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Forcing tulips in 75 days for my wedding?


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#1    rashore

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 12:06 AM

Hey, I figure I would cover all my bases. People are from all over on the UM. I have already posted in some other places, but I figure it can't hurt to post here too so...

Help... I have several bags of tulip bulbs I picked up last fall so I can pot them up and hopefully get them to bloom for my wedding, which is the first weekend in May, about 75 days from now. I probably should have planned this wintersowing much better, but honestly, I picked up the bulbs with a lot of other wedding prep sale stuff when things were on clearance last season, and lost track of them. I went through recently and resorted everything, and rediscovered the tulips.
I have several different bags, a couple of 20 countish of mixed kinds, some 5-10 countish of particular kinds, ranging from early bloom to late bloom. I also rediscovered two 40 count bags of grape hyacinths, but I don't know if those can be forced or not.
I have been keeping them stored in an insulated attached garage that sees low level light, and we have had a rather mild winter till the last month or so.

Now I need to start potting them up for forcing. My optimal of course would be for everything to be blooming, but I'm also happy with just foliage that is nice and lush and nothing is starting to fade off yet.
But I know nothing about tulips. How to force them, what does early, mid, and late season mean in relation to my timing... ugh.
To complicate all this. I would like to do this in a way that I can then use the potted tulips after the wedding as plant in plugs in different parts of the yard and have them survive to grow next year and on.

I do already have a lot of 8 and 10 inch pots, and some 12 inch pots and a lot of dirt to set things up. I also have a small stockpile of mesh onion and orange bags built up to make nets to line the pots with to help keep out the bulb eating critters and easier transplanting. I have a three seasons porch with fine southeastern exposure. It's a high humidity porch, we have a small koi pond running year round in there.

So any suggestions about this in general would be appreciated. Thank you :)


#2    AsteroidX

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 12:43 AM

If your climate can take it they should already be in the ground. My tulips are about 6-9 inches tall already and started to bud. I live in Oregon and its been a bit mild. Temps at night 33 currently. Warms up to 45-55 during daytime. If its still too cold get them into the pots and put them by a window that gets lots of sunshine or buy a grow light.

You forgot to mention how many days they take to grow and flower which is an important part of the equation.

If all else fails plant them for new bride at your new home and youll enjoy them together for years to come.

Edited by AsteroidX, 19 February 2013 - 12:44 AM.


#3    rashore

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 03:30 PM

I did mention the timing, bags are either mixed (which say year round blooms), and the individual kinds are marked ranging from early, mid, and late season blooms. I just have no idea what that means in tulip timing.

And I for sure can't put them in the ground now, it's frozen and has been under at least a foot of snow till the last couple days. A lot melted off and now we are only under a couple of inches of snow, lol. I know I can pot them up and put them in the window, I just figured there would be a way to do it to help force them to bloom when I wanted them to. I know they do it with paperwhites at Christmas. It's just usually when you pick up a paperwhite kit, instructions tell you when to plant for Christmas blooms, and tulip packages don't have that kind of information on them.


#4    AsteroidX

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 03:50 PM

Somewhere on the package it should say x days to flowering. Youll only get year round blooms if you have the correct climate which you dont. They will go dormant when it gets too cold regardless. Them being mixed varieties even forced you cant expect a full rack of blooms Id assume. But maybe, never tried. Im not a big bulb person but I grow from seeds and they always say how long from germination to produce.

You can force them to grow faster. The best resource is to look at the marijuana growing tricks on the net as they talk about forcing different stages. It can be done with lights which are a bit spendy. How much this wife mean to you ? How badly do you want your tulips. I believe you could force them but itll have to be done with artificial lighting. Go down to in my city its the fish supply store where they sell hydroponic lighting. But different lights do different things. For your needs a standard light hydroponic light will likely be sufficient. The thing about it is you can give them 16 hours or so of light a day which is not available in the outdoors currently and a warmer climate inside which will make them grow faster. There is a bit of tweaking that needs to be done with growing /forcing with hydroponic lighting such as how far the light is to be from the plants...How much a certain light will cover in sq feet etc...So theres a small amount of planning youd have to do to actually get the project off the ground but not too much.

