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12 messages
18/09/2012 at 15:51

Hi all, I'd like my gardening club (primary school children) to grow hyacinths to take home at Christmas. I ideally would like to grow them in water so the children can see the roots. My problem is what kind of clear (everyday) container could I use to grow them in - I would need about a dozen  -  hyacinth vases that I have looked at seem rather expensive. Any ideas?

18/09/2012 at 16:07

Daintiness-what about cutting a bit of the top of a small coke or something similar bottle so that the neck bit supports the bulb?

With the water in it it should be quite strong and no glass bits to drop?

18/09/2012 at 17:54

Any jam jar with a suitable size to support the bulbs, as long as they are clear and clean.  Plastic bottles are possible but the top where cut can be very sharp for the bulb - children are remarkably sensible about glass jars if taught well enough. 

18/09/2012 at 18:10

Its best to but forced bulbs although I have used non forced,put a piece of charcoal in the water to keep it clean.put the bulbs in the dark until they begin to show.I hope you have the right vases,they are cheap.try nothing to lose.

18/09/2012 at 20:44

Thanks for your suggestions.

I'm now thinking some pasta sauce jars have small tops to them - they might do, and I agree that children can handle  delicate items if properly taught.

Plastic bottles are interesting - we made bird feeders with them last term - the severed neck could be placed upside down into the bottle base, giving the bulb a 'soft seat'....

Good tip about the charcoal in the water, wouldn't have thought of that - we must have some in school  I could acquire...

I'm using non forced bulbs picked up at Lidl today - they have some good bulbs in at a good price.

 

Thanks again

19/09/2012 at 06:15

But non-forced ones won't flower at Christmas   They'll hardly have begun to grow, if at all ....

19/09/2012 at 15:40

Dovefromabove, I didn't realise this! I'll have to get forced bulbs then - any recommendations on where to purchase...or any good GC?

19/09/2012 at 16:17

Forced ones are quite expensive -If it were me I would continue down the economic road-they will flower in the new year after all

 

19/09/2012 at 20:31

I would think that unforced hyacinth bulbs planted now will flower in March.  They need to be kept in the cool and dark until the shoots are a couple of inches tall.  This might make it difficult for your school children as it will take a long time.  

Hyacinths prepared to flower at Christmas are available on Ebay for £2 each http://compare.ebay.co.uk/like/130729832025?var=lv&ltyp=AllFixedPriceItemTypes&var=sbar&adtype=pla

or why not go to your local garden centre manager and say that you're training up the next generation of their customers and can they offer you a good deal?  

Just a tip - some people are sensitive to something in hyacinth bulbs and they can cause a rash - protective gloves might be a good idea for the children - you can get those cheap thin vinyl ones from Boots or  supermarkets- the ones you use once and throw away.

19/09/2012 at 22:20

Thanks for the great link dovefromabove...I'll look at our budget!

20/09/2012 at 22:02

Ok, I think we'll do a couple of forced ones to observe and keep in school and everyone can pot up a non forced one up in compost to take home and grow on at Christmas.

Last year we did an experiment of what happens when you plant a bulb upside down or on its side or right way up - it proved very popular with the children...so this year we'll do water and compost.

21/09/2012 at 05:48

That sounds like a lovely idea 

I think you're doing great work - one of my first memories of nursery school when I was little was planting crocus bulbs in the gardens.  I can only have been 3 years old - I was hooked and helped my Granny and my mum and the chap who did the veg plot and they couldn't get rid of me.  Nearly 60 years on here I am, still fascinated by growing things - Brilliant!  

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