How to Plant Bulbs Indoors in Layers to Stretch the Season!
I am HANKERING for Spring right now, and while I see a few tiny bits of green in the garden popping their heads up, they are few and far between. So to keep my flower heart happy, I must force bulbs. It is not an option for me not to grow things in the winter. Whiteflies, dirt on the floor and a few water stains withstanding, it is worth it. Join me today as I walk you through how to plant bulbs (daffodils in this case!) in layers to stretch the bulb forcing season right up until the REAL daffodils are popping their heads up in the garden!
TIP -- Plant this first layer DEEP - daffodils will reach up to the light!! You can plant 6-8 inches into the pot. Now when I plant bulbs for forcing, I just pile them on in there. There is no reason to spread them out like you would in the ground because they will get planted out in the ground before they really need the nutrients. All of the energy needed to bloom is already in the bulb. After blooming, I plant the bulbs out in the garden where the leaves will collect sunlight and the roots will draw nutrients from the soil to prepare the bulb for the following year. The bulbs might not bloom the next spring after forcing, but they should come back the following spring.
This is a throw away bulb. You can see how wrinkled the skin is. When you squeeze the bulb it is soft inside instead of firm. You would also want to throw away bulbs that have any visible mold or disease on them. (When I say throw away, I mean throw in the compost unless it is diseased.)
I filled in with a little bit of dirt. Then I watered the entire pot pretty forcefully to work the soil down around the bulbs into all the spaces.
NOW HERE IS THE TRICK! If you want to reeeeaaaalllly stretch the season, plant a SECOND layer of daffodil bulbs right on top! The daffodils are smart. They will push their little stems around each other, so don't worry about crowding them. This isn't the garden! Just a pot! Once the first layer of daffodils blooms and dies, cut them off and wait for the second show.
Don't water until the top inch of soil is dry. You can pick up watering when growth picks up.