I love having fresh flowers in the house. During the summer months I can cut fresh flowers from my garden, but during the winter it takes a little more planning. By forcing bulbs you can enjoy fresh flowers during the dark days of winter. Not only will you be able to enjoy the blooms but you can give bulbs that you’ve started as presents. Who wouldn’t appreciate a gift of bulbs when the world is white with snow! Tulips, narcissus, hyacinths, crocus and lily of the valley can be forced into flower in late winter or early spring. A pot of tulips on your windowsill in February can brighten your spirits!
Narcissus bulbs are very easy to force and I found some very healthy looking bulbs at my local garden center.
Buy a bag of white crushed gravel to use in your containers. Rinse the gravel to get rid of any dust. Fill each of your bowls with gravel about 2/3 rds full.
Nestle the bulbs in the gravel ½ to 1 inch apart, placing the pointed side up.
Then fill in gravel around the bulbs, leaving the top halves exposed. Place them in good light and add water up to the base of the bulbs. Keep the water level at this height. Place the pots in a cool area. Within a few days roots will appear. When green shoots appear, move the pot to a cool, sunny spot.
Sit back and watch them grow and bloom. It’s nice to enjoy a little bit of spring color for your home when everything outside is covered with snow!
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