Monday, November 26, 2007

Forcing Bulbs for Christmas

I love giving "forced bulbs" for Christmas Gifts. It is an easy and inexpensive, but lovely gift.
A few tips when forcing bulbs: 1. Look for the bulbs to state they are either "prepared" or "chilled". This means the bulbs have been chilled or cooled and are ready to bloom. Most Bulbs need a chilling period of 8 to 12 weeks. 2. You could buy bulbs that are not chilled, but the bulbs will have to be placed in a cool/cold area for the required time. 3. Always pick a bulb that is firm, unblemished and the paper skin is tight, much as you would choose an onion.

Pick a pretty pot, vase or any vessel (no plastic, please!) to plant the bulb. The pot will need to accommodate the bulb once watered, so choose a pot with at least 1" larger than bulb.You will need gravel for the bottom of the pot if it has no drainage hole. Choose a good quality potting soil, one heavy in peat. Don't forget pot dressing to finish (I prefer reindeer moss).

1. Place gravel for drainage in bottom of pot.

2. Fill to a depth of 3" with the potting soil.

3. Place bulb on soil and fill with remaining soil just up to the "hips" of the bulb.

4. Water well, but do not flood the pot.

5. Top dress with reindeer moss. This helps to keep in the moisture, and doesn't it just look pretty and finished this way. Place pot in a warm area, i.e. where you are comfortable .

In days you or the recipient will begin to see the bulb emerge from dormancy , and in a few short weeks blooms!

Another lovely presentation is planting in glass pebbles. Children especially like this for as the bulb grows they can see the roots find their way through the pebbles. Make sure the vase is large enough to accommodate the swelling of the bulb. Place the bulb on the top of the pebbles.

Fill vase with water until it just tickles the bottom of the bulb. Keep the water consistently at this level. If the bulb itself sits in water it will rot. You may wish to change the water every few days to avoid a skunky smell (just tip out water, and refill).

Give Bulbs this Holiday Season. It's spot on!

1 comment:

Emily said...

Hi Aunt Leisa,
I love colors of the Owen glass!!
They are very nice!