How to Store Flower Bulbs Over Winter

As winter quickly approaches, you may be wondering how to store flower bulbs so that you can protect them from a harsh frost and freezing temperatures.

In order to keep the plants growing year after year without needing to go buy more, you can store them over winter to ensure that they don't die.

Tips For Storing Flower Bulbs

You'll know it's time to pull the bulbs when the temperatures dip to 28 degrees Fahrenheit. When this occurs, the ends and leaves of your plants will start to turn brown.

Step 1
When you want to pull the bulbs, you'll need to dig around the plant. It's essential that you're careful you don't cut the bulbs as you're digging. Be sure to lift the clump of roots out of the ground and remove as much excess soil as possible. You should then move the root clumps to a dry, cool spot for about a week.

If you just bought new bulbs and they haven't been planted in the ground yet, be sure to remove any plastic bags or containers they may be in. Your bulbs need to be able to breathe while they're in storage and a material like plastic will cause them to rot over the course of winter.

Step 2
After you've given the clumps time to dry, you'll be able to remove any remaining dirt. You should then have vermiculite or dry peat moss in a cardboard box in which you'll place the roots. The peat moss helps to slow down the loss of moisture from the roots and will prevent them from shriveling throughout winter. Remember to never store the boxes of bulbs in a room where the temperature will drop below 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure that it isn't too warm, however, because this can cause the roots to sprout in the middle of winter. 

Step 3
When you have bulbs that bloom in the spring, you should keep in mind that they'll need at least six to eight weeks of cold in order to bloom. If you can, place the bulbs in a refrigerator - whether in your home or in an extra fridge in the garage or basement. Then, as soon as the ground thaws in the spring, you'll be able to plant them and see them blossom in no time. 

Step 4
Don't forget to occasionally check on your bulbs to ensure that they're still OK. When you're storing garden bulbs over the winter, try to check them once a month. You can gently squeeze each one and throw away any that are mushy. 

6 Romantic Date Ideas that Aren’t Creepy

Of all the dates-gone-bad you've seen on the Internet, it can be nerve-wracking to find romantic date ideas that aren't creepy. There are plenty of things out there that are great for two people going out on a first, second or third date.

6 Romantic Date Ideas

Whether you want to get to know your partner better or simply want to forget about the details and have fun together, try one of these romantic gestures:

Picnic: If you're going out for a midday date or are grabbing lunch on the weekend, you may want to consider packing a picnic and heading to a local park. Don't forget to bring the food, a blanket, beverages and flowers. If you know your partner's favorite bloom, pick up a dozen of them at a nearby flower shop and give them to her when she answers the door. She'll not only be glad that you remembered her favorite flower but that you were thoughtful enough to get her a bouquet. 

Music Festival: Couples that have already gotten to know each other a little may want to try going to a music festival together. Everyone loves music and seeing your date get caught up in the moment of listening to her favorite band will help you see her in a whole new light. Plus, you'll probably get to dance with her a little bit as well. After the music festival, be sure to send her a bouquet of her favorite flowers to thank her for going to the festival with you.

Take a Dance Class: You can go all Silver Linings Playbook on her and take a dance class. It's a great way to relieve stress and you'll get to learn something new together. As a guy you may not be the most forthcoming when it comes to learning how to dance, but if it's new to the both of you then you won't have to worry too much about being perfect, and you can have a few laughs along the way.

Karaoke: Depending on your level of bravery, you may need a few drinks before you can go onstage and sing a tune. Karaoke night is the perfect time to break down barriers and really let your date see the real you. If you really aren't the singing type you can still head to a nearby bar and listen to others who are brave enough to get up there. 

Go Bar Hopping: If there are a lot of bars in your neighborhood or community, take your date bar hopping. It's a great way to get to know your date on a more personal level without feeling like you're being forced to talk about the same date-night topics over and over. You can find sample sizes at most bars, so if there are multiple spots in town that you want to visit then you'll be able to make it to the next destination without stumbling your way there and possibly embarrassing yourself.

Be Tourists Together: Those who live in or near a big city may want to consider taking their date out to be tourists for the day. It's highly unlikely that you've been everywhere there is to go in a big city, so why not check out historic landmarks or go to a museum you've never visited? If you and your date are really into history, consider looking up some of the historic spots in the city and visiting each of them. You may also want to look for off-the-beaten-path spots like eateries and bars when you want to grab a bite to eat. 

