Now’s the time to pot up bulbs for forcing*
Whilst the ground is still warm, you can pot up bulbs for forcing* and you’ll enjoy the delight of early flowers and scent filling the house from January or February next year.
You can force ordinary garden bulbs into flower early, but they’ll need at least 12 weeks below 10°C so it’s a little late to start now.
Instead, invest in some prepared bulbs, which have been pre-chilled specially for forcing.
It’s important to give your bulbs a little time in the cool and dark after you’ve potted them up. An unheated garage or shed is fine. Leave them in there, checking from time to time and watering sparingly to keep them damp, until the tips of the leaves are around 5cm above the compost.
Then move them somewhere bright but still cool – a greenhouse is ideal. Then, when the leaves reach 10cm high, bring them indoors and watch them erupt into flower.
Smith’s has a huge selection of bulbs…
Hyacinths are the traditional choice and you’ll find some lovely varieties like Carnegie, Fondant, Gypsy Princess, Marie, Splendid Cornelia, Sweet Invitation and Woodstock as you walk through the new main doors and to your right.
Plus we have some amazing fragrants, like Azure Delft Blue, City of Haarlem, white ‘Carnegie’, Delft Blue, Jan Bos, Pink Pearl and White Pearl.
Another favourite are the winter-flowering daffodils. Tiny, delicate and fragrant, chose from the Acropolis, Avalanche or Canaliculatus, which are delightful in cheering up a sunny windowsill when there’s frost on the ground outside.
Or how about pots of paperwhite Narcissi, like Green Eyes, Lieke, Misty Glen, Paperwhite Grandiflora or Reggae, plus many many more.
*So what is ‘forcing’ ??
If you’re new to the wonderful world of gardening, ‘forcing’ means encouraging bulbs to bloom out of season. It involves planting the bulbs in a shallow container or pot, storing them in a protected area during winter, such as a warm corner of the home or in a greenhouse, then bringing into the warmth and light early. This will encourage the bulbs to bloom ahead of schedule. But beware, some bulbs are better than others for forcing, so please do check with a member of staff from our plants section, for some expert advice.
Here are a few pictures of our bulbs available in-store now……..