Let's Talk Tulips!
With thousands of varieties and an almost infinite spectrum of colours, tulips are a beautiful addition to any garden. And if properly cared for, they will provide beauty year after year.
When to plant tulip bulbs
Plant your bulbs in the fall to enjoy colourful blooms in the spring. Plan to plant the bulbs within a week after buying them, as they shouldn’t stay above ground too long. Tulip bulbs can be planted any time in the fall up until the ground freezes. They will survive a frost but once the ground is frozen, you won’t be able to get a shovel in it.
How to plant tulip bulbs
For best results, follow these simple steps:
- Plant bulbs in a hole that is three times as deep as the bulb is thick, measured from top to bottom. A bulb that is 3 cm thick will require a 10 cm. hole.
- Loosen the soil at the bottom of the hole to allow new roots to develop freely, and add a handful of blood and bone meal in the bottom of the hole to ensure the roots get the nutrition they need.
- Bury your bulbs using triple mix soil. Mark’s Choice Garden Soil will get the job done. Mix the soil with 30% sand to improve drainage.
- After planting, step on the soil around the bulbs to firm the soil and encourage the bulbs to take root before winter sets in.
To protect your bulbs from squirrels, try these tips:
- After the bulbs are placed in the hole, spray them with a squirrel repellent.
- Place chicken wire on top of the hole after the soil has been tamped down with your feet, then add a couple more centimetres of soil on top of the chicken wire.
- Plant the bulbs a little more deeply in well-drained soil.
Enjoy the beauty they add to your garden or cut them and bring that beauty into your house. Once the flower petals have dropped, nip off the finished flower bud and don’t let it set seed. Let the leaves turn yellow – this will take four to six weeks. Pull them and throw them on the compost. While the leaves turn yellow, they are converting the energy of the sun into food and pushing energy down to the roots. This will beef it up, so it blooms again next year.