Whoo-hoo! It’s almost here – tulip planting time! I’ve been impatiently waiting for this day, like a kid waiting for Christmas! I’ve got my early bloomers, mid-bloomers, and late bloomin’ bulbs all ready to get dirty! Just a couple more weeks…but now is a great time to buy! Tulips are soooo beautiful! I love how they are so simple, not overly detailed in their appearance or in their care. (I think I could learn a thing or two from these tulips!) They are easy to grow and they will come back year after year!
So, here’s the black widow that was making it’s home in my bag of tulip bulbs. I took the picture with my camera phone and I was shaking cause it was scary having my hand close to it, and I had little kids hovering over me knocking me around…hence, the blurry picture.
Where Can You Plant Tulips?
Tulips do best in states that reach a freezing temperature. If you live somewhere that doesn’t, you can still plant tulips by preparing your bulbs. Store them in the fridge for 6 to 8 weeks
before planting. Basically, most of us can plant tulips.
Where Can You Buy Tulip Bulbs?
You can find tulip bulbs everywhere right now! (Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Lowes, Online, or your local nursery). When you pick out bulbs, look for ones that are free of bruises, dents, mold, etc. That kind of damage can result in diseased flowers. You will notice on the package or display that there are early blooming tulips, mid-blooming tulips, and late blooming ones. I like to choose some of each so I’ve got color all spring and summer long…and into the fall!
When Can You Plant Them?
Most of us imagine planting in the spring or summer, but it’s not the case with tulips. You don’t bury the bulbs until right before the first frost. The first frost is different depending on where you live. Do you know your hardiness zone (the USDA given number that tells you what zone your plant is hardy to)??? If not, look on the chart below or by zip code on this site. Always remember your zone number. It should be right up their in importance with your phone
number, credit card number, dress size number and favorite value meal number.
After you know your number, refer to this:
Zone 2 – 3 = Plant in early Sept.
Zone 4 -5 = Plant in early Oct.
Zone 6 -7 = Plant in early Nov.
Zone 8 – 9 = Plant in early Dec.
Zone 10 = Plant in early Jan.
How and Where Do You Plant Tulips?
Find a spot that has well-drained soil (not soggy or constantly wet) and plenty of sunlight. Tulips look best in groupings. Don’t place them near other plants that will be receiving lots of water throughout the summer. Your tulips don’t want lots of water and will easily rot. So, dig your
holes about 4-5 inches deep and 6 inches apart. The widest part of the bulb should be face down, and the pointed side face up.
Lightly pack the soil on top and give them a good water. If you live in Zones 3, 4, 5, or 6 then you should apply mulch on top of the soil to warm the bulbs enough to allow growth before the ground freezes. Don’t water again until the first leaves appear.
How Do You Care For Them?
Bulbs can easily rot if over-watered. So, be careful with the amount of water you give them. If you summers are really hot, water maybe 1 – 2 times a week. If they aren’t so hot, water less. Also fertilize before they bloom in the spring. Use about a tablespoon of granular fertilizer and sprinkle around the plant. After the bloom dies, cut it off…leaving the rest of the plant to die back naturally. You can cut the rest of the plant off to the ground ONLY after everything turns yellow and is completely dead. If you cut it off before it turns yellow, the bulb will not have stored enough energy for next seasons growth.
Maybe you think gardening isn’t your thing…but, I challenge you…try it! Tulips are such an easy thing to start with…a 5 year old could do it, so I know you can! You will feel all happy inside when you see them bloom, come spring…and your yard will look all the lovelier for it! The more I learn about plants and spend time cultivating their growth, the more fascinating it is to me! I love it!