6 Romantic Date Ideas that Aren’t Creepy

Of all the dates-gone-bad you've seen on the Internet, it can be nerve-wracking to find romantic date ideas that aren't creepy. There are plenty of things out there that are great for two people going out on a first, second or third date.

6 Romantic Date Ideas

Whether you want to get to know your partner better or simply want to forget about the details and have fun together, try one of these romantic gestures:

Picnic: If you're going out for a midday date or are grabbing lunch on the weekend, you may want to consider packing a picnic and heading to a local park. Don't forget to bring the food, a blanket, beverages and flowers. If you know your partner's favorite bloom, pick up a dozen of them at a nearby flower shop and give them to her when she answers the door. She'll not only be glad that you remembered her favorite flower but that you were thoughtful enough to get her a bouquet. 

Music Festival: Couples that have already gotten to know each other a little may want to try going to a music festival together. Everyone loves music and seeing your date get caught up in the moment of listening to her favorite band will help you see her in a whole new light. Plus, you'll probably get to dance with her a little bit as well. After the music festival, be sure to send her a bouquet of her favorite flowers to thank her for going to the festival with you.

Take a Dance Class: You can go all Silver Linings Playbook on her and take a dance class. It's a great way to relieve stress and you'll get to learn something new together. As a guy you may not be the most forthcoming when it comes to learning how to dance, but if it's new to the both of you then you won't have to worry too much about being perfect, and you can have a few laughs along the way.

Karaoke: Depending on your level of bravery, you may need a few drinks before you can go onstage and sing a tune. Karaoke night is the perfect time to break down barriers and really let your date see the real you. If you really aren't the singing type you can still head to a nearby bar and listen to others who are brave enough to get up there. 

Go Bar Hopping: If there are a lot of bars in your neighborhood or community, take your date bar hopping. It's a great way to get to know your date on a more personal level without feeling like you're being forced to talk about the same date-night topics over and over. You can find sample sizes at most bars, so if there are multiple spots in town that you want to visit then you'll be able to make it to the next destination without stumbling your way there and possibly embarrassing yourself.

Be Tourists Together: Those who live in or near a big city may want to consider taking their date out to be tourists for the day. It's highly unlikely that you've been everywhere there is to go in a big city, so why not check out historic landmarks or go to a museum you've never visited? If you and your date are really into history, consider looking up some of the historic spots in the city and visiting each of them. You may also want to look for off-the-beaten-path spots like eateries and bars when you want to grab a bite to eat. 

Garden Safety Tips for Winter: Reducing Frost on Plants

Fall will quickly fade into winter, and depending on where you live, that may mean blustery winds, frost and snow. While you can never really predict the exact date of the first frost, you can prepare for it and protect your plants ahead of time so that you aren't stuck in the garden trying to save what's left of the work you put in this summer and fall. 

When planning ahead for frost and gathering safety tips for winter, you will also want to consider the microclimate of your yard. If you have sheltered areas then it's likely that plants in this specific spot of your garden won't frost at the same time that plants more out in the open do. 

Average Frost Dates By Region

South: In the South, you can expect the first autumn frost to make its appearance anywhere between October 30 and November 30. 

Midwest & Northeast: The average date of the first autumn frost in the Midwest can arrive anywhere between August 30 to October 30, similar to the Northeast. 

West: Due to the Rocky Mountains, there is a large range of when the first autumn frost can show up. In the mountains, you can see a first arrive as soon as June while those in California may not see frost until the end of December.

Southwest: Similar to the West, the Southwest can see frost arrive anywhere between June and December. The further south and away from the mountains you live, the more likely that the first autumn frost will hold off until the end of December.

Northwest: Most of the Northwest sees its first autumn frost anywhere between August 30 and September 30, although some areas may not see it until October.

Tips For Protecting Plants in the Winter

Bring Them In: When you want to protect your plants from frost, you can bring in the ones that are potted inside at night. Although it may be a little messy if the soil spills over while you're carrying them, you'll be much more happy knowing that the hard work of planting them won't go to waste because of winter frost that killed them. Even if you don't want to bring them in your house, try to give them some shelter in a garage or shed, somewhere that won't leave them directly affected by the cold and frosty weather.

