How to - Gardening with Kids

Kids and bulbs

Plant in fall for a spectacular spring show

b>When to Plant
Spring-flowering bulbs are planted in fall to give them a period of cold temperature, which stimulates root development. Plant bulbs soon after purchasing them. If you must store them, keep them in a cool, dry place at between 50' and 60'F (10 to 15'C). They must be planted before the first hard frost, but the sooner bulbs are planted before the ground freezes, the stronger they will be. Soon after planting, roots start to grow and embryonic leaves and flowers begin to develop. The stems grow until they are just beneath the soil's surface, where they wait for the first signs of spring.

Naturalizing Bulbs
Instead of limiting crocuses and daffodils to beds and borders, plant daffodils under shrubs, around trees and in the lawn. Naturalized bulbs should look as if nature planted them. Toss handfuls of bulbs over the target area, then plant them where they fall.

Drawing of Writing With Bulbs
Another fun project for kids is to plant bulbs in trenches that form shapes, patterns or letters. For example, create a crazy quilt of tulips or write a name with crocuses in the lawn.

Related Web Sites
The Great Plant Escape: Mysterious Plants that Surprise
urbanext.uiuc.edu/gpe/case5/case5.html

The Snowdrop by Hans Christian Anderson
kidsdomain.com/holiday/xmas/stories/

Festive Capital: The Wonderful Tulips of Canada's Capital Click on Kids' Tulip Corner
canadascapital.gc.ca/about_canadas/festivities/

Bulb Society
www.bulbsociety.com/IBS/bulbs.html

Click on the flower bulb you want to learn about
www.geocities.com/EnchantedForest/Glade/3313/

Forcing Bulbs Indoors: The Art of Gentle Persuasion
savvygardener.com/Features

Journey South - Journey North: International Tulip Study (1998)
www.learner.org/jnorth/fall1998/tulip

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