an outlet(retailer) as to fill orders. So they just trust the outcome to be a good risk.

Sorry for the long wind, I offered you not what you asked, my apologies and I hope only to warn you what to expect in the business.

I would hope that any reputable business would exchange or trade if you were unhappy with your bulbs.

PLANTING
When planting bulbs, either use a good compost or bone meal ( bone meal is controversal item these days it seems, and dogs will dig up your bulbss looking for the "bone" if there are free walking dogs in your area.

When planting bulbs there are different depths for the different type of bulb.

For Daffs I like to get lots and throw them up in the air on my lawn and just plant where they fall- 6" deep. I have always use bone meal scratch a little in the bottom of the hole and plant the bulb with the pointed side up and the hairy end down (roots). This year however, I will ot be using bone meal any longer, but instead will just use a good home made compost!

It may make Spring lawn mowing a bit of a challenge though. lol but the effects seem worth it to me.

Daffs can also be planted where deer may be a problem to help train them not to eat there. Daffs are toxic like and the deer generally leave it alone except under desparate situations.

Tulip bulbs are a favorite of mice and other rodents. After planting I wait until after the ground has frozen and then apply evergreen boughs heavy on top. This KEEPS the ground frozen. If you were to apply the boughs earlier before the ground freezes you will create a nice insultated home for mice and such who will be happy to eat on all your bulbs protected from the frost instead of keeping the ground frozen. You may not have as much a problem in zone 4 though.

Do get the bulbs into the ground before it freezes, if you miss then keep the bulbs in a cold protected closet or shed in several paper bags until the ground is workable to plant.

I heard that Disney puts their bulbs in a refridgerator or freezer with paper insulation to simulate the winter period (generaly 4 to 10 weeks) plants them as to bloom during their winters. Delphiniums are done this way too

If you plant along side a foundation of stone or cement that is mostly in sun all day...your blooms will come on sooner than if planted out ohterwise. Large boulders also hold the Spring heat and help bring blooms along earlier, too.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2004 at 11:30PM
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mainerose(4)

Thanks, Veilchen---I'll check out the source you suggested. And Gardengardengardenga--Wow! I knew about "Tulipmania" when tulips were first introduced, but had no idea that the bulb business was still so competitive. Thank you so much for you planting tips as well as the info on suppliers. Like Disney, I, too, have forced bulbs, although probably not in the same quantities :) However, it gives me a real lift to bring a couple of pots of bulbs up from the cellar in February or March and watch them bloom in the middle of one of our wonderful late snowstorms. Thanks again for the info. . .

    Bookmark   September 14, 2004 at 5:19PM
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