The Q&A Archives: Are My Glad Bulbs Frozen?

Question: I dug up my gladiolas, and they're sitting in a bucket with the stalks still attached. It's been very cold outside, freezing in fact. I have them on the outside wall of the inside of our unheated garage. I'm afraid they may have frozen. How can I tell? It is warmer now, so a thermometer won't tell me if they've already frozen. Will they survive freezing?

I had planned to dust them with sulfur and hang them in an onion sack from the ceiling of the basement (it's much warmer in there, but not heated, just wamred by the furnace). I read in one of your other answers about "critters" munching on them. Will they attract mice or anything else if I store them in the basement?

Answer: If they have frozen the bulbs will be mushy. If they feel firm, they're probably okay. They need to be kept moderately cool and dry in storage, so a cardboard box, paper bag, a traditional mesh bag, or even pantyhose will all allow air circulation and discourage rot. In my experience they will only attract mice if the mice are already there. If there are already critters there, make a hanging bin for them out of metal screening or similar material to keep them out of the critters' reach.

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