Advice on moving a bulb collection

Jane McGary
Tue, 03 Jan 2012 16:44:37 PST
Fred wrote,
>I am about to move from one U.S. state to another with a very large bulb and
>plant collection.  Can I draw on someone's experience of doing this same
>feat?  I might add that the bulbs will be in storage for 4 to 6 weeks during
>the move.

Depending on what kinds of bulbs these are, it is important to pack 
them so that they don't become too dry or, conversely, stay so moist 
that they mold and rot. Clean them carefully before packing them and 
consider dusting with sulfur or some other product. They should 
probably be kept in the dark, either in opaque bags or within 
cardboard boxes. If you have some that are in root growth, you can 
put them in plastic bags with a little BARELY moist vermiculite, and 
I would leave the top of the bag open a little. If you're shipping 
them in cardboard boxes, cushion the bottom of the box with crumpled 
newspaper or something similar so the bulbs on the bottom don't get smashed.

When I moved a year and a half ago, I unpotted more than 1500 
containers of bulbs and put each kind in a brown paper bag (you can 
buy small bags of this kind at Costco for very little) with its 
labels. I had them stored in a basement in summer for about six 
weeks, where the air was rather dry and temperature moderate. It was 
a tremendous job getting them all into the raised beds in the new 
bulb house, but very few of them showed any damage. I did lose some 
colchicums dug from the garden during an unusually wet summer, though 
-- they molded in storage even though I had dried them in flats for a 
week or so..

Good luck!
Jane McGary

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