I wanted to try to force flower bulbs this winter, for a little indoor flower action through the winter. The endless white winters in this part of the country can be maddening for a gardener without a little greenery.
About the first of October I put daffodil, crocus and tulip bulbs in my summer pots, and put them in our crawlspace to grow.
This is what they looked like by the 9th of November:
I'm not sure what's going on with the daffodil to the left; growing all wanky out of the pot.
I was really hoping to give little pots of crocus to friends for Christmas gifts.
Unfortunately, the crocus pots didn't work out very well. I think its because I had a hard time keeping the soil damp, as the crawlspace is kind of tricky to get into frequently. One of the three pots survived (kinda), and will hopefully bloom in the next few weeks.
I brought all but the tulip pot out of the crawlspace the first weekend of December. They hung out in the guest bathroom with DJ's home brew for a while. To successfully force bulbs, you've got to expose them to sunlight and warmer temperatures slowly.
The daffodils finally were able to be on display right around Christmas. They've given our living room a nice spot of color, greenery and fragrance from their little corner of the living room.
After the bulbs are done flowering, I'll plant them in the garden with a lot of fertilizer. I don't expect the bulbs to bloom outside for a year or two, but I'd rather not throw them away. Forcing takes a lot of energy out of a bulb; they can't be forced again.
I just moved the tulips into the bathroom upstairs last week. I'm hopeful that I'll have a pot of flowering bulbs in the house all spring until the outside bulbs start blooming!