Leave the Bulbs Be: Good tip!

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Leave the Bulbs Be

By critterologist
February 15, 2012

Spring bulbs sprouting early? Don't panic! No need to bury them in extra mulch. They know what they're doing. Just let them do it.

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Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
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plantladylin
Feb 14, 2012 6:13 PM CST
I agree ... mother nature has a way of knowing when it's time for things to sprout!
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Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
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Newyorkrita
Feb 14, 2012 6:36 PM CST
I don't even try to add mulch to them now. I just let them be. The spring bulbs know when it is time to grow. Most of the daffs in my garden look like that picture, with a few inches of growth showing. But I do have some that are way ahead and already blooming or just about to bloom. Everything seems to always work out fine.
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
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SongofJoy
Feb 15, 2012 4:48 AM CST
I did already have to pull the flowers in bloom to keep them from being cold and freeze burned, though. Of course, they usually aren't blooming in early February like they are this year! I usually put nursery pots over opened flowers but now I'm just going ahead and pulling them to bring indoors.
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
[Last edited by SongofJoy - Feb 15, 2012 4:49 AM (+)]
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Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
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Newyorkrita
Feb 15, 2012 1:29 PM CST
Yes, the daffs started blooming awefully early this year. Such a crazy winter this year and no snow.
Name: Renée
Northern KY
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KyWoods
Feb 15, 2012 3:48 PM CST
Ours aren't blooming, but they did pop up early.
Name: Critter (Jill)
MD (Zone 6b)
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critterologist
Feb 15, 2012 8:09 PM CST
that mother nature sure is something!

I think that's one of the things people ask me about the most, garden-wise. They see those sprouts popping up and figure they should do something. I know how they feel -- I want to tell them, no! go back! go back! LOL

I actually had my first daffodils in January this year (the 31st, but still, that's never happened before!). A few days later, I think they were regretting their decision to bloom so early!


Thumb of 2012-02-16/critterologist/58cf9e
I'm learning to dance in the rain. Thank you, Sally & Chris.
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
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Newyorkrita
Feb 15, 2012 8:46 PM CST
Snow covered daffs, not what one expects to see. Hilarious!
Name: Critter (Jill)
MD (Zone 6b)
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critterologist
Feb 16, 2012 7:57 AM CST
The photos you posted over on the Bulbs forum helped me recover from the shock of it. Thanks! The thread "Daffy dillies!" in Bulbs forum

I think it'll be a bloomingful spring!
I'm learning to dance in the rain. Thank you, Sally & Chris.
Name: Renée
Northern KY
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KyWoods
Feb 16, 2012 12:56 PM CST
Ow, the poor baby!
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
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Newyorkrita
Feb 16, 2012 1:45 PM CST
Smiling Nothing saiz spring to me like the daffodils blooming. Each fall for at least five years I have been adding daff bulbs, plus I had daffs around the yard before that. So when they bloom this year it really should be stunning.
Name: Jacquie (JB) Berger
Wrightstown, New Jersey (Zone 6b)

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JB
Feb 20, 2012 8:49 AM CST
Jill, as much as I love you, I must say when you commented on Don't Panic , they know what they are doing, I had to respond.
I think the bulbs especially the daffodils "think" it is about a month later than it is. The sun is much warmer than usual at this time and the weather has been at least 10 deg. higher than normal for weeks.. Off and on we have a cold day here in NJ and the nights are below freezing most of the time, but the sun is amazingly warm. The Greenhouse doors and vents must be opened and the heat turned off. It has been a nightmare watching the thousands of daffodils coming up much too soon for their own good. If they go into buds in this weather here in NJ, when the snow or freezing weather does arrive I will be in a really bad mood because I sell wholesale the open blooms to a Country Market on a daily basis. I have a good month of sales of cut daffodils from that one field. If they do not freeze in bud and I have blooms that are not fit to sell. Now, I must tell you, I am about to panic since some are up a good 5 inches and the buds will be forming soon. Just had to let you know, whatever you have to add to the don't panic, I will be happy to hear. Shrug! .JB
Name: Critter (Jill)
MD (Zone 6b)
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critterologist
Feb 20, 2012 6:14 PM CST
I do think a late freeze can affect hyacinth blooms that are just about to open and probably some others too, but daffs seem to be
pretty tough. I've had daffs bud up just before a couple weeks of cold temperatures and be just fine... Oh, and the flowers that are all snowy in the photo above still looked fine the next day... our temps have been up & down since, and there are a couple of blooms again now on the same clump, so I think those flowers bloomed despite being nearly open during last weekend's cold snap.

