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Add Color To Your Winter With Bulb Forcing By Following These Directions

It is best to begin with fresh potting soil. It is not wise to purchase the potting soil with fertilizer because your forced bulbs will be long gone before any benefit could be derived from the fertilizer. It is a good idea,however,to buy pre-moisten soil it is quick and less messy if you are working inside of a house or apartment. I would add some sand to the soil mix. The sand gives the soil the ability to drain faster and a forced bulb requires fast drainage. The proportions to be used are three measures of soil to one of sand. You can deposit this in a pot and use this measure to fill other pots for additional bulb forcing.

There maybe the need to add more water if you notice areas of dry spots. Your final mixture should crumble when your fist is opened. The pot should contain a layer of gravel at the bottom of the pot. There is one thing to keep in mind and that would be not to fill your pot to the very top. There will be no way to insert your bulbs if you stuff the pot with the soil mixture. You must plant only one type of bulb in each pot because of the different flowering times. There is information at my website in back issues of the Gardener Monthly newsletter for cooling periods or contact me and I will provide the information

A large wooden spoon is a good tool for mixing your soil. It can also assist in firming soil as you insert your mix over the gravel placed in the bottom of the pot. The bulbs,if your planting more than one of the same type,place as close as possible to each other without touching.Please ignore the planting instructions supplied with bulbs because they are not provided for bulb forcing procedures.For planting of more than one variety,you will need to label your pots for identification purposes and mark the calendar as to exactly when the cooling procedure began. It usually takes between 10-16 weeks for the forcing to result in sprouts.

Now you must locate the perfect cold spot. I use an old refrigerator for this purpose but make sure you have no fruit stored with your bulbs for the gas that comes off the fruit will indeed rot your bulbs. A cold frame is good as long as snow does not freeze it shut. A garage is a good place as long as the temperatures do not drop below freezing. You can pack the bulbs in cardboard boxes and fill them with plastic peanuts or old styrofoam just do not stack them and endanger the bulbs that shoot sprouts.

Bulb forcing in the winter months can certainly be fun. A summary of the tools needed to perform this winter hobby are,besides the bulbs, pots with good drainage holes,labels,several sharpen pencils,no we are not going to plant the pencils,new potting soil with no fertilizer,sand,pebbles,a calendar,and last but not least,water. Now yOU can begin the enjoyment of a winter season with your favorite flowers.

This gardener has been gardening for over twenty years and has decided to use his empirical data as well as researched information to assist beginners as well as old timers in their garden pursuits. My web site can be found at http://www.gardenersgardening.com

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