My wife Nancy and I ended up with some extra daffodil and tulip bulbs after the Cape Elizabeth Garden Club held a bulb sale this fall. We purchased all the bulbs we needed for our yard, and planted many of them, but we still had extras. So we decided to put them out in pots.

Unlike paperwhites, which do not need to be cold-conditioned, daffodils and tulips require at least eight weeks outdoors to sprout and produce flowers.

You can cold-condition bulbs in the refrigerator, but with all the holidays coming we had better uses for the refrigerator space.

Instead, we put a couple of inches of soil in the bottom of several pots, put in the bulbs pointy-side-up and filled the pots with soil. Some of it was bagged Pro-Mix, and some of it came from pots of annuals we were emptying for the season. Recycling at its finest.

After that, we placed all of the pots in a protected spot outside, and covered them with fine-mesh chicken wire to keep out animals and acorns. We topped them with a layer of chopped leaves to keep the bulbs from freezing and thawing. We are putting the pots outside the pedestrian door of our garage, keeping in mind that the snow will probably be deep there in January and February when we want to check the pots. We are hoping to have red tulips for Valentine’s Day.

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