People do some amazing things with indoor gardening so I see no reason if you get started now you wont have tulips for your wedding day. The nice thing is they grow fast. That is why you might do a google on the variety your growing and you might get better timing information. You dont want them to flower too early either.

Im guessing you want them in pots so they can actually be at the wedding ? If it is for home then potting is not great as tulips are bulbs and will do just fine year round in the ground of your choice being dormant till the climates right then blooming when its time.


#5    AsteroidX

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 03:54 PM

http://pinterest.com...66003599781855/

http://www.eastbaynu...oor_Forcing.php

Ok it seems the trick is forcing them through the dormant stage. Then they will be ready to bloom after you cold force them...Thats how I read it.

Edited by AsteroidX, 19 February 2013 - 03:57 PM.


#6    rashore

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 04:32 PM

Hehehe, I am the wife.... I'm the bride forcing the blooms for my wedding. Honestly, I don't think my hubby cares one way or the other, cept he hopes I'm happy with it.

Anywho, the general theme of the wedding is spring flowers because of May Day. I'm good with a nice flush of greenery too, I'm just hoping to be able to time some blooms if I can. I am putting them in pots so they can be at the wedding, which is being held in my home and yard. I want to put them in the ground after the wedding in a couple of locations around my yard.
And I just went and double checked the packages, and they don't say X days anywhere, just early, mid, late season. But I might be able to look them up online and see if I can find out X days that way.

Thanks for taking time to help me out and give me some good info, it's more response than I've been getting on the gardening forums.


#7    AsteroidX

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 04:45 PM

Quote

it's more response than I've been getting on the gardening forums.

Finding the right Forums is 90% of the effort.

I use this one for beekeeping. My current project is to get a nice docile hive I have in a tree to make some new hives off of as I have the land for more then one hive and its not near my garden which is what I want. The buggers pollinate my neighbor garden just fine however.

http://www.beekeepin...s.com/forum.php


But yw. and if you have any other questions feel free to ask. I enjoy looking these things up. I find lots that I can use myself along the way.


#8    ealdwita

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 06:43 PM

Have you tried threatening them? I mean really viciously threatening them?

Edited by ealdwita, 19 February 2013 - 06:43 PM.

"Gæð a wyrd swa hio scel, ac gecnáwan þín gefá!": "Fate goes ever as she shall, but know thine enemy!".
I can teach you with a quip, if I've a mind; I can trick you into learning with a laugh; Oh, winnow all my folly and you'll find, A grain or two of truth among the chaff!
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#9    AsteroidX

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 06:44 PM

They respond better to classical music so Ive been told.


#10    ealdwita

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 07:04 PM

View PostAsteroidX, on 19 February 2013 - 06:44 PM, said:

They respond better to classical music so Ive been told.

Hmmm, let me think....now what would make me comply quicker, Beethoven's 5th. Symphony in my ear or a 0.5 Desert Eagle jammed into the back of my neck?

"Gæð a wyrd swa hio scel, ac gecnáwan þín gefá!": "Fate goes ever as she shall, but know thine enemy!".
I can teach you with a quip, if I've a mind; I can trick you into learning with a laugh; Oh, winnow all my folly and you'll find, A grain or two of truth among the chaff!
(The Yeoman of the Guard ~ Gilbert and Sullivan)

#11    AsteroidX

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 07:06 PM

That would be the back of there bulb fwiw :innocent:


#12    rashore

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 07:13 PM

Hehehe, you guys are cracking me up.

And really, I think if my love walked into the solarium and caught me viciously threatening pots of bulbs while aiming my shotgun at them.... He might think I'm nuts enough to reconsider that whole marriage thing, lol. Although I do enough other weird stuff that he might think nothing of it and just remind me not to blow a hole in the wall on accident.





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