enjoy reading your columns each week and I love your photos -
they're beautiful! I always follow your advice, except this past fall
I forgot to plant the bulbs I bought. They are still in their bag in
the garage. I know you say to plant them right away, but is there
anything I can do now or can I plant them this spring? Thank you for
not alone! A lot of people, myself included, forget they have tulip,
hyacinth, or daffodil bulbs to plant until they see them kicking
around in the garage one day in winter. The answer to your question
is yes and no.
long as the bulbs are still in good condition and haven't shriveled
up or rotted, you might be able to salvage them. It's always best to
plant bulbs as soon as you get them so they can have time to put on
roots in fall before the ground gets so cold that root growth stops.
However, with a little luck, you might be able to do something with
them depending on the weather.
Sometimes here in western Massachusetts we have a "January
thaw" and the ground might thaw out enough to be able to get the
bulbs in. It's a gamble if the bulbs will bloom this spring, but it's
worth a try. They may bloom later than others planted at the proper
time in fall which would still be okay.
If you're unable to plant the bulbs outside, I have another idea for
you. You could try "forcing" the bulbs in pots to enjoy
their blooms indoors for later this winter. Again, like outdoor
plantings, forcing bulbs is best done in fall, but with forcing I
don't think timing is as critical - the bulbs just won't be in bloom
in mid winter as they normally would. They may bloom indoors by late
winter or early spring, but still ahead of ones planted outdoors.
The simplest way to force bulbs is to plant them next to each other