Shipping in the green

R Hansen via pbs
Wed, 17 Mar 2021 08:15:50 PDT
Uli has a very good point about shipping dry versus shipping in damp peat. While to some degree the type of bulb matters, it is entirely possible to have too much moisture in the peat. Another point I think is important to mention is that I ship only on Mondays by UPS which guarantees the customer will receive plants no later than Friday. It's expensive to ship that way and many nurseries do not use UPS; they use the postal service. Just as an example, an Oregon nursery shipped me strawberry plants which took at most 3 days from start to arrival at the post office. They were dry, but reasonably firm (strawberries have both very fibrous roots and heavier thicker roots) and I soaked them immediately on receipt.

That said, of late, due to laziness, lately I've tossed the bulbs into DRY peat and have had no complains. These bulbs were turgid; in another words they have had the proper amount of moisture before being depotted and shipped. There are a few bulbs that need some moisture with shipment, especially if it will take longer than 4-5 days to arrive at their destination. Not that many, though. And if you are uncertain of arrival date, dry IS better.

So, what it boils down to is knowing how long it will take (good luck on that lately) and knowing the requirements of the plant you're shipping.

Experience tells as we know and Uli has been shipping as long as I have. Checking around for advice is always good and I make note of personal experiences and what others say.

Information on which bulbs cannot dry out is not readily available. But always observe which bulbs you see available in fall or spring at your local store. If you don't ever see Erythroniums, for example, there's your clue.

And just to cheer us up, Luminita will soon announce the opening of another seed and bulb exchange. Please be fair and don't order everything she lists, no matter how hungry we are... Because we often offer such rare plants, inevitably there will be a number of them of which she has only a few to distribute.

Happy, happy Spring!

Robin Hansen

Cold, but gradually warming so the wind just has to slow down

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