The Complete Gardener's Guide ,
Choose Healthy Bulbs to Force Bloom

Materials Needed

  • bulbs
  • garden pots (if using)
  • shovel
  • grit or well-rotted manure
  • garden fork
  • granular fertilizer
  • chicken wire
  • pins or rocks
  • plant markers (optional)

Step 1: Choose your bulbs and select a site with free-draining soil.

If you have heavy clay, either dig in plenty of grit and well-rotted manure a month or so before you start, or plant your bulbs in pots.

Step 2: Dig a hole the depth of about 3–4 times the height of your bulbs.

Make sure the hole is large enough to accommodate them at the correct planting distances. Lightly fork over the bottom.

Step 3: Apply granular fertilizer to soil in the hole.

Then set out the bulbs with the pointed growing tips facing upward. Discard any that are soft or show signs of disease.

Step 4: Fill in the hole with soil.

Be careful not to damage the growing tips. Firm the soil down with your hands to push out any air pockets around the bulbs.

Step 5: Cover the area with chicken wire held down with pins or rocks.

This will prevent animals from digging up the bulbs. You might also want to mark the area where you have planted your bulbs to so you won't dig them up later by mistake. Remove the wire when the first shoots appear in the early spring.

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