Try Bulb Forcing To Banish The Winter Blues

If you plant bulbs in the garden in the next few weeks you will be rewarded with blooms in the spring. Plant bulbs in pots indoors and you can enjoy the same colorful blooms in those dead winter months of January and February. I came across an article by Greg Coppa on the Horticulture Magazine website which tells you all you need to know about bulb forcing.

When Abby and I married I promised that I would always have plenty of fresh flowers in the house, cut from the seasonal profusion in the yard or in pots carefully tended to throughout the winter.

It has been an easy pledge to honor, pretty much, what with a succession of naturalized daffodils, irises, assorted lilies, roses and whatever annuals we are featuring in any given year. Here in southern New England, the last of the chrysanthemums leave in November and the first snowdrops arrive at the Ides of March. Christmas-themed plants dominate December; the challenge is finding petal power to chase away the January and February blues. Here?s where spring bulbs come in, forced to bloom in pots.

Delightful daffodils, heady hyacinths, tantalizing tulips, gorgeous grape hyacinths and comely crocuses?nothing is more cheerful on a cold, gray, raining and sleeting day than a pot of any of these in bloom on the coffee table or at the window. It?s easy to do, as long as you choose varieties wisely and have a plan for bringing them along.

Bulb Forcing Made Simple

When it comes to selecting bulbs of all types, size generally does matter?it determines

Sorting bulbs before fall planting in pots for winter bloom.

whether you have abundant blooms or none at all. Around the middle of September, choose the plumpest bulbs that you have purchased. (Bulbs for forcing can also be dug from your garden in early summer after their foliage has browned and shriveled. Dug bulbs should be hung in a plastic mesh bag, the type that onions and oranges are sold in, in a cool dry place.) Carefully peel off any small bulbils and put these runts in that corner of your garden reserved for bringing along future specimens of all kinds.

See more at Horticulture Magazine