Tuesday, March 5, 2013

How to Force Spring Flowering Bulbs in Water

Photo copyright by 4028mdk09A
Bring April into your home in the winter by forcing spring flowering bulbs. When the snow blankets the garden outside, the forced bulbs will remind the gardener that spring is just around the corner. Most bulb packages will indicate whether or not the bulb is a good plant for forcing. Hyacinth, Crocus and Paper White Narcissus can be easily forced in water.

Forcing Hyacinths

Hyacinths are an easy choice for forcing. Their scent is very strong and the plant is easily tricked into thinking it's spring. You can force them in soil, or set the bulbs into a glass or vase filled with water.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Four Early Spring Bulbs for Naturalizing

Snowdrops in Snow
Snowdrops in the Snow
Photo © Copyright Walter Baxter
We can welcome spring early with a variety of early spring flowering bulbs. Some are hardy enough to poke up through the snow of March and early April. When planted in large groups, these bulbs add a show of brilliance to the garden.

Old-Fashioned Snowdrops

Old-fashioned Snowdrops, Galanthus nivalis, are very early to flower and are actually partial to the cold weather. They grow 7" to 12" tall and flower from January to March in zone 7 and higher gardens, or late February to April in zone 5 and zone 6 gardens. Snowdrops generally flower in March and April in much colder areas. Bulbs should be purchased in the fall and planted 3" deep in healthy garden soil. They like a dappled shade location. For the best show, purchase packages of 20 or more bulbs.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

How to Make Garden Maps to Chart Plant Locations

Garden maps make it easy to find our plants in spring, ensuring we don't mistake our treasures for weeds. Garden maps assist us in charting the garden design.

Over the winter, plant labels fade, rot, break, disappear, or get lifted and moved thanks to nature's constant rhythm of freezing and thawing. The best defense against the loss or misplacement of plant labels is in keeping a planting chart within our garden journals.
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