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Missed my window of opportunity ... AGAIN

Posted by highalttransplant z 5 Western CO (My Page) on
Sat, Nov 27, 10 at 18:02

Okay, so last fall Deb sent me a generous variety of garlic cloves. Immediately after that, we put our house on the market, so the package went in to the garage. Found it in March, , after we decided the house wasn't going to sell, planted whatever hadn't rotted, and ended up with three nice sized heads of garlic by the fall.

A few weeks ago, the organic farm/nursery nearby had seed garlic on sale, so I bought a few heads, and placed them in the garage while I dealt with all of the pumpkins, carrots, tomatoes, school activities, etc. Kept telling myself I needed to make time to plant, but had too much to do. Today, was nice and sunny, temps above freezing, so I took my bag of garlic, some compost, and my little spade over to the herb bed, and yep, ground was frozen hard as a brick. Grrrrrr ...

A package arrived today from my MIL, who lives in Florida. It contained tulip bulbs, alliums, etc. Should I tell her they're not getting planted?

Bonnie


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RE: Missed my window of opportunity ... AGAIN

  • Posted by skybird z5, Denver, CO (My Page) on
    Sat, Nov 27, 10 at 22:23

Hi Bonnie,

If it were me, I'd stick them in a plastic bag with a bunch of dry peat moss (leave the top open some or punch some holes for a little air circulation) and stick them in the garage till you can plant them. OK! So that's not gonna happen in the next couple weeks! I just checked your weather---and---4 degrees on Monday nite!!! Brrr! But if you get a stretch of days when it's warm enough for the ground to thaw, you could plant them (and water them in well) anytime over winter, and if it doesn't thaw till spring, you can plant them as soon as possible. They'll probably be starting to dehydrate some if they're stored till spring, and you probably won't get much next summer, but once they get in the ground again and can grow and get lots of sun, they should "come back" well enough to get you good flowers again in 2012.

When I buy bulbs my eyes are almost always bigger than my stomach---and I've had leftovers that I kept till the following spring---and even then I sometimes never get "the rest" of them in, but the ones I've planted seem to make out ok. I can't even tell you, anymore, which of mine were planted in fall, and which had to tough it out in the garage over winter. If you wait till next spring, no guarantees, but if you throw them out now, you KNOW you won't have anything! I'd go with the "they're not gonna be happy, but they'll get over it" theory!

The other possibility is that if you can find thawed soil over winter ANYWHERE where there's sun, you could still plant them before spring and just enjoy them for a year wherever the soil happened to--conveniently--thaw, and then leave them there until late next summer (or anytime after the foliage has died down completely). Like maybe somewhere right up against the front of the house where it might warm up more quickly, or against the fence on "that other" property, or next to something else that might absorb the sun and help warm up the soil. Who knows, if you plant them somewhere besides where you were planning to, you might decide you like them there! :-)

I don't do garlic, so can't help you with that one! Can garlic be planted in a big pot???

I'm looking forward to you starting your Winter Sowing thread this year! I'm definitely going to do it again this year since I'll be here to watch them, and I'm already thinking I might need to cut off one hand to limit how many I'll be able to do! You usually start that early in January, don't you?

Skybird

P.S. Since they came from WARM Florida, if you do decide to store them in the garage, you might want to "harden them off" gradually to get them used to the cold--like maybe in the fridge for a week first before they go out in the garage, or in a styrofoam cooler in the garage for a while. Then get a good pair of ear plugs so you don't have to listen to them screaming!!!


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RE: Missed my window of opportunity ... AGAIN

You could force the flower bulbs and let them bloom in the house early in the spring, then let them grow out until they die down and plant in the flower bed next fall. Adds a bright touch when everything is still asleep outside.

For the garlic, you might try container gardening with the garlic--pot them up, keep them in a cool but not freezing place hopefully with some light for a few weeks, then put them in an unheated garage for the winter and set them out when it starts warming up in the spring and grow them in the containers.


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RE: Missed my window of opportunity ... AGAIN

Bonnie, I know space will be at a premium at your place with winter sowing, but I agree with beeone, pot 'em up!
I have a handful of tulips and daff's left over and I'm going to pot them. I started my amaryllis (what's the plural for that?) yesterday. I know they won't bloom for the holidays and that's intentional. There's plenty of shiny things to look at for the next month. I need pretty things in January and February to keep me going.
Well, that and I asked for a Dirr's manual for Christmas and I think it came in the mail last week. I'm being good and haven't opened it, but it's the right size and weight..... I'm going to enjoy perusing that this winter!
Hey, Skybird, it's too bad Bonnie's so far from me or I could take my cat over and let her learn bulb screaming 101!
Barb


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RE: Missed my window of opportunity ... AGAIN

Bonnie I will post a link to a thread about planting garlic. Go to the post by paquebot. He is very knowledgeable about gardening and where I've got most of the advice I follow on growing garlic. I planted garlic around the 20th of Jan last year and it did well. So you can always plant it later if you have too. Due to everything that has happened this fall I haven't planted mine yet. Will this week. Of course I'm quite a bit warmer than you are. If you plant it now just put several inches of straw or mulch over it and it will be fine. Jay

Here is a link that might be useful: Garlic planting


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RE: Missed my window of opportunity ... AGAIN

  • Posted by skybird z5, Denver, CO (My Page) on
    Sun, Nov 28, 10 at 23:52

Just learned something new, Barb! When you questioned what the plural of amaryllis was, of course I HAD to figure it out, so I googled "amaryllises," expecting to get one of those You're an Idiot "Did you Mean......." responses---and all I got was a bunch of dictionaries talking about amaryllises! Then I remembered I could easily check it by typing it on a Word document, and on an email, and they BOTH like that spelling, so I guess we have a consensus!

