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Remove bulbs from ground in winter?

Q: Do bulbs have to be removed from the ground and stored in the winter?

I want to redo my yard to not require as much work on my part and want to start planting flowers that remain year after year.

A: Much depends on the type of bulb as to whether or not you should bring it in over winter.

Most of the spring bulbs are pretty hardy (daffodils, hyacinth, crocus, lily of the valley, etc.) and fair very well winter after winter and can be left in the ground.

In fact, they depend on the cold -- they need to go through a freezing period in order to produce blooms (this is one reason you don't see many daffodils down south).

Tulips do best if taken up each year, though some will survive our winters.

Check the type of tulips you buy for winter hardiness, and plant the ones that can be left alone. They may not spread real well, though, so you may need to add more occasionally.

I'm all for planting gardens that require little maintenance. We have been successful in our yard with wood hyacinths, daffodils, lily of the valley, and crocuses (or is that croci?).

With these, you're good to go with nothing left to do but enjoy them each year as they pop up.

In any event, when you purchase your bulbs, always consult your source before ordering and choose wisely.

Many bulbs are definitely NOT winter hardy, so avoid these unless you like them a lot and don't mind either planting new ones every year or bringing them in each fall.

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