RENEGADE GARDENER

The lone voice of horticultural reason

“Fall Bulbs Need to Be Planted in the Fall.”

Nope. Bulbs don’t care when they’re planted, assuming they’ve had a period of cool dormancy after being harvested from the ground. They only care that the soil hits the temperature that causes them to grow roots and fire out the plant that lurks within.

I’ve received e-mails from people who have purchased a lot of tulip bulbs in the fall, planted most but forgot about some, now it’s winter, and how should they store them until next fall? If it’s too late to plant, store them in layers, each layer separated by newspaper, in a paper bag or cardboard box. You want something that you can seal up – tape the bag or box shut.

Now store in any relatively cool, dry spot, such as the basement or garage. DO NOT STORE THEM IN THE REFRIGERATOR – fruits and vegetables emit gases that can kill a tulip bulb.

Then – don’t wait for fall, plant the bulbs in spring, as soon as the soil is workable. They might pop up a bit later than the bulbs planted the previous fall, but that’s a bonus. This applies to lilies and virtually all “fall” bulbs.

Don Engebretson
The Renegade Gardener