Storage After Arrival
Unpack immediately upon arrival, ventilate if not immediately planted. Store at 58-65°F. Do not store with fresh fruit, vegetables or other ethylene producing products.
Valentine Forcing Methods
1. Plant bulbs immediately upon arrival - which is approximately mid-Sept. - in pots. Place in cooler at 48°F. Bring into greenhouse January 5-10. OR
2. Dry precool bulbs (not planted) at 48°F until mid-October. Plant in pots and continue cooling at 48°F. Bring into greenhouse January 5. OR
3. Obtain "precooled" bulbs. Plant in pots approximately mid-October. Continue cooling at 48°F. Bring into greenhouse January 5.
Easter Forcing Method
After planting in mid-October, keep bulbs at 48°F until the roots grow out of the bottom of the pot. When the roots show, drop the temperature to 41°F. Maintain 41°F until early January at which time, depending on the sprout development, the temperature needs to be lowered to 34°F and held until brought into the greenhouse. If no cooler facility is available, the bulbs can be planted outside under a 6" sand and straw cover. This method is only recommended in the Northern states where outside temperatures make it possible to do this.
For Valentine - start in greenhouse January 20-25 - grow at 58-65°F.
For Easter - start in greenhouse 1-2 weeks before Easter - grow at 58-65°F.
Plant outdoors with the soil 4" above the bulb nose. Use well drained, composted soil and space 3" apart. Crocus flower early in the season -
March to April. Some crocus varieties are fall flowering, usually blooming late September or early October. Crocus will flower sparsely the first year, but there will be a bundle of flowers in the following years. Any commercial soil or soil mix can be used as long as it has good drainage and allows for undisturbed root growth. Soil should have a pH of 6-7 and have a low soluble salt level. The following soil mixes have shown the best results: Fafard #2, Fafard #3-B, Farfard #4, Metro 350, Metro 360, Metro 500, Fison Sunshine #4.
Plant approximetly 1" below soil level.
Water every other day. Always make sure that watering is done directly into the pot and not over the crop.
Fertilize in the greenhouse only, not in the cooler. Use calcium nitrate at a rate of 2 lbs. per 100 gallons of water.