early shipping/ forcing

cheleinri(z6 RI)December 5, 2009

Hi bulb enthusiasts..:)

I've been looking at overpriced bulb gardens in a catalog, and now I wish I had bought bulbs for forcing. I'd like to get blooms in early winter next year which would mean chilling by September..the earlier the better. Does anyone know of a supplier that ships early? I know B & B is always the latest and Scheepers is somewhat earlier. I haven't really tried anyone else. I'm looking for top-size bulbs from a reliable source.

Also, if anyone has forcing tips or pictures to share, that would be great!


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Cindy zone 6a

Here are some pics, of my forcing efforts. I had ordered from Blooming Bulb and Van Engelen. I have the Hyacinth started and I started Tazetta, Avalanche this year. In the past I did some bulbs in soil, but I really prefer using the stones in water. Maybe cause you can see the root growth?? I staggered them and used a back bedroom that I kept dark and cool, by shutting off all heat vents,keeping the door closed of course and putting heavy tarps over the windows. I kept the Tazetta in the cool area for 2 -3 weeks, then brought them out. They have indirect light and this room is somewhat cool also. In the past I always then plant the bulbs in my yard, and they do bloom, some the very next spring. It's lots of fun, I even used my son's marble collection as you can see.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2009 at 10:37AM
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cheleinri(z6 RI)

Thanks for posting pictures Cindy. The marbles are really pretty. Do you have to prechill the hyacinths? I didn't know forced bulbs would rebloom, it's interesting to know they are worth planting outside. I did do some paperwhites, so at least I have that to look forward to. I also did marbles & water for the first time. I'm going to try the method of adding alcohol to the water to shorten the stems.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2009 at 10:13AM
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linnea56(z5 IL)

The hyacinths DO need prechilling. I bought some on sale from Home Depot. I believe you can buy "prechilled" bulbs in spring from those catalogs you mentioned. I want to plant them out in the garden after blooming, so I now have 2 pots of hyacinths potted in soil in the garage.

After buying I google searched and found a page on the Old Bulbs website about how to force. If I remember correctly it mentioned some specific cultivars that do better than others.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2009 at 1:43PM
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Cindy zone 6a

Yes, I did prechill, the hyacinths, for at least 10 weeks, they are in the forcing glasses, so the bottom of the bulb is not touching the water, and the roots are growing like crazy in the water.They are also kept in the dark. With the Tazettas, they needed 2-3 weeks of being in the cold and dark. I used a back bedroom that had all heating vents shut and heavy tarps on the windows, door kept shut, and it was cold in the room. It's recommended the temp should be above freezing but no higher than 50. I heard of placing the bulbs in an unheated attached garage under buckets, but the back room has worked before. Not sure it was always that cold, but it was close. I staggered the time I added water to the daffs, so I could have blooms throughout the winter. ( and gifts to give ) Then they are brought out when the roots are growing strong and a little bit of growth on top. I placed them so they have indirect light and not in front of a heat source. I will later plant the Tazetta in my yard, they are minimally hardy here and will need protection, so I will plant them close the the house foundation on the south side. I have planted the hyacinths after forcing too, and I have bloom again after a couple of years in the ground. Cindy

    Bookmark   December 9, 2009 at 6:54PM
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