A Tulip is a Terrible Thing to Waste
So I brought my Tulip pots from the garage today. Everything is frozen solid, true, but still: it’s March. I don’t mind telling you, though, I’m worried about this year’s Tulips.
This past winter I stored all the Tulip pots in the garage with no extra insulation. This is something I’ve done before with decent results. So I’ve gotten a little cavalier about protection from winter temperatures. Excess moisture has been a much bigger problem.
But then came January, 2019, and nearly a week where temperatures plummeted to -22F. It’s been decades since there’s been weather that cold here.
I knew I could have a problem when I went to the garage to get this sack of free double Daffodil bulbs that I had received as part of a promotion. The plan was to force them inside, and I had kept them in the fridge to chill until Judy demanded I move them to our unheated garage (something about needing space for a Thanksgiving turkey). I plunked them on a shelf with absolutely no protection, which was kind of careless of me.
So when I brought them inside I discovered they were all a little soft. Not completely squishy, but not as firm as they should be. If a bulb isn’t firm it’s likely diseased or the cold has caused cells to burst. Most Tulips and Daffodils are hardy to zone 3. Like most cold-hardy plants, their cells have a natural antifreeze – but there’s a limit to how much cold they can tolerate.
Anyhow, I picked the 20 Daffodil bulbs that seemed the least damaged and planted them in pots set out on the back porch. So far, there is no sign of them, which does not bode well.
So I guess I’ll just have to wait and see. It may be a month before I know if the Tulip pots are going to be a disappointment this year.