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Bulb Care

Q.Zone 4: Forcing Spring Bulbs In 5 Gallon Buckets

Zone 12903 | lindabean added on November 15, 2021 | Answered

Hello! Thank you kindly for reading this and please know I will be grateful for any guidance. I’m new to Zone 4 gardening and my space is limited to a paved patio and a bunch of 5 gallon buckets. Veggies were abundant this year, but I do miss a proper bulb garden. To scratch that itch, I repurposed 5 buckets in late October, stack-planted bulbs and put the buckets in my dark, unheated garage, in the hope of bright, spring color in April or May. Now, just a few weeks later, I’m seeing shoots and guessing I badly misjudged the timing for forcing spring blooms. Yikes. Here are my questions: What is the correct timing? Or, is this a completely ridiculous endeavor? Attached, please find pix of the shoots and of the label from the bulb collection. Many, many thanks, Linda Bean Plattsburgh, NY 12903

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on November 15, 2021

It sounds like there was still moisture in the soil. This will cause them to sprout. Unfortunately, you may want to start over from here. Alternatively, you could wait until very early spring to purchase new ones, so that it will be time to plant when you receive them.

Otherwise, this article will help you with proper bulb storage:


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