February is an excellent time to plant summer-blooming bulbs such as tuberous begonias, cannas and gladiolus. Staggering the planting times will ensure a steady supply of blooms throughout the growing season. Starting the bulbs in pots indoors allows them a head start on development. In spring, when the weather warms, they can be planted in the garden or left in their pots for patio color.
Pour fungicide into a container. Dip the bulbs into the solution for 10 to 20 seconds to afford the bulbs protection from fungus and rehydrate them.
Mix equal parts of peat moss and coarse sand. Pour the mixture into the pots.
Bury the bulbs to the depth specified on the bulb packaging. For many bulbs the planting depth will be 1 inch.
Water the soil until the water drains from the bottom of the pot. Allow it to drain completely. Keep the soil moist, never soggy, while the bulbs develop.
Place the pots on a heat mat and set it to 70 degrees, F.
Position the grow lights 6 inches above the pots. Adjust the height of the grow lights so that they always remain 6 inches above the plants.
Fertilize the plants for the first time when they reach 3 inches tall with an all-purpose, water-soluble liquid fertilizer at half the strength recommended on the packaging. Always apply fertilizer to wet soil.