What To Do When Your Plants Arrive
BULBS: We recommend planting your bulbs as soon as possible after they arrive from Holland. If you must delay a bit, open the bags to permit air circulation and place them out of direct sunlight in a cool (45-55 degrees [7-13 degrees C]), well-ventilated room. Do not place the bulbs where they can freeze.
If you have the space, storing bulbs in the refrigerator is another excellent way to hold them prior to planting, if you choose this method of storing your bulbs, as this would be detrimental to bulbs.
Your top quality bulbs from Breck's will flourish in most types of soil, as long as it is well drained. If there is poor drainage due to high clay content, the addition of organic matter, leafmold and compost will help improve the drainage of soils. Locating a bulb bed on a slope will also help drainage.
For best growth, break up heavy soils by mixing one-third to one-half of the soil in the bed with organic material. Some coarse sand can also be added, but it won't hold nutrients or moisture as well. Beds should be at least 10-12" in depth to promote good root growth.
Remember, the better your soil and bed preparation, the better your bulbs will do, and you can enjoy their beauty for many years to come.
Each Dutch Bulb variety shipped by Breck's is carefully packaged in an individual bag labeled with complete information.
While every bulb will produce beautiful flowers, they don't all look the same.
Throughout the Handbook we refer to all of our products as "bulbs". Actually, this term covers a variety of different structures, including bulbs, rhizomes, corms, etc. But for simplicity and convenience, we've grouped all of them under the more popular term "bulb".
The bulb is one of the wonders of nature. It is a complete "package" which includes not only an embryonic plant, but also its own nourishment for the months it will spend in a dormant state underground. After planting, bulbs use some of their stored food supply to develop roots. Then, when warming weather signals the start of the new spring season, the flower stems and foliage will begin to push their way upward through the soil, again drawing on the bulbs built-in store of nourishment.
DORMANT AND BARE ROOT PLANTS: Keep Peony, Iris, Oriental Poppy, etc. roots in their original bags at about 40 degrees F (the vegetable drawer of a refrigerator is ideal) for no longer than three weeks. Quick planting, however will give the best results. Don't worry if the roots appear to be dry and dead when they arrive. They're just dormant and will sprout into life after planting.
Many items do best when shipped in a dormant or bare root condition. Dormant or bare root plants are living plant material even though they may be completely void of green buds or leaves. The plants are shipped to you without any soil around the roots. They've been conditioned for shipping and will be ready to start their growth after planting. It may take as long as six to eight weeks before they begin sprouting to the point where growth is obvious.
Please be patient. All plants Breck's selects for you are ready to begin root development as soon as they are planted. But they need time to develop their roots before they start their upward growth.
Most spring-planted perennials require from four to six weeks before sprouts begin to appear. Fall-planted items most likely will show no growth until spring.