Anyone tried containerized tulips?
I have big plans to try to grow potted tulips this year for winter time. I'm going to use my fridge...
I read a book about tulip forcing, but it's a bit too complicated (it's intended more for the professional industry), because it says to let them root at first at 9*C, then move to 5*C, then to 2*C (that's one method, there's also I think "5*C method" and "ice method")... And it says that it's only OK for temps to fluctuate by +-0.5*C. I can't do that :D!
My plan is this:
I ordered 6 varietes of tulips - 48 bulbs total (including 10x Yokohama - said to be the easiest to grow in pots, and earliest bloomer).
I'm going to divide my varietes into two groups.
The first group I'm going to soak for 1-2 hours in a 0.15-0.2% solution of MgSO4 (this is said to be a critical point for container grown tulips, it apparently softens the bottom of the bulb and the roots can emerge easier (otherwise they'd grow upwards and that would make them weak), the other alternative would be making a cut in the bottom, since I have no idea where to cut, I'm going to stick with the soaking...). Then I'm going to plant the bulbs (letting their tips stick out) into 1:1:1 sand:perlite:peat mix, I'm gonna water and put them into the fridge for ~16 weeks (I'll be watering them periodically).
The other group I'm going to simply put dry bulbs into the fridge (in a bag, with holes) for 8 weeks. Then take them after the 8 weeks, soak them in the MgSO4 solution and plant them into the same type of mix, water, and put them into the fridge for 8 more weeks, allowing them to root and start growing simultaneously.
I know in the fridge there's risk of ethylene gas, but the book says it has very very little effect on bulbs in temps below 13*C (in my fridge it's around 7*C), so I don't think I'll have to be too worried.
I was also thinking about watering at 350 ppm of calcium nitrate after the cold treatment when the shoots appear, but I'm not able to find it here...
Anyways my questions:
What do you think about my plans? Do you have any advice?
Have you tried growing tulips in containers? What was your experience (I am talking about same plant height, same bloom time - uniformity)? What worked and what didn't? Maybe you have some pictures of the results?