A year or so ago the question came up of what's the plural of crocus, and when I, laughing as I did it, googled "croci," I was VERY surprised to discover that that actually IS a plural of crocus, along with crocuses, so you get your choice with that one, but I guess amaryllisi would be frowned upon! LOL!

Don't know if you've ever forced bulbs before or not, Bonnie, so just want to be sure you know that you still need to put them thru the Screaming Treatment! (Barb's gonna call you to give you a Bulb SCREAMING lesson, so you'll know what to expect! ;-) ) So if you do decide to force them, you plant them and then stick them in the COLD! They grow roots during the cold period and then they quickly come up and bloom when you bring them back into the warm. I didn't remember how long the cold treatment needed to be, so I was checking it out---it's 12 weeks, longer than I remembered---and I ran into the site linked below which tells how to force bulbs very well---and without any obnoxious Vibrant in-text hyperlinks, or maddening flashing ads!

Are you being snowed on?

Skybird

Here is a link that might be useful: Forcing Bulbs


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RE: Missed my window of opportunity ... AGAIN

I had a spot in the raised bed that was occupied up until a couple days ago, and that is clear now and I put in ~10 cloves on Saturday. All cold-hardy hardnecks.

Dan


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RE: Missed my window of opportunity ... AGAIN

Skybird - In my little world, if one were to follow the crocus - croci theory, the plural for amaryllis would be amarylli. At least that is my world. Nothing likes my spelling though.

I guess by the consensus, I can still plant my garlic, yea. I think I will try and see what the weather is like this afternoon when I get home.

Billie


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RE: Missed my window of opportunity ... AGAIN

With lows in the teens and 20's and chances of snow all week, I doubt I'll have any luck digging a hole in the bed where the garlic needs to go. The 1/2" of snow we got almost a week ago is still hanging around, which is a sign of things to come ...

Skybird, you may be right about the area in front of the porch not being frozen yet though, since it gets more sun, and maybe some heat from the sidewalk/porch, so maybe I can still plant the tulips, alliums, etc. Guess I'll try container planting in the garage for the garlic ... or if I run low in the kitchen, it might just get used for cooking : )


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RE: Missed my window of opportunity ... AGAIN

OK, I went out there yesterday while it was 50+ out and planted my garlic that has been waiting for me to get round-2-it. The ground wasn't bad, parts were kinda frozen, but easy enough to get into. 10 clovettes planted, we'll see what I get.

Billie


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RE: Missed my window of opportunity ... AGAIN

I've planted in early March and still had decent results - nothing for the record books, but certainly large enough to eat.


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RE: Missed my window of opportunity ... AGAIN

No danger of much of my ground freezing around here. Sheesh.

Dan


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RE: Missed my window of opportunity ... AGAIN

Dan - I resemble that remark. I think it was around 60 at my house yesterday and it is supposed to be 70 today. I spent last weekend turning my compost and yesterday it was HOT (did not take its temp but it was definitely cooking) Tomorrow 40?

Billie


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RE: Missed my window of opportunity ... AGAIN

Billie: in the shadow of the south fence, the ground is still not frozen, albeit close. In my raised bed against the house, I had to water the garlic today and the temp must have been close to 70 against the wall, the two stations around here said 67ºF today. I'm heating up the coldframe and the soil is mid-60s, planting next week as I've put it off because too warm (!).

:o)

Dan


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RE: Missed my window of opportunity ... AGAIN

Yippee! The temperature reached a balmy 49º here today, and I was able to get the garlic in the ground. Well, most of it anyway. Had 5 heads, but 2 were the same variety, so when I ran out of room, I decided to use the duplicate for cooking.

Here's what I planted:
Chesnok Red
Shantung Purple
John Gorman
Georgia Fire

Didn't even have to wear a jacket while I was out there. Still need to get the flower bulbs planted, but had to help DH put up Christmas lights, so that will have to wait till another day.

Can't believe you guys are still in the 60's!

Bonnie


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RE: Missed my window of opportunity ... AGAIN

AH - NICE!!


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RE: Missed my window of opportunity ... AGAIN

It was 66/71 (cool side/warm side) of my backyard yesterday, Bonnie!

If it's December, this must be Denver!

I got another part of my veggie garden turned over and got all of my neighbor's leaf bags nicely spread out covering most of the garden to get some Worm Action going on out there again. And I watered all the perennials in the backyard too. Some of them were looking pretty unhappy! I don't even remember the last time I got "helpful" precipitation!

Glad you were able to get the garlic in, and hope you'll be able to find another day or two to get the bulbs in so you can just forget them for now and enjoy them in spring!

It's been so warm down here that my snow crocus are already showing a half inch above the mulch! If it doesn't get significantly colder soon, I'm not sure what's gonna happen to them! I can't imagine they'd have enough time to actually bloom now, but if they do, I'll be sure to post some pictures! If I dig down into the mulch, all my other spring bulbs are starting to come up too. Come on snow!

Skybird


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RE: Missed my window of opportunity ... AGAIN

Skybird - be careful what you wish for.

Billie


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