Warm weekend, too late for bulb planting?

JillyWillyCT(6)December 20, 2013

After extensive online searching of historical posts and County Ext web sites, I can't seem to find an answer one way or another regarding bulb planting this late. A batch of 50 grape hyacinth is sitting in my garage (still firm, since it's been so cold), and, with the warmer weekend coming up (we are supposed to be in the 60's), I am hoping the snow melts and I might try to salvage my bulbs and get them in the ground. I live in SW Connecticut.

I follow several boards on GW, and this board, in particular, seems to have wise and practical gardeners, so, I am hopeful for advice. This will sure teach me to buy bulbs without having dedicated time in advance for planning! I know I should have done this sooner, but if there is a small glimmer of hope of these guys blooming next Spring, I am willing to try!!! Thanks in advance for your help.

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bill_ri_z6b(Zone 6B)

I've had grape hyacinths for years, and they multiply like crazy, popping up in the lawn and everywhere, and most welcome. But sometimes they become 'victims' while I'm planting something else or cultivating and they wind up tossed off to the side somewhere, often unseen amongst other plants, etc. This can happen at any time of the year. And what generally happens is that they grow, bloom and flourish anyway. I'm not saying that this is ideal treatment, but it's a testament to their durability. If the ground hasn't frozen yet where you are, I think they would do better there than in a garage. Just my two cents.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2013 at 9:03AM
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I agree with Bill. Though it would be too late where I am since the ground is frozen hard (and I will be planting some bulbs in pots and tucking them into the cold cellar for forcing when I have time) if your ground isn't frozen hard and deep enough to not dig, go ahead and plant them. I have planted bulbs at home within about a week of the ground freezing, so they should be fine. And as Bill said, grape hyacinths in particular are a fairly bullet-proof plant.

(spelling edit)

This post was edited by nhbabs on Sat, Dec 21, 13 at 9:52

    Bookmark   December 20, 2013 at 10:55AM
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diggerdee zone 6 CT

I say go for it! I've planted daffodils in January and they've survived and done well. Neighbors thought I was nuts, but who cares?


    Bookmark   December 20, 2013 at 7:55PM
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Yes! If they were my bulbs, and I couldn't dig, I'd just place them where I wanted them and cover them with a couple of inches of compost or an inch of garden soil, and some mulch to keep that from washing away.

This is all assuming they're going into an existing garden bed; it;s not especially good for your soil to dig when it's wet, and it's going to be quite wet at this time of year, even during a thaw that lasts several days.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2013 at 9:00PM
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The veteran in-the-know gardeners above have spoken. I didn't need to plant grape hyacinth, daffodil, puschkinia or crocus bulbs when I moved here because my folks did before me. They all come up reliably--in beds & in the lawn--every spring. Even when it warms up enough so the lawn needs mowing, cutting the foliage of the "naturalized" bulbs that come up in the lawn doesn't diminish their numbers in subsequent years. Sometimes my lawn looks almost blue early in the season.

Snowdrops & crocus

Siberian squill

Despite nearly a foot of snow, the ground isn't yet frozen where I am which suggests you can still get a spade or trowel into the ground where you are so I'll echo diggerdee and say go for it.

Good luck and we'd all love to see pics of your bulbs in bloom when Spring rolls around!!

    Bookmark   December 20, 2013 at 9:22PM
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Thanks everyone for your encouragement! I was out there today, playing in the mud. A very small crust of frozen topsoil was on top, but I simply took a shovel and "double dug" (dug in cross hatches and sort of turned the soil over) and then planted 'em in. A few had small sprouts starting, and as digginthedirt said the soil was quite wet. In addition to the 50 grape hyacinth, I forgot I had 50 mini daff bulbs, too. I sit here with fingers crossed, and will post a photo in the Spring if they bloom!

    Bookmark   December 21, 2013 at 8:28PM
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