Garlic? Bulbs? Are We Too Late?

Submitted a year ago
Created by
Henry Homeyer

And what if they are up and showing greenery?

It was 20 degrees at my house Thursday morning. Does this mean winter is here and we're too late to plant bulbs or garlic? And what about bulbs or garlic that sprouted during the warm October? Should we worry?

Plant daffodils so that their tips are 6 inches below the soil surface.

The answer to both questions is NO. You shouldn’t worry about either. The best time to plant bulbs is after the soil gets to be 55 or 60 degrees. But you can plant anytime the ground is not frozen. I once shoveled snow of a planting bed to plant daffodils, and they performed nicely the following spring.

This garlic is up and growing - last May. Don't worry if yours is up now.

Bulbs and garlic normally set out and extend roots in the fall. They are genetically programmed to do so. If you plant them in the spring they usually don’t perform well. If you plant in late November, they don’t have much time to grow roots before the ground freezes, stopping root growth. So if you are late, put some mulch over the bed to keep the soil above freezing a bit longer.

Bulbs really WANT to perform for you.

And what about us early birds that now have bulbs or garlic sending up green growth? Don’t worry. With cold and snow, the green leaves will die back, but there is plenty of energy left in the bulbs to grow more greenery in the spring. 

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