I received a package of tulip bulbs for Christmas. The bulbs are big and plump, and beginning to sprout. I also discovered a package of 5 tulips bulbs that arrived too late last fall to get them into the ground. These aren't looking so good, and are a little soft, but one of them does have a sprout.
I know as well as you do that all those bulbs should have gone into the soil weeks before the ground froze - but they didn't and my garden is covered with mounds of snow.
So what is a gardener to do? Well, plant them, of course. I don't know if they have been prechilled, but I'm guessing if sprouts are appearing they are ready to grow and bloom.
I've decided this is time when the gardeners motto "When in doubt, try it out," is the best solution to my problem. I'm going to pot up the small package and do the same with some of larger package. The experts tell me to place the pots in a cool, dark location for several weeks and then move them into the light. They even tell me that by moving them to the light every two weeks, I can have fresh blooms for weeks to come - that is, if the bulbs have been sufficiently chilled to promote blooming.
I know from experience that plants don't always react as expected and that some mistakes turn out to be blessings in disguise. As a perennial optimist, I'm believing that my home will be filled with bright tulips for Valentine's Day and Easter. Of course, I could be wrong - but then I have nothing to lose.
If you have old bulbs lying around that somehow didn't make it into the soil, won't you join me in planting them now to see what happens? Who knows what beauty may be lurking inside those bulbs just waiting to be released.
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