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Forcing Bulbs in a Pot

Force a few spring flowering bulbs for indoor enjoyment or added beauty on your patio and deck.

Consider using variety of bulbs to extend the bloom time. Plant the bulbs at various depths based on their size.

Fill the bottom of the container with a well-drained potting mix. Place larger bulbs like tulips, daffodils and hyacinths in the lower level. The taller daffodils will go in the center skirted by the tulips and hyacinths. Place tulips with the flat side of the bulb facing the pot for a better display.

Cover with soil and add the smaller squills and crocus bulbs to the next level. Plant them close covering the surface for greater impact. Cover this layer with soil.

The next step is to water then move to a cool location, about 35 to 45 degrees for at least 12 to 15 weeks. When ready bring indoors or place in your landscape for added spring color.

A bit more information: Forced bulbs (hardy in your region) can be added to the garden. Remove the faded flowers and water the plants like your houseplants or other container gardens. Fertilize with a dilute solution of flowering plant fertilizer or apply low nitrogen slow release fertilizer like Milorganite. This helps replenish the nutrients used in flowering. Move indoor forced bulbs outdoors as soon as the danger of frost has passed. Those in containers outdoors can remain in the pots until the foliage fades or the garden is ready for planting. Or store the bulbs in a cool dark place for summer and plant in fall with other hardy bulbs. Then be patient. You usually don't have flowers until the second spring.

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