Start Now in Fall to Force Bulbs Over Winter

For those dreary winter months, a display of spring bulbs is sure to brighten any tabletop, windowsill or sunny corner of the living room. Begin now to prepare your bulbs and you will be rewarded with blooms even when there are piles of snow on the ground.

City Style and Living Fall 2022 Start Now in Fall to Force Bulbs Over Winter
/ K&S Media

Purchase bulbs as soon as possible in fall, anytime between October and January. Alternatively, skip the method mentioned below, entirely, and order prechilled bulbs from a local garden centre.

Before planting, chill the bulbs for six to twelve weeks: place in a cool, dark area with a temperature between 3C to 12C and humidity of around 65 percent (like a refrigerator). If placing in the basement or garage, water moderately.
This prechilling ensures that the bulbs will develop strong roots.

After prechilling, set the bulbs in snug containers with drainage holes, filled with well-draining potting soil. Position bulbs about 3 cm away from the side of the pot and at about the same between distance between bulbs. Press soil firmly around the bulbs. Water with tepid water.

Gradually bring into stronger sunlight. Choose an area with medium light like an east or west facing window. Continue to water moderately, but not so much that bulbs rot. Blooms should appear one month later.

Tulip Secret Perfume
Intoxicating scent and peony-like blooms.
6/pk, $9.99;

Fritillarias Meleagris
Cute and elegant, sure to make a statement.
15/pk, $9.99;

Elwesii Single Snowdrop
Harbinger of spring, delicate blooms.
10pk, $12.99;

Hyacinths Caribbean Dream
Gorgeous, scented beauties.
4/pk, $9.99;

Narcissus Tender Beauty
Peach poetry in double flower.
 5/pk, $9.99;

Move bulbs outdoors and into the ground after flowers fade. Sprinkle a handful of fertilizer into the planting hole and they are likely to bloom again next spring.

This original article first appeared in the Fall 2022 issue of City Style and Living Magazine.

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