Spring is Here! - In the Refrigerator

This time of year we are all wanting something green and growing. In my garden, I have snow and everything else is BROWN. This year I decided to try forcing bulbs. I potted up some tulip bulbs in October and placed them in the refrigerator and guess what..... spring is coming early. If you would like to try forcing tulips here is how to do it. Purchase some fresh healthy bulbs and pot them in a clean pot with potting soil. Make sure the flat side of the bulb is against the side of the pot with the pointed end up. Cover with soil, water and place in a plastic bag. Make sure you add the date you potted the bulbs on the pot. Put the pot into the refrigerator and let winter begin. Check on the pot every couple of weeks for signs of growth and moisture.

When you see the tulips breaking out of the soil and the roots coming out of the bottom of the pot, you can remove the potted bulbs and take them into the house to a bright, warm location to encourage growth of foliage and buds. I am going to let my bulbs go longer in the refrigerator because they are not ready yet. Tulips need 12 to 14 weeks of chilling at temperatures of 35 to 48 degrees with 40 degrees being ideal. Make sure that you do not keep apples in the refrigerator with your tulips. Apples produce an odorless gas called ethylene which will damage your tulip bulbs. Make sure you use a potting soil with fertilizer in it. Forcing does weaken the bulbs and you may not be able to rebloom them again in the garden. When you purchase bulbs, check to make sure that they can be forced. Potted bulbs with care instructions make great Christmas gifts for friends and fellow gardeners. I will keep you up to date on the progress of my bulbs - check back at "Garden Thyme with the Creative Gardener".

The Creative Gardener