Ask a Question forum: Hello, I'm Terri a new member with a bulb question

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Name: Terri Osipov
Rome, Georgia (Zone 7b)
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IJsbrandtGA
May 2, 2016 4:51 PM CST
Hi everyone. I am a retired firefighter and started gardening years ago as a way to fight depression. It works too except when I inadvertently kill a plant :). I joined this site a little while ago but i have been so busy i havent really had a chance to get familiar with it. I have already asked a couple of questions and I am amazed at the kindness and generosity with which the members share their knowledge. Thank you so much. I look forward to meeting other gardeners near and far, especially anyone interested in being gardening buddies or PenPals - I hope it's ok to ask that?

I am a Zone 7b gardener and I have a question about bulbs. Now that my crocus, hyacinths and tulips are spent, is it ok to lift them and "heel" them in some dirt while they feed on their leaves before putting them to bed in some peat? Or am I supposed to leave them in the ground until all the foliage has expired? I already pulled half of them before I began having second thoughts. Help? They are all beautiful and healthy bulbs and many have babies. I hope I haven't messed up.

Thank you again very much.
"Speak to the Earth and it shall teach Thee" Job 12:8
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
May 2, 2016 5:34 PM CST
Do you need to lift them because you need the space for something else, like summer annuals? Normally those bulbs would be left in the ground year round. If you have to lift them then ideally they should be left in the ground until the foliage has died back or at least started to.
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
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Weedwhacker
May 2, 2016 7:18 PM CST
Terri, although I'm in a totally different climate than you are, I agree with Sue that normally the bulbs would just be left in place... they can get a bit messy looking, but other plants can be placed so as to hide the declining foliage. Actually, the best part about those types of bulbs, to me, is that I don't have to do the work of digging them and storing them over the winter Smiling .

On the other hand, though, if moving them out and replanting them, and then storing in peat... I would say go ahead and give it a try; most of us do things all the time that the "conventional wisdom" says shouldn't be done!

We're pretty much ALL gardening buddies here... that's what the site is all about. If you kind of hang out and post in the areas where your interests lie, you will find all kinds of people that you share a bond with. I'm looking forward to "seeing" you around! Thumbs up
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Name: Terri Osipov
Rome, Georgia (Zone 7b)
Every day in the yard is a GOOD day
Dog Lover Bee Lover
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IJsbrandtGA
May 3, 2016 4:26 AM CST
Thank you! Yes, I need the room. I built a stone planter around my mailbox and stuffed it full of bulbs. Eek! I'm hoping my experiment doesn't kill them. I guess I will find out in the Spring.
"Speak to the Earth and it shall teach Thee" Job 12:8
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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sooby
May 3, 2016 4:36 AM CST
In that situation then ideally you would leave them in the ground until the leaves start to die back if you can. If you dig them up to heel them in there will be some root damage and in theory that may precipitate the foliage dying back and therefore less food made for the future. I'd be surprised if being dug up prematurely would actually kill the bulb though, but it may reduce flowering next year. But since you've already dug up half of them and have half still planted, you have a nice experiment set up there if you can keep the two groups separate when you replant, then you'll be able to tell if there was any negative effect on them when you compare them. Depending on the type of tulip they may not flower again for a few years anyway.
Name: Jennifer
48036 MI (Zone 6b)
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jvdubb
May 3, 2016 6:34 AM CST
I never follow the rules. I always move stuff when it is convenient for me. I moved tons of daffodils two years ago. I dug them up just as they were going out of bloom and put them in pots. They stayed in pots all summer and I planted them in the fall. Yes, they did not bloom much the next spring. But almost all did come back. This year I have a normal amount of blooms.

Just my two cents!

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