Intro: Winter Rooting and Bulb Forcing
This Instructable was originally inspired after a $3 bulb purchase from the local Dollar Store. I absolutely loved watching the bulb sprout, even more so when I placed a heating pad underneath with lots of light coming from above giving it quite the kick! With this demo, I'm hoping to show my experimentation of bulb forcing and, hopefully, some plant growing!
Step 1: Supplies
For this home gardening / bulb pushing / winter-water-garden experiment; I only wanted to use what I had on hand, borrow, or bought for minimum cost. With the Christmas Holiday over, I was able to find many flowers, even bulbs greatly reduced. Most of the care they needed was to be cleaned up and re-planted (or grown in nutrient high water).
What I used:
1) 5-10 Galon fish tank (borrowed)
2) Heating mat (borrowed)
3) Liquid plant food (bought at Atlantic Superstore ~$3)
4) Tooth picks
5) Small planter (optional - I used for a re-plant of an aelo vera leaf)
6) UV-B light (borrowed - optional)
Step 2: What to Grow
For this Instructible, I used my Aelo Vera plant, which I have been trying to rescue from rot, and two bulb plants found in the reduced section of Superstore. After cleaning, I used tooth picks to create an open stand for the bulbs which will be half submerged in the nutrient-rich water. I potted the singe Aelo leaf (just to try) and left the whole plant alone.
Total cost for the plants; roughly $10
Step 3: Putting It Together
Placing the heating mat under the fish tank, you can now begin assembly! With a little re-arranging, patience, and tooth picks, the set-up is pretty easy!
Step 4: Water!
I used 4 liters of water. With each liter, the liquid food instructed 7 drops. Therefore I used 28 drops of food for 4 liters of water. This will def finitely vary depending on the size of tank you use and how high your tooth pick stands are for the bulbs.
Step 5: Water Level
I submerged my bulbs (and Aelo) about half under water. Just enough for the roots to be constantly under water (just like the picture in Step 1).
Step 6: The Finished Product
I completed this home gardening / bulb pushing / winter-water-garden experiment with placing the UV light on the top of the tank. This is completely optional especially if you have the tank sitting in a well lit room.
Other options to consider is a bubbling air stone to increase the Oxygen in the tank, plus it also helps to agitate the water, reducing the possibility of algae build up.