Overwintering bulbs?

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by RedneckPete, Nov 4, 2006.

  1. RedneckPete

    RedneckPete Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,278
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2004
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    This year I planted a cut-flowers bed for the first time. I filled it with lilies, tulips, irises, and gladiolas. We are zone 7, and the lilies and glads are all hardy only through zone 8, so we're just a smidge too cold for them. My original plan was to dig them up and overwinter them indoors, but since there are an awful lot of them, my husband keeps urging me to check with all you savvy gardeners to see if you have any ideas on keeping them safe in the ground. It cost me a bundle to fill the garden, so I don't want to try something unless it comes recommended by others who have tried it. I'm thinking maybe some black landscape fabric over the whole garden, with several inches of straw over top? Would that be enough?

    Chandra
     
  2. RedneckPete

    RedneckPete Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,278
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2004
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    BTW, forgot to mention that we're in Ontario, so our zones are different than USA. The lower the number, the colder it is; we are zone 7, and the bulbs are good only through the slightly warmer zone 8.

    Chandra
     

  3. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    14,801
    Joined:
    May 9, 2002
    Location:
    South Central Wisconsin
    I'll speak for the dahlias and gladiolas. "Several inches" over black landscape fabric would not work. The black color is to absorb the sun and heat the ground. Straw over that would prevent that action. Using fabric alone, the ground would not be warm enough to remain thawed during the long nights. So, neither of those would be suitable in attempting to over-winter dahlias and glads. Best option is to dig them and store them in sawdust, peat moss, or similar material.

    I have seen glads survive our cold winters but buried under a mound of leaves 2 feet or more high and covered with chicken wire to hold the leaves in place. Mine will be coming inside for the winter in a few days along with the dahlias and cannas.

    Martin
     
  4. RedneckPete

    RedneckPete Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,278
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2004
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Thanks for the input. Guess I'll get busy digging them up!

    Chandra
     
  5. Mutti

    Mutti Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    4,440
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Missouri
    Lilies and tulips should be fine with a heavy mulch of straw/leaves or whatever you have. Dalhias can't take any cold-mine are already dug and in storage. DEE