Lay a Blanket: If you have plants in the ground that you don't want to die because of the cold weather, take an old sheet or blanket and place it over them. Make sure that the blanket or sheet isn't too heavy so it doesn't weigh down or kill the plants. If you're expecting a hard freeze, be sure to take a couple of buckets or milk jugs of warm water and place them under the cloth and near the plants. Gardeners who have outdoor lights near the plants may want to turn them on so the bulbs generate a little extra heat to help keep your flowers warm.

Avoid Direct Contact with Plastic: If you want to put plastic down, remember that you'll damage your plants if you put it directly on the flowers themselves. To avoid this, put a cloth barrier between the plants and plastic. You can use the sheet or blanket idea while also putting down plastic to help protect your plants from winter frost. 

Cover with Mulch: If you live in a region of the country that doesn't experience too much cold weather throughout winter, then you have the option of covering your plants with mulch. Keep in mind that this will only work with low plantings, but if the frost and cold won't stick around too long this is a less time consuming measure.

Chrysanthemum: How to Grow Fall’s Favorite Flower

Chrysanthemums have been a fall favorite among flower aficionados for decades. This popular bloom has a history that dates back thousands of years as well as many stories and symbols.

A History of the Chrysanthemum

The mum dates back to the 15th century B.C. It gets its name from the Greek prefix "chrys-," which means golden and "-anthemion," which means flower. 

In its early beginnings, mums were only available in a golden color. Throughout the centuries, the chrysanthemum has been cultivated and is now produced in a variety of colors including white, red and purple. 

The mum serves as a symbol of optimism and joy because of its yellow center and pompon petals. Those who are born in November have the Chrysanthemum as a birth flower and it's the official flower of the city of Chicago. 

Each year, Japan hosts its Festival of Happiness to honor the Chrysanthemum. The Japanese look at this flower as a symbol of the sun. Some even place a single petal of a mum at the bottom a wine glass to encourage a healthy and long life. 

Tips For Growing Fall's Favorite Flower

Are you wondering when to plant mums for fall? Don't quite know how to keep them alive and healthy through the winter? Here are some tips for growing fall's favorite flower:

Sunlight: You'll be glad you know that Chrysanthemums grow the best and produce the most flowers when they're planted in full sunshine. You'll also want to be sure that you're giving them enough food and moisture so they can flourish. Mums should get at least five to six hours of sunlight each day.

Choose the variety that suits you: The most helpful information may be knowing that there are hundreds of varieties of mums available. You'll want to do your research to find the best height, color, flower size and time of bloom that fits your wants and needs.

Live in the north?: If you live in a northern climate then you'll want to purchase the earlier blooms. You can still plant them during the fall, it'll just need to be toward the beginning of the season due to the fact that the cold, frost and snow is more likely to earlier in the year than if you lived in the South. Mums should be planted at least six weeks before any extreme weather arrives to ensure that they've established their roots.

Plant them deep: When you go to plant the seeds, make sure they're going into well-prepared, sandy, fertile soil. However, keep in mind that mums don't like "wet feet," or the feeling of being in water water, so you'll want to make sure that the hole they're going in is extra deep to avoid feeling as though they're drowning.

Choosing a Bouquet of Flowers for Your Desk

When you're in search of a bouquet of flowers to add to your desk, you may want to consider an arrangement that will match the season. 

Trending Bouquets for Fall

When fall arrives the most beloved colors are rich hues like golds, orange, reds and browns. Trending bouquets for autumn often include blossoms like dahlias, garden roses, hypericum berries and orchids. 

You'll want to stick with colorful, vibrant blooms that will make your desk feel like your own space. When you're spending eight hours a day, five days a week at your desk, you want it to be a place that's welcoming, and a bouquet is the perfect way to achieve that feeling.

When you're looking for some fall flowers to add to your desk, consider some of these trending blooms:

Carnations: Although not currently a trend, carnations are making a comeback. Their ruffled edges resemble peonies and there are a variety to choose from. Carnations also last a long time, so they're the perfect flower to choose to keep throughout fall. 

Roses: No matter the season, roses are always in. They're one of the most popular flowers and people continually use them in bouquets, including at their desk or office space.

Baby's breath: You frequently see baby's breath in wedding bouquets and centerpieces, but have you ever thought about adding them to your desk? It's a very simple arrangement if you want baby's breath by itself and always looks great in a combination.

Texture: If you really want to make your bouquet stand out in the fall, then you'll want to add texture. You can do this by choosing an arrangement that has twigs, pumpkins, gourds, fruits and vegetables. This trend is becoming increasingly popular as people want to add more of a "fall" feeling to their desk bouquets.