Urban Garden Denver Blog

Forcing Spring

Winter officially started 2-1/2 weeks ago, but the urge to push toward spring is strong. Perhaps that’s a reflection on lack of contentment with the present. Rather than living in the now, which is cold, dark and colorless, the future spring seems much more appealing. (I realize that winter in Colorado isn’t completely cold, dark and colorless, but some days feel that way.) Maybe next week I’ll share some thoughts on the importance of the winter season, of dormancy and rest. But today, I’m forcing spring!

Crocuses: 6 weeks in fridge plus one week at room temperature

I had some leftover crocus bulbs that I didn’t get planted in November, so I put them in a pot with moist potting soil, stuck the pot in a plastic bag and put it in the lower back shelf of the refrigerator for about 6 weeks, watering once midway through. I pulled the pot out last week and now hopeful new growth is emerging. I’ll let you know how long it takes for the pot to flower, but even the green shoots are encouraging. If you have some leftover bulbs that you didn’t plant, you can still force them and have buds by mid-February. Or if you are in a hurry, the grocery store floral section has these kind of pots already forced for you. Sometimes I have a strong preference for do-it-yourself projects, but in this case, if you are craving spring, go buy it at the local store! Besides, it would have been more helpful for me to mention this project in November, rather than waiting until January; but I did want to see if the bulbs at least sprouted successfully before mentioning the process. You can also find daffodils and tulips in the cut flower section. For less than $10 you can have a little spring on your dining room table!

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