Phyllis Hess, Ohio

stirring the pot

December 14, 2008

Category: Growing Daffodils

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Altho I expect your comment was made with tongue firmly in cheek; you might be stirring the pot a little too vigorously.
This wonderful country of ours is way too “sue happy”.
I imagine some who have not visited here in the US or even some in the US who have not traveled much cannot imagine the diversity of climates here.
While I am sitting in Florida with 80 degree temps; there are some in Minnesota freezing with temps below zero. Then there are the high mountains and the desert areas; and those areas barely above sea level and on and on. Very difficult to have daffodils or any other plant grown in like conditions here. Here in Florida there are hedges of plants that I grow as a house plant in Ohio; others considered weeds that we purchase for our gardens in the north. This is indeed a strange wonderful land in which we live.

4 responses to “stirring the pot”

  1. George Dorner says:

    Amen to Phyllis. And, I don’t recall many proposals to handicap show entries, at the national show say, based on where that pretty bloom came to maturity. That’s just part of the landscape of this hobby and it makes the shows and the competition more interesting, if not always more fair.

    And, that’s really what was behind the query which started this thread. I’ve read and reread what I’ve been able to find on potting daffodils, but that hasn’t answered my questions, localized to my weather and other growing conditions. In particular, what may one do in late season when conventional, leisurely, and well thought out approaches are not at hand.
    There are indeed some nice articles on the web about this subject. In addition to the paragraphs on, take a look at:
    Daffodil Society of Minnesota:
    Do you have other sources in print about this topic?
    Two things not mentioned in this thread have been tried here. On the advice of an ADS friend in a different climate I placed pots along the south side of the house and mulched them (but not plunged). That was not very successful. I also placed pots in a window well. That was fairly successful. but I have only one well which holds two pots. This is really adapted to the task. There is a window into this well, which is on the west side and extends about 4 feet below the surface.  It’s no good for any other type of gardening, but two pots are there for this winter. 
    When I posted last week, the temperature was and had been about 18F (-28C)  and was projected to be the same today. There was a nice cover of 1 or 2 inches of snow and our lake (most would call it a pond) was frozen well enough for kids to skate and adults to chase their dogs. However, over the weekend there was a short thaw – up to about 45F (7C) here yesterday. Most of the snow melted and the ice on the tiny lake was covered with an inch or so of water. And this morning it is indeed 20F and dropping with a light snow which extends over the surface of the apparently solid lake, but I won’t be walking on it.  Conditions here are tame compared to what our friends in Minnesota face, tough they probably have fewer quick thaws.  The importance of being near a Great Lake must be noted. We are “inland” from Lake Michigan about 13 miles, and things here may differ markedly from those at Al’s house, less than a mile from Lake Michigan. We’re used to hearing in our weathercasts, “cooler near the lake” in the summer and the opposite in the winter. I’m listening to the radio as I type. It was just announced that Burlington, Iowa had temperatures of 64F (18C) yesterday, followed by ice storms last night. The wind chill here is 18 below, but the daffodils don’t know that. But the weatherman says our weather has been nothing compared to the northeast part of the U.S. And I don’t want to hear from Bob Spotts about watering, nor from the Southerners about the heat.
    So yesterday, while the weather cooperated, I moved pots to a variety of locations and will take data in the spring. I hope some of the pots are blooming well enough to show up during the convention here in the last week of April. In any case, thanks to all for responses on potting daffodils. As I’ve often noted, the corporate wisdom on a topic like this deserves to be archived so that the next time the question comes up, someone may refer to “item number 12 in the FAQ..” Then, we may refine, debate, and hone that item and make it better for the next time.
    Hmmm. I still am not exactly sure about the matter of bulbs being frozen. My pots were only frozen down about an inch (though the ambient temperature was in the low 40’s), so I’m not worried about them now. But what if I had just left them there on the porch and the frozen part went below the bulbs?

  2. Mary Lou Gripshover, Ohio Mary Lou Gripshover says:

    Thanks for the links, George.  But the link to suite101 goes to my biography.  Here’s the link to the articles:
    You’ll have to scroll down past the ads to get to the articles, and then click on “view all articles”.  There’s one on forcing, but I don’t remember if I wrote anything specifically about pots.
    I think Peggy Macneale (Cincinnati, Ohio area) used to recommend putting pots of bulbs being forced in window wells. 
    Mary Lou

  3. Loyce McKenzie, Mississippi Loyce McKenzie says:

    from Zone 8, where it’s going up to 63 degrees:
    “What’s a window well/”

    (for that matter, what’s a basement? opposite of an attic, I suppose, and that I can
    tell you all about)
    We are, indeed, a very diverse country with all sorts of situations, and thanfully,
    daffodils that can be grown everywhere.
    Phyllis, what a perceptive and articulate description of our country!

    Ray Rogers, why aren’t you popping in here and suggesting to all these folks
    who want/need to grow daffodils in pots that it’s a pity the Container classes
    still aren’t more widely and fully filled?

    Of course daffodils grown in pots OUTDOORS all their cycle of growth are
    very eligible. How else could those of us in warmer climates and clay soil suitable
    only for making pottery ever produce good blooms?

    It’s these questions with no easy answers that enliven DaffNet out of season, if
    indeed there is anything as “out of daffodil season” any more.

    Loyce McKenzie,
    who used to be on the line between Zone 7 and Zone 8, but they re-did the


  4. George Dorner says: