"Pre-starting" bulbs.

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by Jack in VA, Mar 4, 2005.

  1. Jack in VA

    Jack in VA Well-Known Member

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    I've got bunches of bulbs staring at me from the kitchen table. Most of the packages say plant when the ground reaches 50 deg. Well, it's about 40 deg. and currently covered in snow. I've got a small unheated('cept for sun) greenhouse. Was wondering if I started them in there, would they suffer any when transplanting them? I'm getting impatient for Spring, just wanna do something. Was thinking of doing just some of them, maybe to stagger the bloom time. Would make it more work, but it's a fun kinda work. Any thoughts?
    I'm in Zone 7, SWVA.
     
  2. birdie_poo

    birdie_poo Well-Known Member

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    I know that you can force them by planting them in pots and keeping them in a cool dark area for a few weeks. This is how you force paperwhites, tulips and amaryllis. It should be universal for all typs of bulbs, I would think.
     

  3. JWH123

    JWH123 Well-Known Member

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    Your air temperature may be 40 degrees at the moment, but if there is snow on the ground, the ground temperature would be at or below freezing, no?

    I'm not a gardener, but I'd imagine when they say "ground temperature", I'd guess it means the temperature at the depth your bulbs will be planted. Which may be close enough to the ground temp at the ground surface (don't measure on a sunny day though).

    One thing I can tell you for sure. It won't be the first day (or even the first week) the air temperature hits the 50 degree mark.

    Ask at a local garden center.

    John
     
  4. Haynes

    Haynes Well-Known Member

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    I start all my bulbs and rhizones in pots in a unheated space.
    Even some I'm splitting out of favorites.
    Get a little top growth but a big root ball.
    They seem to take off with this big root ball.
    Only danger is the urge to overwater instead of leaving them alone till spring.

    Donnie
     
  5. Jack in VA

    Jack in VA Well-Known Member

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    I read the ground temp. as 40 deg 5inches down. My main question is .....
    Will the transplant shock cancel out the early start?