This is the time of year I really struggle with… the often sunless and cold days and being stuck inside make me feel like spring will never come. So… I’m jump-starting spring on the windowsill. A few years ago I was much more together about this and potted bulbs in December and then brought them in from the garage two pots at a time and had blooms from February through April on the windowsills. This year, yeah, I’m not that together. But on Thurs evening, Lex, Cora and I sat on Cora’s floor with dirt and we potted bulbs. Even the act of just potting the bulbs gave me a mood jump start… not to mention spending the evening with some of my best friends… As you may remember, dirt is very theraputic for me… you know, dreaming about digging in dirt, the joy I get all spring, summer, and fall from playing in the dirt. Yeah, now that you mention it, its probably an official diagnosable condition 🙂 Anyway, potting the bulbs and digging in the dirt gives me hope that spring will come, and even if it takes a long time, I’ll have flowers on the window sill in a few weeks.
You can find articles on how to force bulbs anywhere, and I’m sure we didn’t do it all “correctly” but here’s how it works.
1. Most bulbs need to have been “wintered” somehow. My tulip bulbs spent the last several weeks in the garage – actually, I bought them at the end of fall on super clearance, figuring I’d have time to get them in the ground before it froze, which naturally didn’t happen. Instead they’ve been sitting in the garage cooling off. You can also winter them after potting, both ways have worked for me. (You just don’t want them to freeze- so cold, but not frozen – the garage is just about right usually). Different types of bulbs need different lengths of wintering… but if you’ve got some bulbs in the garage that you didn’t get around to planting last fall, thats probably perfect 😀
2. Put bulbs in potting soil, move to a sunny location, and water regularly (imagine how often it rains in spring- water about that often, just don’t drown them).
3. Today, just a day and a half after potting them, a few of them on my windowsill have tiny green shoots, and the bulbs in the bag that I didn’t pot also started putting out green shoots. I potted up the remaining bulbs and I now look like a dirt farmer as I have pots and jars of dirt on every free surface in the kitchen window and dining room.
4. Voila! Spring comes early!!!
Tulips blooming on the counter in February and March? Totally worth the hype. Heck, even believing that they will bloom in the counter in Feb and March is totally worth the hype (even if the blooms never happen!)