By: Paul Schnare
Monday, September 15, 2003
During late August and early September, garden centers place fall bulbs, such as tulips, daffodils, and crocus on their shelves. This is the time to make your purchase, because the selection is the greatest.
The best time to plant these bulbs is in November and December when soils are cold. If you plant them too early, they will germinate and foliage will emerge above the soil in the fall before winter ensues. The cold winter temperatures could damage to the foliage.
When planting your bulbs, be sure to mix peat moss with the excavated soil. Plant the bulb at a depth of two times the diameter of the bulb. Place some bone meal under the bulb in order to encourage good root development of the bulb during winter.
You can force fall bulbs to bloom inside during late winter if you get started now. Put potting mix into a black plastic pot about two-thirds full. Place tulip bulbs on top of the potting mix. Make sure the point of the bulb is pointing up. Then cover the bulbs with additional potting mix.
Next water the potting mix thoroughly with a solution of a high phosphorous fertilizer such as 9-59-8. Allow any excess fertilizer solution to drain out of the pot. Next cover the planted pot in a brown paper bag, and place in your refrigerator for 12 weeks.
At the end of the 12 weeks, remove the pot from brown paper bag, and place the pot in a sunny, warm place inside your house. Within two to four weeks your forced tulip bulbs should be blooming.