Choosing and preparing planting material
Many amateur gardeners have mastered the cultivation and forcing of bulbous plants. Tulips for the women’s holiday March 8th lend themselves especially well to distillation. But recently, daffodils have begun to appear in flower markets, planting and caring for them are simple, and they look no worse than tulips. Large white and yellow flowers create a unique spring mood, not only on the desired holiday, but throughout the winter-spring period. With the right selection of varieties and preparation of bulbs, flowering plants can be obtained by the New Year and Christmas. When to plant daffodils to be in time for these holidays?
To do this, the bulbs are dug up a week earlier than usual, when the roots begin to die off, and the leaves are still green. The bulbs are dried at 2.5° and sorted. For distillation, large ones are selected, with a diameter of 3-4 cm one- and two-top bulbs weighing 70-90 g. For better bud formation, bulbs are kept at 34°C for 4 days and 30°C for 14 days. Then stored at 17° until the end of July. By this time, the formation of flower organs is completed in the bulb.
After treatment with high temperatures, the bulbs are cooled to 9 °. Relative air humidity should be 75%, because high air humidity contributes to the early growth of roots, and when the air is dry, the mass of the bulbs decreases. Plants 4 from storage are transferred to the light no later than December 2-7. Additional lighting for daffodils during forcing is not required.
For planting bulbs, a light soil mixture is used, composed of equal parts of leafy soil and compost, which is poured into boxes (18x60x40 cm) or pots (diameter 13-18 cm) layer 10-12 cm. It is necessary to ensure that the planting depth is optimal, otherwise the bulbs will have to be transplanted. Evenly distributed bulbs (50-60 pcs/box or 3-5 pcs/pot) are lightly pressed into the mixture and sprinkled with it in such a way that the tops of the bulb remain free 1-2 cm. Water sparingly after planting. To ensure constant and uniform moistening, sprinkle river sand with a layer of 5-6 cm.
The distillation temperature is maintained within 15-17° at an air humidity of 70-80%. Higher temperatures contribute to the accelerated growth of leaves, and at temperatures above 20 °, the development of flower stalks is weakened. When the flowers bloom, the temperature is lowered to 10-12 °. Peduncles are cut with leaves in the phase of a colored bud.
Particular attention should be paid to the correct selection of varieties. It is necessary to choose such varieties of daffodils, planting and caring for which correspond to the conditions of forcing. For early forcing (by the New Year), varieties with a short cooling period (16 weeks) are used: Barret Browning, Carlton, Flower Record, Golden Harvest, Ice Folis, Rustam Pasha.
What to do after forcing
After distillation, boxes or pots with daffodils are placed in a dry, cold room, where the bulbs gradually dry out. In the spring they are picked from the ground and cleaned, after which they can be planted on pre-prepared ridges. In the first year after forcing, they bloom poorly, good flowering occurs in the third year. In the third or fourth year after growing, large bulbs are obtained, suitable for flowering during off-season.
When you need to plant daffodils in February and early March, you can use smaller bulbs that are dug up at the usual time, dried at 20 ° for 2 weeks. They are stored after digging at 17 until the end of the formation of a flower bud (until September 1), and then at 9 ° until planting in early November. Rooting and forcing are carried out in the same way as in the early stages.
For this flowering period, varieties with a cooling period of 16-17 weeks are selected. You can use varieties recommended for early forcing, as well as such as Eflame, Burma, Esther Moon, Mount Hood, Salome.
- For forcing it is necessary to choose plants with a short dormant period, the so-called “early” or “forcing” varieties.
- Forcing plants is difficult in the first half of winter and much easier in the second, when lighting and solar warming intensify, and the dormant period of plants is nearing an end.
- When forcing the bulbs in a pot, they should be planted closely, but in such a way that they do not touch each other and the walls of the pot.
- When planting, in no case screw the bulbs into the substrate.
- From the level of the soil to the edge of the pot where the forcing bulbs are planted, there should be at least 1 cm.
- Each variety of daffodils is best planted in a separate pot.
- Pots with bulbs are brought into the room when the sprouts reach2.5 cm in height.
- The pot needs to be rotated from time to time so that the plants develop evenly.
- After flowering, wilted flowers (but not flower stalks) are cut off.
- If you want to keep the bulbs for later growing , keep watering them until the leaves turn yellow.