When was it, maybe 3 years ago when we had a week of late freezes after a lot of things had started spring growth? I know I had my lavender hedge and my little J maple under wraps, and I covered as many hyacinth and lily buds as I could manage (only lost a few blooms). I was so busy with all the plants that I was afraid might die rather than just not bloom this year that I did nothing at all to protect my daffs... and I know a lot of them must have been in significant growth/bud by then, but they soldiered on and bloomed just fine.

So, while I can't offer guarantees, I'm still hoping there's no need to panic! You may have a shorter window for harvest though, if "late" varieties and "early" ones end up blooming almost together.

I'm learning to dance in the rain. Thank you, Sally & Chris.
Name: Jacquie (JB) Berger
Wrightstown, New Jersey (Zone 6b)

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JB
Feb 21, 2012 8:16 AM CST
I hope your right, in fact the year you are talking about I lost nearly a thousand bulbs that year.
That is why I am so concerned. These are in an unprotected open field in long rows and each year for the past 7 years I have had to fill in those that I lost. In fact, I lost an entire planting of pinks that year. I have given up filling in, it has become very expensive and I am getting too old to really worry about it. They can just naturalize now and the kids can enjoy them if this is the year to end the selling. We will see. I do not do this for a living, but it does help with the taxes.

Just saw a flock of robins again today. They are moving north and stopping off here. I guess it is about time for them. The Barn Swallows are not due until mid March and if I see them early I may just run for cover. LOL.

Have a great summer and pray our daffs do not perish.
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crittergarden
Feb 21, 2012 12:39 PM CST
Thanks for the encouragement!
I was just crossing my fingers for my little babies....
The crocuses actually opened this week.
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Name: Jacquie (JB) Berger
Wrightstown, New Jersey (Zone 6b)

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JB
Feb 23, 2012 10:30 AM CST
Our crocus are not even up yet...You must have had some really warm weather or they are in a warm spot. We have a spot of snow drops in the big Christmas Tree field that I keep babying so nothing happens to them and they are not up yet either.

.If it snows we will be ok but if we get one of those deep freezes that could really hurt everything. We are about 20 miles from the ocean and much of our weather is depending on the coastal storms, etc. We get the East Wind off the ocean one day and the next we get the freezing West wind the next. It is really crazy but when it snows, oh God, it can be nasty. Today we are to be up in the 60s and tomorrow down into the 40s....it is difficult just trying not to catch a cold much less keep the flowers from dying. I love this winter so far. Lovey dubby Lovey dubby

Have a good day.
Name: Critter (Jill)
MD (Zone 6b)
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critterologist
Feb 23, 2012 9:27 PM CST
Must be warm weather, since the front lawn faces north. :-)

As long as we don't get temperatures down into the teens or single digits, I hope most of the plants will be OK with all the crazy weather swings.
I'm learning to dance in the rain. Thank you, Sally & Chris.
Name: Jacquie (JB) Berger
Wrightstown, New Jersey (Zone 6b)

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: United States of America Region: New Jersey Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
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JB
Feb 24, 2012 1:54 PM CST
Jill, I had a nice surprise yesterday afternoon. I took the dog for a walk and found the little white snow drops up and blooming. I am sending you a picture since I am so proud. Rolling on the floor laughing

Thumb of 2012-02-24/JB/b91103

As you can see there is very little green grass if any showing. It still looks like winter here and today it is chilly and rainy. Yesterday was so nice and warmer than nornal.

We can only keep our hopes up that we can stay out of the snow zone. I have this new puppy, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, and he is now 9 months old but eats anything he sees. After I took the picture of the Snowdrops he took a bite of one of the flowers and fortunately I saved it from his eating it. I just adore snow drops. I saw some yellow ones on one of the other forums. I did not know they come in yellow. Did you?
Name: Critter (Jill)
MD (Zone 6b)
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critterologist
Feb 24, 2012 4:56 PM CST
Those are so cute!!! Nope, I didn't know about yellow ones, either.

Fingers crossed that your daffs will be outstanding anyway this year!
I'm learning to dance in the rain. Thank you, Sally & Chris.
Name: Jacquie (JB) Berger
Wrightstown, New Jersey (Zone 6b)

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: United States of America Region: New Jersey Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
Container Gardener Hummingbirder Farmer Keeps Horses Dog Lover Birds
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JB
Feb 27, 2012 1:22 PM CST
Group hug

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