Planting Bulbs in Surf City

Huntington Beach, CA(Zone 10b)

Hi, I'm a newbie to this DG site. I learned long ago that if I want to know the reality ask the people who actually do it in their own real lives. So, I want a huge tubful of narcissus as soon as I can get it. I keep reading about Oct. being planting month, but one source said to chill bulbs for a month before planting and another said to keep them in a cool, dry place for two months before. HUH? Where is the cool supposed to come from in SoCal, I ask you. Should I rely on Armstrong (its a good one here), or mail order bulbs? Obviously I've never planted bulbs before.

I only do container gardening - 40+ years ago because I had disposable income and no time. Now that I have less income and lots of time I don't have the physical ability to muck about in all that solid clay out there.

I will go back to reading the topic discussions in this forum which I have enjoyed very much. Even if it isn't something I want to do, right now or ever, the information may be helpful to someone else I know, so I'm reading. Thanks for any advice you can give. Syb

Arroyo Grande, CA(Zone 9a)

Hi Sybil,
Narcissus are usually not all that picky. If you get them soon you could refrigerate them until the weather actually gets cold. Depending on where they are coming from if you plant them now they may think it's spring and come up at the wrong time. The other advice I have for you is to be careful with any kind plant food. Some potting soils have plant food in them and too much nitrogen can be disasterous. I had bulbs planted in my flower garden and used a nitrogen fertilyzer on the entire area. All my narcissis had 3' leaves and no flowers for years. They do like "bulb booster" type fertilyzer which is mostly bone meal.
Dee

Huntington Beach, CA(Zone 10b)

thank you, Dee. The only way to learn is to do it, I will take a deep breath and plunge. Syb

Huntington Beach, CA(Zone 10b)

I did it. ordered narcissus and hyacinth bulbs from BrentBecky because of the amazing reviews they get here. Between my neighbor and you, Dee, I,ve got enough handholding to maybe get through this. Thanks again, Syb

Arroyo Grande, CA(Zone 9a)

Good luck! You'll be known as a "green thumb" in no time.
Actually, whenever someone says I have a green thumb I always tell them that the first plant I owned was a cactus and I killed it. That I do a lot research on every plant I grow. Then if I manage to get the right advice I'm successful. If not I try again.

Huntington Beach, CA(Zone 10b)

Well, I've been away for awhile, but I have the bulbs and according to all the best advice I can get they are in the crisper. I've researched until I found out how to transplant an oak tree, and decided that's really going too far - but there's no book larnin' to replace actually doing it. My fingers are crossed. I don't want the bulbs coming up too, too early because of the things going with them in that area - oh, the planning.... Syb

(Pegi) Norwalk, CA(Zone 10b)

I have a lot of bulbs here someone gave me so I guess I should put them in the refrigerator, also would like to know when the weather is supposed to get cold here.

Huntington Beach, CA(Zone 10b)

Hi Samigal - I've got sources that say pre-chill for six to eight weeks, and now another that pre-chills for 12-16 weeks, which would put me planting out bulbs in February. There has to be a middle path here. I have always considered it winter in SoCal when it rains - regardless of the time of year we get rain. We can have 80 degree temps for Christmas and be wearing our long underwear a week later. No wonder the bulbs are sprouting now and plants that are supposed to be dormant are flowering - they're as confused as we are. Syb

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