This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
Dealers in bulbs, cut-flowers, nursery stock, fruits and vegetables employ cold-storage to retard the growth of bulbs and plants, or to preserve cut-flowers and produce, by using specially constructed sheds, refrigerators, ice-boxes, or the public cold-storage warehouses. The nursery stock thus stored can be packed and shipped from the cold to warmer parts of the country in good season for planting, when it would be impossible to dig and ship such stock without the storage system. Sheds for the storage of nursery stock have earthen floors, are ventilated and lighted from the ridge-and-furrow roof and heated to exclude frost, the maximum temperature being 35° to 40.° Large trees are stood upright, the smaller stock usually laid lengthwise in compartments. The roots are covered with sphagnum, or a mixture of sphagnum and excelsior or cedar shingletow; the shingletow or excelsior alone will not make good covering for this purpose. See Nursery.
The roots and bulbs commonly placed in cold-storage are those used by florists for forcing, such as lily bulbs, lily-of-the-valley pips, and the like. By placing these in cold-storage, growers can secure a continuous succession of bloom throughout the year. Lily bulbs are stored in the original cases packed in soil, the cases being cleated to provide circulation of air, and held at 34°. The multiflorum and formosum varieties of Lilivm longiflorum can be held in storage three to four months, and the giganteum type of this lily ten to eleven months, L. auratum four months, L. speciosum and .varieties eight months. The sizes (circumference) of storage lily bulbs and number of bulbs to the case are as follows:
L. longiflorum and its varieties multiflorum, formosum and giganteum, 6- to 8-inch, 400; 7- to 9-inch, 300; 9-to 11-inch, 200; in L. longiflorum giganteum there is an 8- to 10-inch size which runs 225 to the case; L. auratum 8- to 9-inch, 160; 9- to 11-inch, 100; 11- to 13-inch, 75; L. speciosum, 8- to 9-inch, 200; 9- to 11-inch, 100; 11-to 13-inch, 75. Lily-of-the-valley pips are packed in a mixture of sphagnum and sand, one-fourth of the latter being used to three-fourths of the moss and held at 28.° These are packed 500, 1,000 and 2,000 to the case and can be kept in storage eleven months. Canna roots, dahlias and gladioli should be held at 35° to 40.° Cut-flowers, such as roses, carnations, orchids, violets, and lilies, used by florists, are preserved for varying periods in ice-boxes or refrigerators, the usual temperature being 35° to 40.° Peonies cut when the buds show color, leaves removed from the lower part of the stem, wrapped in paper, and the lower bare portions of the stems placed in water, will keep several weeks at a temperature of 32° to 33.° Lilium candidum in bud can be treated the same way.
Fruits and vegetables are stored at 33° to 35.° Warehousemen say that cold-storage merchandise keeps best and is easiest to handle in packages containing about a bushel. See Storage. Michael Barker.