Brighten your indoor design, patio area, deck or balcony by forcing a few spring flowering bulbs into bloom.Just plant,
provide a chill, and take pleasure in a few extra daffodils, hyacinths, tulips, crocus and grape hyacinths this winter and spring.
All you need is an ideal container, some well-drained potting mix, the bulbs and a location to offer the bulbs the chill necessary to force them to bloom. Select a container with drainage holes that is deep enough to accommodate the largest bulbs. Cover the bottom few inches of the container with a well-drained potting mix.
Place bigger and taller bulbs like tulips, daffodils and hyacinths in the center surrounded by much shorter varieties. They can be planted close together, about one half the bulb width apart with the neck of bigger bulbs at or simply below the soil surface area. Set tulips with the flat side of the bulb facing the pot for a better display.
If you are utilizing a deep container, plant layers of bulbs for a more robust and longer-lasting display. Set the largest bulbs on the potting mix near the bottom of the container.
Cover these bulbs with soil and include the smaller bulbs like grape hyacinths and crocus on the next level. Plant these bulbs near each other, covering the surface area, for higher effect. Cover this layer with a minimum of an inch of soil. Water thoroughly so the excess water drains out the bottom of the pot.
Move the bulb-filled container to a cool place where temperature levels stay above freezing and between 35 to 45 degrees Fahrenheit for 12 to 15 weeks. An extra refrigerator works well for this. Just avoid keeping the bulbs in a fridge with fruit like apples and pears that give off ethylene gas that can negatively impact flowering.
If refrigerator area is limited, you can store the unplanted bulbs in a paper bag, so they take up less area in the fridge for the required chill prior to planting.
Those gardening in cooler climates can also store the pots in an unheated garage. Simply water the containers whenever the soil is defrosted and dry. Or sink the container into a vacant garden area in your landscape. Mulch the soil once the ground starts to freeze with evergreen boughs. The winter mulch makes retrieving the container easier in winter or spring.
Once the 12- to 15-week cold duration is total, you can begin moving the pots inside your home. Remove a few pots each week to extend the blossom time and your pleasure. Place the pot in a cool brilliant area to encourage more compact development.
Water thoroughly when the top few inches of soil start to dry. Quickly the leaves will begin to sprout and flowers will appear in about four weeks.
Supply continuous care if you intend on moving the bulbs into the garden. Remove the faded flowers and position the leafy plants in a sunny window and water completely whenever the leading inch of soil is dry. Fertilize with a water down service of any blooming houseplant fertilizer.
When the risk of frost has passed, you can move these plants into the garden if they are suited to your growing conditions. These plants may not bloom the following spring but typically do the next year and for numerous beyond.
Or you can toss the forced bulbs into the compost heap so they can go back to your garden as wonderful garden compost.
Investing time forcing a couple of spring blooming bulbs into blossom makes certain to improve your spirits this winter. Think about planting a few additional pots of bulbs to do the exact same for family and friends.