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What Did I Do Wrong?

My records have failed me once again.  I know I potted up the tulip bulbs for forcing sometime in December. Brent and Becky sent pre-cooled tulips and I thought they would start to sprout almost immediately, but I am still waiting for most of them to get beyond this stage.   Although they were planted earlier than the tulips, this little pot of Muscari armeniacum “Christmas Pearl”, chosen because it was listed as a good bulb for forcing (needing  little winter cooling) is only now showing some bloom.  I potted up the muscari and miniature daffodils and put them in my basement, but it rarely get colder than 50 degrees there.  Too cold for my worm bin, but maybe not cold enough for bulbs?

When I brought the bulbs up out of the basement I put them upstairs in south windows. They grew very very slowly. Was it too cold?  We don’t put much heat upstairs because all our living is downstairs – near the woodstove.  The temperature in our bedroom this morning was 52 degrees which is perfect for sleeping, but maybe not perfect for encouraging bulbs.  That is a single Narcissus bulbocodium conspicuus or hoop petticoat daffodil blooming with the muscari.  I got the bulbs mixed up when I got to the end of the shipment and knew I had two kinds of bulbs in this pot, but not which – until now.

Frank in the sun

Thinking the cold temperatures might be the problem I brought some of the potted bulbs into the living area and put them on our dining table right in front of the big south windows. We all like this spot, for cooking prep, for meals, and for gazing out the window across the lawn and the fields. Frank likes to nap here in the sun and is not terribly happy to have to be sharing the space with all these pots.  I had visions of golden bouquets of miniature daffodils by this time. So far Baby Moon has not produced a single bloom. I just noticed that it is a late spring bloomer. Maybe I just have to wait a little longer. Minnow hasn’t bloomed yet either. It is listed as mid-season.  Should I have paid more attention to this information?

I have looked closely and I may yet have the little bouquet of muscari that I imagined in those dreary days when I ordered the bulbs.  I have forced a few paper whites from time to time  in the past and didn’t have any problems, but this was my first time to force other bulbs.  What advice can you give me for next time?

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