Friday, November 23, 2007

What's cooking. Not.

On this food festival holiday weekend, I can proudly announce that my refrigerator shows few signs of culinary activities. (And those who have been subjected to my labors over the years might say that's a good thing.) Instead of turkey and all the trimmings, the shelves are filled with chilling plant life.

These glass vases hold white ("L’Innocence") and deep pink ("Jan Bos") hyacinth bulbs. The bulbs must chill for about ten weeks at 40-50 degrees suspended over--but not touching--water. They'll be brought out of the refrigerator after January 1, to welcome the new year.

A crisper drawer holds amaryllis bulbs, bagged for convenience--my first attempt at rolling these bulbs over for another season. Three plants came to me in bloom last holiday season. After the blossoms dropped, I watered and fertilized the plants erratically until early fall. When their leaves turned limp and yellow, I cut off the foliage, removed the bulbs from their pots, picked away the dirt from the roots, and stuck each in its own labeled bag.

They need to chill for about eight weeks, so re-potting will not begin until after January 11. I also ordered a new deep red amaryllis ("Royal Velvet") for this year, just in case. Trust issues, I guess.

The refrigerator's butter shelf contains larkspur and mallow seeds (thanks, Bestitched!) from summer collection. I celebrated Thanksgiving by direct-sowing about half of the larkspur seeds. I guess that's what I'm serving this holiday!


Carol said...

I commend you for saving your amaryllis from year to year. I always buy cheap bulbs and end up just throwing them out after they've bloomed, even though I tell myself I'll save them for next year.

On the hyacinths, I leave mine in the refrigerator just in a paper bag, not on the vase filled with water. Tthen the week after Christmas, I bring them out and set them on the vases. I had not heard of putting them in the refrigerator already on the vase. Is that really necessary? I get good bloom.

Carol, May Dreams Gardens

Doctor Mom said...

I think that the hyacinths can be chilled in the refrigerator both ways and, frankly, I am thinking that your way makes the most sense. How longdo you keep them in the refrigerator and what do they look like when you take them out (any roots or green top emerging)? Always looking for a better route to happiness!

diana said...

Dang, I forgot about the larkspur. I'll sow it tomorrow!

Leslie said...

I am an amaryllis saver ... they are about the closest thing to gardening I will do between now and April.

Carol said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carol said...

I chill my hyacinth bulbs in the back of the refrigerator from about mid to end of October until the right after Christmas... so about 8-10 weeks? When I pull them out of the refrigerator, there may be just a hint of shoot showing, but no roots. I set them up on the bulb vases, with water in the vase as full as possible without the bulb touching the water, and in about five or six weeks, I usually have bloom.

Carol, May Dreams Gardens