How to Freeze Spring Bulbs
Freezing spring bulbs for a period of time forces the bulbs to bloom. This process, called forcing, allows a gardener to choose when their bulbs blooms instead of having to wait for bulbs to naturally bloom. Forcing is usually done in the fall or winter. Not all bulbs can be forced--garden centers can give advice on what bulbs are suitable for forcing. Some varieties that can be forced include crocus, tulips, daffodils, hyacinths and lily of the valley.
Place the bulbs in a wide open container large enough to store all the bulbs.
Open the bag of peat moss. Use a trowel to scoop peat moss into the container. Cover the bulbs completely with peat moss.
Place the bulb container in the fridge in an area of the fridge that stays below 40 degrees F, such as a vegetable crisper.
Store the bulbs in the refrigerator for at least three months.
Remove the bulbs from the refrigerator and plant in a pot filled with peat moss. Water the bulbs until well saturated. Place the pots in a dark, warm place inside to let them adjust to warmer temperatures.
Move pots to direct sunlight indoors when the bulbs begin to bloom. Keep the bulbs inside until they are fully bloomed.
Spring Bulbs Still Need Care After They Bloom?
Proper soil moisture ensures the bulbs receive adequate water but don't rot from overwatering. Most spring bulb varieties require about 1 inch of water from irrigation or rainfall each week, or enough to moisten the soil to a 6-inch depth. The green foliage on the bulbs must remain alive for about six weeks after flowering for the bulbs to restore themselves, which requires adequate soil moisture, but the plants require no irrigation once the foliage dies. The bulbs become crowded after three or four years, necessitating division. Generally, small bulbs require shallower planting and less spacing than larger bulbs. Work these fertilizers into the soil before replanting divided bulbs, or apply it to the soil surface if you aren't dividing and water immediately so the nutrients soak into the soil.
- Peat moss
- University of Minnesota Extension: Forcing Bulbs
- University of Rhode Island: Forcing Spring Bulbs
- University of Illinois Extension: Bulbs & More -- Planting and Care
- University of California Extension: Plant Bulbs Now for Spring
- Fine Gardening: Genus Tulipa
- Fine Gardening: Genus Narcissus
- Fine Gardening: Genus Muscari