17 December 2010

Bring spring early - Plant bulbs for indoor forcing - illustrated step by step

I bought this large wooden salad bowl at a church rummage sale for $5.
The bowl is cracked across the bottom which will provide drainage for the bulbs.
Potting ingredients - left to right -
vermiculite, soil-less potting mix, perlite and 60% bark soil-less potting mix

Combine all the ingredients of the planting mix

Thoroughly moisten the mixture

Add a little fertilizer to the water you'll use to water the bulbs in after they are all planted.
Use a weak solution of fertilizer with a low first number and a higher middle number. 10-20-10, Quick Start, Daniels, worm castings, etc. all work.

The bottom of the bulb has a residual root from when it was growing last year.
Press the bottom of the bulb into the moistened planting mix.

The growing tip shows at the top of the bulb.
I put the sideshoots toward the center of the container when planting.

This cracked wooden salad bowl is now full of crocus bulbs

Top the bulbs with more soil

Water them in to settle the soil around the bulbs and remove any air pockets

Smooth the surface

The salad bowl is planted.
Note that the bulb tips are still visible.
Next we covered the bowl with newspaper and
put it into the garage where it will stay cool and dark for a few weeks.

Around New Year's Day, we'll remove the newspaper to let in filtered light. When green leaves emerge, the bowl will come into the house and remain in a poorly lit place. The next week, they will get sunshine. The process is completed slowly to mimic spring with slowly increasing temperatures and hours of light.

Hope this helps. Feel free to email me with any questions mollyday1@gmail.com - there are no dumb questions.

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