WHEN the bright stars of Crocus ‘Golden Yellow’ opened in my window garden this week, the snow outside seemed an illusion. The sunny blossoms look picture-perfect on the broad sill in my upstairs bath, nestled among hyacinths and ferns. Need a crocus forcing-tutorial? Here we go-go:
In October, plant 10-12 bulbs one inch deep in a 6-inch pan (a “pan” is a shallow clay pot intended for bulbs) of well-draining soil. Then submerge the pan to its rim in a sink or dishpan of water until the soil becomes quite wet.
Next, set the bulbs in a cool, dark location (35-45F) where they can go about making roots. I rely on my spare refrigerator in some years, and the cellar or mud-room closet in others. The bulbs merely need a place that stays reliably cold and dark for their rooting-duration. Check the bulbs every other week, and provide them with just enough water to maintain even soil moisture.
To insure the bulbs will be viable for future planting outdoors, proceed as follows:
Snip off faded blooms, but allow the plants to remain in a sunny east or west window. Provide food and water until the foliage yellows. Then transfer the bulbs to a cool, dark, and dry location. For me, this means the cellar. In October give the bulbs a permanent position in a sunny location outdoors. In two years time they will bloom as if they had never been forced in a window garden.
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