I live in Wisconsin (zone 4a) and would like to order bulbs from the Ramp Farm, which is in Richwood, West Virginia. They ship in March, when the ground is still frozen in my area. Can I make this work? There is another option to order from a Minnesota grower, but the price is much higher. Thanks so much if you're able to advise!
Plants in the Allium family are very forgiving about being transplanted. If your order arrives when the ground is still frozen, put them in a plastic pot for a few weeks and give them a head start while their eventual site is thawing out.
I'd get a big tub/pot and fill it with loose potting soil. Nothing too rich or hot with nitrogen. The soil should be a bit moist but certainly not dripping wet. Tightly "plant" the ramps in the soil, back-fill around them and gently firm them into place. They'll need soil firmly pressed up against their roots to remain alive. Give them a bit of water twice a week but not too much. Keep them in a cool location so they don't dry out and don't take off growing like crazy until you are ready to transplant them. Give them enough exposure to filtered sunlight that they remain alive, but not so much that they grow rapidly. They should remain in semi-dormancy until you put them in the ground. A sun-porch that doesn't get too warm during the day might be a great location, just not in direct sunlight or where the pot is getting warmed up by direct sunlight. Once that soil gets 65 degrees or more, they'll want to grow.
The key—enough moisture that they remain alive without too much that would rot them. Enough filtered light that they continue to photosynthesize but not so much that they bolt. Warm enough that they don't freeze, but not so much that the soil dries out or their plant juices really start to flow. You may want to water them with just a mister to avoid getting the soil too wet. I'd go with a plastic pot or tub rather than terra cotta. It won't dry out as quickly should you forget about them for a week.
Pulling them up out of the loose potting soil will be easy, and then you can re-use that soil for other plants and projects.
OR . . . you could go to a party, hang around by the garbage can, collect 100 used red Solo cups, take a drill and drill a couple of drainage holes in all of them, and individually pot every one of those ramps in good soil in your party-scavenged cups. Then put the potted ramps in the sun and give them enough water to really get growing. Once you transplant them, they'll have a big jumpstart.
"The rule of no realm is mine. But all worthy things that are in peril as the world now stands, these are my care. And for my part, I shall not wholly fail in my task if anything that passes through this night can still grow fairer or bear fruit and flower again in days to come. For I too am a steward. Did you not know?" Gandolf