Planting Tulips - now?

mrscoyleNovember 7, 2006

We just moved to a new home and I ordered a TON ( A TON ) of bulbs. Have planted them all. When I placed these ordered I also got a bunch of FREE tulip bulbs. They have not arrived in the mail yet (of course, what do you expect for free). What I want to know is how late can I plant these bulbs. It's getting cold, fast! If I can't plant them any longer where can I store them for spring planting.

The bulbs will total about 60. Where I am going to put all these bulbs? I just don't know yet.


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Ah, this sounds all too familiar. Like you, my tulip eyes are bigger than my tulip knees. I haven't planted my tulips or daffs yet, this weekend had probably better be it.

You can actually plant as long as the ground isn't frozen. I planted several years ago while I waited for the Thanksgiving bird to cook!

Nothing like living on the edge.

I have also planted into pots and kept them in the garage, but it did freeze. Only about 1/2 came up when brought indoors. You could get away with that if you had a cold place that did not freeze during the winter.

I know you and I are not the only ones out there with bulbs still lurking around, so hopefully there will be some more input for this.


    Bookmark   November 8, 2006 at 12:04AM
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veilchen(5b southern Maine)

Yes, I have scraped a frozen crust off the ground to plant bulbs. As long as you can get them in, they're fine.

But the bulb co. should have shipped them by now. I would give them a call.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2006 at 6:47AM
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Phew! You have given me hope. I got a notice from the shipping company that they have been shipped so I expect them any time this week. I'm pretty good about getting bulbs into the ground quickly. However, I did a terrible job of marking my bulbs. Now when I put something down, from time to time, I spear a bulb I had already put down. Sigh. Anyway, I find that the bulbs I have put down already (the ones I've speared at least) have roots growing so I'm feeling V optomistic. Where am I going to put these bulbs? If I didn't have two young sons I'd plant them everywhere but I find that I have to put my flowers in out of the way places. This past summer my boys would pretend my flowers were evil spectors coming to get them and they would whack them with their swords. Little sh**s. They did do me a favor by hacking down one of my sedum in early summer. It came back fuller and sturdier than my other. Who knew.

Thanks again - you've given me hope!

    Bookmark   November 8, 2006 at 8:43AM
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veilchen(5b southern Maine)

lol @ kids in the garden! I can't tell you how many roses I've lost due to soccer ball damage.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2006 at 7:07AM
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Thanks for the good laugh! Maybe you can channel your warriors to help you plant. Make up some stupid story that only your kids would believe, like these are alien monster beans that need to be buried so they can change into magic wands, or something. If they help plant, even a tiny bit, they might be more hesitant to whack 'em. On the other hand, prudent whacking for bouquets is ok too.

Failing that, give the kids away and store your bulbs in their


    Bookmark   November 9, 2006 at 5:48PM
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Today was a perfect day for planting, and I AM FINISHED!!!! I don't know what the temperature was, but it took about 5 minutes to trade the jeans and sweatshirt for shorts and a tee. After digging, I even went barefoot!

Today I really appreciated the last owner of our property, whcih only goes back to the 1960's. Bless his heart, he had a nursery here, and the digging in the yard (around the stump of an old crabapple that we cut down several years ago) was so easy. The shovel would go all the way in in one step. I found an old iron block and tackle, and an old sledge hammer head buried right next to the stump. Maybe tomorrow I'll go dig for the metal box with the gold coins in it.......

Barbara, looking forward to a great night's sleep....

    Bookmark   November 10, 2006 at 8:47PM
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veilchen(5b southern Maine)

lol Barbara!

    Bookmark   November 11, 2006 at 8:04AM
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Thanks everyone. Well my bulbs came and we (boys and I) got them all in. I ended up giving 20 to my mom. 60 was a bit much. I wish I had thought of the "alien seed" idea for my boys. That would been a laugh when they told dad about it at dinner. However, they have been very good helpers. I may have the only 2 toddlers on the street that know how to measure 4 to 6 inches in the dirt, plant a bulb pointy side up, and why we mulch.

If they (my boys) are still hideous next spring/summer though I will consider selling the boys for more shrubs and using their rooms for storage. I wonder what I could get for my husband?


    Bookmark   November 12, 2006 at 1:38PM
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Wasn't yesterday a great garden day?!? I had about a 3 foot square left unplanted, and decided to finish it off since the digging was so easy and the weather perfect. Got some more bulbs, got them in, and now it is truly finished. With the weather today, I gladly surrender the last vestiges of fall chores to April. I'm taking a small trip next week, and hope to pursue my indoor garden in the way of african violets. New light stand last night, yeehaw!!

I wish I had seen the boys planting, and I bet they remember it for the rest of their lives. Hopefully it will be the start of a lifelong hobby. At the least, I bet they don't see evil spectres when they look at your flowers.


    Bookmark   November 12, 2006 at 1:53PM
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Mrs. Coyle,

And the answer to your original question of how late you can plant tulips.....

If we had only known....

My yard is somewhat confused, but I am hoping that this fantastic weather has prompted our bulbs to develop fantastic root systems and we'll have great blooms in the spring. As long as we don't get really hard freezes without snow cover....

Legros still had bulbs last week, not even marked down. What do they know we don't know?


    Bookmark   December 15, 2006 at 7:18AM
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Now with all this balmy weather I am starting to feel a little foolish for worrying. Will it ever end?

In any event, we got it all down. Every now and then, however, I find a random bulb on my lawn. I am sure the squirrels are digging them up. I keep finding little holes in my mulch but none really penetrate the earth so I am not sure how they are getting them out. But what other explanation could there be?

Now I know why my neighbors (and mom) never had much to say when I told them about all the bulbs I was going to plant. They knew that I'd be lucky if half came up next year. Darn critters.

I've gone from drooling over all the pics of perennials to drooling over pics of flowering shrubs. My poor spouse.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2006 at 5:06PM
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veilchen(5b southern Maine)

If I'm having squirrel problems, I throw in a sprinkling of cayenne powder on top the bulb. If there is an area where they keep digging/messing up mulch, I sprinkle cayenne all over it and that keeps them deterred for a while. I find that even if I only have to reapply it once, by then the squirrels learn to leave that area alone.

I started a moss garden this summer, and by this fall the squirrels were tearing it up, tossing the moss pieces around, while trying to bury their nuts. I went out once with the cayenne and they have left the moss alone ever since.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2006 at 8:42AM
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Who'd a thunk......?

Barbara, back to barefoot and shorts

    Bookmark   January 7, 2007 at 3:16PM
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Hi, Mrs. Coyle,

I remembered this posting from last year and wanted to get up to date.

How did your tulips/daffs do this spring? And more importantly, how did the boys react to the fruits of their labors?

My tulips were stunning. I planted a lot of Red Impression and Pink Impression, bought from HD, and they were HUGE on beautiful long sturdy stems. I also had a new one from Breck's called Apricot Whirl, to die for....
The rest were gorgeous also. The late snows didn't seem to do any harm.


    Bookmark   June 7, 2007 at 10:12PM
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