gardening,bulbs;tulips etc.

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Old 01-01-06, 09:20 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: new orleans, la.
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Smile gardening,bulbs;tulips etc.

question; is there a way to "force bulbs" faster ( at all ) by freezing them, if only for awhile ? I live in zone 9 which requires tulip bulbs to be refridgerated
for about 8 weeks before planting . Can you force bulbs even faster with a short time in the freezer ?
 
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Old 01-01-06, 10:40 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Southern Ontario, Canada
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Although I am not in your zoned area, maybe twelvepole will see your post and make suggestions.
A refrigerator is ideal but dont put them in the same crisper as ripe fruit. Pack in box or brown paper bags, but open up to provide ventilation, they can remain there for several weeks, on no terms should you freeze them. It could cause them to go soft and mushy, the root system is still un-developed.All hardy bulbs require a period of cooling in temps between 35 and 50 degrees F to prepare them for later leaf and flower growth. Sometimes tulips especially may have been partially "precooled" by the producer. If you hold bulbs in the refridgerator for more than 3wks, then subtract 3 wks from the required cooling time. Keep in mind that hardy bulbs cannot be forced again, a few such as daffodils, can be transplanted into the garden in the spring but it
takes 2-3yrs to reach full blooming potential again, most tulips and hyacynths are best discarded after forcing. A few bulbs like narccissus (paper whites) and chinese sacred lilies can be forced without cooling.
If you planted the bulbs now in containers and placed in a basement, cold or root cellar, then during this period the roots form, you must keep the soil moist, but not wet, check it weekly. From the time the pots are removed from storage they will require about 3-4 wks to bloom.
 
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