A Definitive Guide to Planting Tulips


When it comes to a guide to planting and caring for tulips, you have only to read this article to be able to grow beautiful tulips that you can be very proud of. You will find that there are many varieties of tulips, as well as beautiful colors. The purple tulips, red tulips, yellow tulips and pink tulips are the most popular ones. There are several things that you need to be aware of, and to do prior to planting your tulips.

Step 1 Check your soil to make sure it is adequate and in good condition. Tulips like well drained soil that is airy, and loamy. If your soil is hard, you will need to add some peat moss to it to make the soil more pliable for your bulbs. Usually an addition of 2 lbs. of peat moss for every square yard of bed surface will do. If your soil is composed of a lot of clay  and is very heavy, you will need to add some sand to further develop the soil for proper drainage and to further loosen up the soil.

Step 2 Preparing the Soil should require tilling it up at least 8 to 10 inches. Make sure that your soil can be drained easily since tulips do not like any standing water. This will cause your bulbs to rot since the bulbs are below the surface.

Step 3 Planting Time will vary according to which part of the country that you live in. The general rules are that you must have your bulbs in the ground before the first frost occurs. In Midwestern states this might be as early as October. While keeping this in mind, don’t plant your bulbs too early either. Once your bulbs are in the ground, and it is still warm enough, they might start rooting and growing too fast. This will give you a plant that might come up too early and find snow on the ground that will kill the plant.

If you have any questions about this you can always contact your Agriculture Extension Office in your local county for specific advise in your area.

Plant tulips 6-8" deep

Step 4 Plant your tulips either in a trench that is from 6 to 8 inches deep or in individual holes. Apply bone meal sprinkled into the bottom of your hole or into the individual hole before placing your bulbs into the ground. There are tools for planting your bulbs, but I have always preferred digging a wide, deep hole and spacing each bulb individually into a slot. Make sure you insert the bottom of the bulb well into the ground. I find that a little twist into the soil will give it a firm grip to the soil.

It is recommended that you place the bulbs pointed side up and 4-6 inches apart. This will depend on the effect your are trying to get with your tulips. Be sure to cover them well and then water them so that the water reaches below the bottom of the tulip bulb.

*No additional fertilizer will be needed if you have applied the bone meal at planting time. Bone meal has a slow release time, but should be all you need to add to your tulips until after blooming.

More articles are available at yardandgardenrescue.com to help you care for your bulbs after blooming, and steps to digging, cleaning and storing your tulip bulbs.

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