ryan_howard
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"bucket" bulbs during the winter?

Thanks in advance for any who reply.

This past spring, we made a new bed in front of our house. It wasn't possible to till and amend the entire area, so instead, we dug holes for some plastic buckets, drilled drainage holes, put an amended soil in them, and buried the buckets in the ground. We filled them with gladiolas, dahlias, phlox, hollyhocks and lilies, and are very pleased with how the bed turned out.

What I would like to do is pull the buckets out of the ground, and drop in new ones with tulips and other bulbs that need to be in the ground over the winter.

My question is: if I pull out the summer bucket bulbs and put them in the garage, can I keep them in the buckets over winter and not dig them out. Truthfully, it's just a time thing. My garage hovers just above freezing in the winter. We're in Zone 5.

Thanks!

Ryan

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rainbowgardener
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Re: "bucket" bulbs during the winter?

What an interesting idea! Just rotate buckets... :idea:

I have never heard of anyone doing that, but I don't see any reason why it shouldn't work.

"gladiolas, dahlias, phlox, hollyhocks and lilies" are a mixed bag though. Dahlias are tender, only hardy to zone 8. They are usually dug up and stored for the winter indoors:

Here's an article about digging and storing dahlias; https://www.finegardening.com/how-to/sli ... x?id=96786 They need to be stored above 40 degrees.

The glads I think it depends on what kind. There are hardy gladiolus and not hardy ones. The rest could probably be stored in your buckets in the garage. The problem I see is that with such a small amount of soil, you will need to replenish nutrients in the soil. In the ground, I really don't worry much about fertilizing bulbs; in buckets you will need to.
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rainbowgardener
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Re: "bucket" bulbs during the winter?

As I think about this more - assuming that everything overwinters ok, it will start sprouting in the spring, well before you want to pull the bucket of tulips and other spring bloomers. So you will need to be able to bring the bucket of summer bloomers out in the sun somewhere.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

ryan_howard
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Re: "bucket" bulbs during the winter?

Thanks for your response! We cleaned out our garage today, and didnt feel like we would have enough room for all the buckets to overwinter right now. So, we bought four new buckets for tulips and just swapped them out in the bucket bed. I think in the spring we'll just plant new bulbs. The extra money isn't really a big deal.

But to your point, our goal would exactly be to have enough buckets to plant summer bulbs in while the tulips are in bloom, and then just swap the buckets after the tulips call it quits. We want the bed to be in bloom as much of the year as possible. We're even thinking about doing it with mums for the fall, too!

imafan26
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Re: "bucket" bulbs during the winter?

It is a neat idea. Too bad, it would have been nice to try to save a few buckets just to see how it would have worked out.

I cannot grow tulips but I have amaryllis, agapanthus, glads, but I only grow dahlias from seed. I am lucky in that I don't have to dig up any of them and they stay in the ground year after year. I did have to redo the bed the amaryllis was in, but they only bloomed stronger after that. Dahlias grow and make tubers, but there are things that like to drill holes in the bulbs so I have never had them survive more than the first season. The down side of no winter is that pests are year round too.
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