Grow a winter or early spring bulb garden for an easy and beautiful project. I am a flower and over-all gardening lover. From early April until late November I am in my garden digging, pulling and trimming, but in the cooler months, I enjoy planting bulbs indoor! If you are craving, the look and smell of blooming flowers make an indoor bulb garden today. Go to your local florist or garden center, and they will have a great selection of bulbs right now. Dry bulbs or bulbs in the dirt with shoots and roots also work. The easiest to grow are paperwhites and hyacinth, although crocus and daffodils are also quite simple and inexpensive. Most of the containers pictured below were sourced at local Tokyo Antique Shows, D2 home center or Sostrene Grene in Omotesando. If you want to learn more about urban gardening in Tokyo, attend the Best Living Japan Tokyo Gardening course for families this April 2018.
Grow a Indoor Bulb Garden
Step 1: Find a container that is at least 3-6 inches deep if not deeper. There does not need to be drainage holes in the bottom (as long as you monitor moisture closely). The taller the type of plant the deeper the roots need to hold everything straight. I have chosen six vessels for my winter garden. You can use anything from old kitchen bowls, lacquer boxes to wooden bath wash tubs! I love finding new vessels to use at the antique markets.
Note: Some bulbs like paperwhites, daffodils and hyacinths grow nicely in rocks, where other bulbs such as amaryllis, snowdrops and tulips prefer soil.
Step 2: If planting in rocks only! Fill your vessel with gravel size rocks. Take bulbs and remove any loose skin that is coming off the bulb to make it look prettier in the vessel. Place the bulbs gently on the rocks, they need to be stable sitting on top of the rocks, not wedged. If the bulbs already have roots dig a small hole and then cover roots with rocks. Once you have covered the top layer of gravel with bulbs fill the container with water until just the base of the bulbs sit in the water. The bulbs will sense the water and send roots out to reach down into the water. If you put too much water in the bulbs may rot, don’t cover more than the base of the bulbs!
Step 3. When using soil, you will need to add 1-2 inches of rocks in the bottom of your potting vessel to allow for drainage.
Step 4. If the bulbs are large and already have a green head popping out plant with 1/3-2/3 above the soil. If the bulbs are little and, heads are closed tight than plant 2/3 in the soil.
Note; Some bulbs such as tulips, crocus, and daffodils benefit by being kept in a paper bag in the refrigerator for 2-4 weeks before being planted. It tricks them into thinking it is spring. However, I have never had a problem buying directly from a Japanese home center or florist not refrigerating and having the flowers bloom in a few weeks.
Enjoy the beautiful colour and smells even when it is freezing outside.
Grow an Indoor Bulb Garden
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