The Q&A Archives: forcing bulbs

Question: how to force bulbs to this club.

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Answer: You can force quite a number of spring flowering bulbs, including daffodils, tulips, grape hyacinth, and crocus. Forcing refers to pushing for early bloom by putting bulbs through a chilling period or false winter. (This time of year you can purchase pre-chilled narcissus and hyacinths for forcing in most garden centers). Pot up bulbs in moistened potting soil, leaving the tips visible above the surface. Place them in a refrigerator or sheltered place where you can maintain a temperature in the mid-30's F. Make sure the soil doens't dry out completely, but don't overwater. Eight weeks does for some small bulbs like crocus and grape hyacinth, but all will do better with at least 10 weeks of chilling. Gradually bring them out into indirect light, and give them a little more water. As soon as green shoots appear, apply more water and move them to brighter light. They should bloom within a matter of a few weeks. Enjoy!

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