"Encouraging" Bulbs

As a two season veteran of paperwhites, I've decided to branch out a little this year and try to "encourage" some tulips and daffodils (I hate the word "forced"--it makes it sound like I'm holding a gun to their heads). I'm taking the bar this winter, so I was originally going to do a massive, all-winter, two week interval staged operation, just to keep studying cheerful. Then I realized we wouldn't have room for food in our refridgerator with that many bulbs, so I decided to scale back a bit and make it an experimental year.

I read that miniature daffodils do well inside so I got five "Tete-a-Tete" narcissus. They're so sweet! According to the book I got from the library they need to spend 12-15 weeks in cold storage, and should be pulled out when roots are coming out the bottom of the pot or there is a little bit of top growth on the bulbs. That should be between December 24th and January 14th. They should bloom in 15-17 weeks.

I wasn't really intending to try tulips, because I couldn't find any that were specifically intended for forcing, but I found these "Greigii Diantha" Tulips and they changed my mind.

The bulbs were a completely unique color--kind of peach, like a summer tan with just a little bit of burn--and the blooms are gorgeous. What I really like though is the variegation on the leaves. I really hope they work out. The bulb book says they should be brought out of cold storage at 10-12 weeks or when the sprouts are about 4 inches tall. That should be between December 10th and December 24th.

Since I'm experimenting, I wanted to be scientific and find out what the fridge temperature is, but the thermometer I'm using doesn't measure that low (Christmas present idea, everyone!). Sweet Husband says that standard home fridge temperature is about thirty-eight degrees--and he generally knows random things like that pretty well--so we'll go with that.

I'm also a little concerned about the fruit in our fridge. You're never supposed to keep bulbs with fruit because fruit lets off a gas that will inhibit the bloom, so I've put all of our fruit in the crisper drawer and hopefully that will be enough to prevent cross-contamination.

Think encouraging thoughts everyone!