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Baby bulb
Baby bulb

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February 2012

Crocus countdown...

Posted by Danielle Cowell on 23 February 2012
Crocus flowering at National Museum Cardiff.
The tallest bulb at Fulwood and Cadley Primary School.

Back on the 23rd of January I posted that the Crocus flowers could be on the way, then the weather turned cold and we are still waiting.

If the weather stays reasonably warm they really should be flowering next week. Normally, by now we would have some crocus flower sightings from schools, but our strange winter weather seems to have slowed down the growth.

In the museum grounds however, some of my crocus have already opened! Whilst in my garden, I'm still waiting for flowers, although one daffodil that I planted in Autumn 2010 has tilted it's head. This is a sure sign that it's ready to flower.

Fulwood and Cadley Primary School sent in a picture of their tallest bulb - measuring 9.5cm - see the picture attached.

Be patient and the crocus flowers should open soon.

Your Comments:

Stanford in the Vale. Another strange week...Looking at the rainfall for Monday, I think this maybe because of the snow and rain we had over the weekend? We also observed 3mm of snow fall today. We really haven't had any rain for what seem's like in a long time?The bulbs we planted in the ground are slowly coming through, We wonded if this is because we may have planted them to deep? As the pot bulbs look as they are growing much faster? Ans: This is probably the case, if they are planted a too deep they can takke a little longer. They will come though - were they planted in more or less the same spot?

Glyncollen Primary School. Our thermometer broke this week. Can you send us a new one please? Our plants are growing well and we can't wait to take them home. Yr.4 Glyncollen. Ans: Glad your plants are growing well and I've put a thermometer in the post for you.

Woodplumpton Primary School. We have been listening to the weather warnings on the news. It feels really cold outside and yet the temperature has not dropped below freezing. We are surprised! We are learning a lot about temperature and getting really good at guessing what it is. Ans: This is great news glad you are getting really involved in the project. I know what you mean about it feeling really cold some days.

Ysgol Porth Y Felin. The plants have almost sprouted and has been a lot of rain. All of the plants have sprouted some leaves by now and we have seen a mystery bulb. Ans: How exciting not long now!

Earlston Primary School. Snow Monday & Tuesday. Ans: Well done for recording in the snow!

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Your comments & snow pics

Posted by Danielle Cowell on 10 February 2012
Bulbs planted in Autumn 2011.
Bulbs planted in Autumn 2010.

The snow didn't last very long in Cardiff but I did manage to get a quick pic of my bulbs. Across the country there has been much more snow. Please send me any pictures you have.

Your questions:

Stanford in the Vale Primary School. What a cold spell we have had, the ground has been rock hard all week! I hope it will not stunt our growth for the bulbs we planted into the ground? Do you think the bulbs we planted into pots should be moved into the greenhouse? Kind Regards. Gardening Club Members.

Ans: Hi Stanford. Great question. Normally, a gardener may put plants into a green house to protect the shoots from the frost, but in this experiment we are recording how the bulbs react to the weather, so please don't put them in the green house as it will affect the final result. Also, these bulbs have evolved to withstand cold winters - so don't worry they should be fine. Prof. P

Woodplumpton Primary School. We have noticed a lot of daffodils flowering but none in our school grounds. Our bulbs are a long way behind other daffodil bulbs we have in our school garden. We wonder if this is because they are older and have flowered many times before. Our mystery bulbs are growing really fast now.

Ans: Hi Woodplumpton. Great observation, I too have noticed that bulbs I planted in previous years have grown a lot more - see my pictures. I agree with what you say, I think the bulbs that were already planted from previous years are taller because they have had more time in the ground to grow. With the mild Autumn and winter they would have began to grow under the ground before we planted this years bulbs on the 20th of October. Hope that makes sence! Prof. P

Fulwood and Cadley. It has been extremely cold this week and the ground is frozen. All our bulbs have shoots now and are growing taller, the tallest being 7cm. Prof. P: Excellent news! my tallest is about that height too!

Ysgol Porth Y Felin. It has been a cold and frosty week.Sorry this is late. It has reached negative numbers in the evening. Prof. P:  Very cold, well done for keeping at the recording in the cold!

Woodplumpton Primary School. We think the mystery bulbs are tulips! Prof.P: Only time will tell...

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Posted by Danielle Cowell on 3 February 2012
Professor Plant

The weather has been really cold for the last two weeks with parts of theUKbeing as cold as minus 11 degrees Celsius! As a result, my bulbs haven't grown any taller since my last pictures. My Crocus flowers may not arrive until mid Feb now.

Despite the cold weather, we haven't had too much ice or snow in the UK. This is because the air is very dry at the moment - as the wind is blowing across from Siberia. Less ice means less damage to our bulbs - so don't worry too much if yours have stopped growing. They are tough little things and they are just waiting for a warm patch in order to flower.

Things may change this weekend according to the latest weather report that predicts snow! See:

Our coldest weather report comes from Ysgol Deganwy where the temperatures were always below zero. It may be cold here at the moment but compared to other areas ofEurope we are very lucky. In the Ukraine they have suffered very badly as temperatures have fallen to as low as -32C in the north and west.

Ysgol Porth y Felinreport that their bulbs are growing well and even their mystery Bulbs have began to grow. Let me know if your mystery bulbs have begun to grow?

Don't forget to send in your weather records weekly if you can. All weather records need to be sent in to stand a chance to win a nature activity trip!

Keep wrapped up warm. Professor Plant

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