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Tulips Tidbits October 2020 - Fall Q&A
Fall Q&A

Our shorter days have brought chillier weather and of course our Pacific Northwest rain has reminded us what it takes to be so beautifully green. Amongst it all, our crew has been hard at work planting the beautiful designs in our display garden. Whether you are a first time planter or you do this year after year, there's always excitement and anticipation that comes before tucking your bulbs in the ground. With that, come a lot of questions. We hope you find the following information helpful in easing your planting endeavor.

Spacing and Depth:

How far apart should you plant your bulbs? You can plant them however you'd like! Understanding that answer can be intimidating for some newer planters, our planting guide is an excellent source in helping you get those bulbs in the ground. We recommend you work the soil (loosen it) to a depth of about 8-10 inches and then plant your bulbs about 6 inches deep, but if your soil is too difficult to work or does not drain well, planting at a shallower depth is an option.

Depending on the variety of the flower and how large its bloom is, we can recommend spacing the bulbs anywhere from 4-6 inches apart. Again, this is merely a guide and is completely up to you in the end. If you would prefer to have a more dramatic burst of color, you can group or, "cluster" your bulbs planting ten of them tighter together.

In our display garden, we cheat a little bit on both depth and spacing. This is because we plant over a million bulbs by hand and we have to get it finished sometime before the year is over!

Fall Q&A

Planting in containers:

If critters or lack of space are issues for you, planting in containers can be your answer. Here are a few things to keep in mind when planting in containers:

  • Soil: You'll want to use quality potting soil for your container. Regular soil is too heavy and not recommended.
  • Drainage: Potting soil will help with drainage in your container, but you can also consider adding a layer of gravel to the bottom.
  • Watering: Water your container throughout the winter months. The soil should always stay moist. You do not want your bulbs to dry out and depending on where your pots are located, they may not get water naturally.
  • Depth: How deep you can plant your bulbs will be determined by how large your container is.
  • Spacing: This is not super important for container planting. The goal is to create the look you want. A lot of people choose to do something called layered planting in containers. An example of this is, daffodils go deepest, tulips in the middle, and other smaller bulb types on top!
  • Weather: One of the most consistent questions we get is, how weather, particularly cool weather, effects your containers. In the ground, bulbs have the ability to warm and cool more gradually with the earth around them. In containers, this isn't the case and it tends to happen more rapidly. Some things to consider; first off, temperatures near or just below freezing should not be a problem, but if the air cools down to temperatures in the twenties or the forecast calls for an extended freeze, you'll want to consider protecting your container. Here are a few suggested ways of doing so:
  • Cover your container with a blanket
  • Consider wrapping your container with a burlap sack if freezing temps are common throughout the winter
  • Move your container into a protected area. Remember, your bulbs will grow more quickly if the environment is warmer. A garage is a good option.
  • Place your container near the house, this can keep them a bit warmer throughout the cold winter.
Fall Q&A

What does it mean when a bulb says Early, Mid, or Late?

This is referring to the season of the bulb. Will it be the first to bloom of its kind or the last? Every year we get asked when the daffodils and tulips will begin their bloom and every year we answer, it depends on the weather. Trust us, we would LOVE to be able to provide you with an exact date, but unfortunately the only thing the flowers listen to is Mother Nature. Daffodils always bloom before tulips and an early daffodil variety (ie Dutch Master) will be the first to bloom of the daffodils. This can typically happen mid to late February. If the weather is warmer, it will happen earlier, if it has been quite cool outside, their bloom will stay tucked in until later in February. If you are looking for overlap between tulips and daffodils, we recommend pairing late blooming daffs with early blooming tulips. Is that your only option? Not necessarily, but it is your safest one!

Weed Control:

Make sure your garden is free of weeds before you plant your bulbs. For more care tips on how to get your garden ready for planting, click here. After you have planted your bulbs, consider adding a layer of mulch to your garden to help prevent those pesky weeds from popping up. In the display garden our go to is mulch and some good old fashion manpower! You will often see our crew weeding the flower beds each morning to keep the extra greenery away.

Fall Q&A


While we have yet to find a way to keep bulbs 100% safe from the pesky critters, here are a few things that some of our staff and customers have had good luck in trying:

  • Plant bulbs a little deeper
  • Put down a layer of chicken wire or something similar
  • Repellex (natural pest repellent)
  • Plant in containers
  • Plant bulbs they do not like: Hyacinth, Muscari, and Daffodils

Bulb care after the bloom:

Our July newsletter goes into depth on how to take care of your bulbs, but here's the short of what to do after the bloom:

  1. Once the petals are beginning to drop, top the flower about an inch below the bloom.
  2. Allow the foliage and leaves to die back naturally.  Continue to water during this time as well.
  3. Once the foliage has died back, remove it and then dig your bulbs.
  4. Store them in a breathable container in a dark, dry and cool area and then replant in the fall.
Fall Q&A

We know there are a lot more questions out there and we want to assure you, as long as your bulbs have proper soil, are watered appropriately, and were tucked in with love, they should bloom just fine come spring. If you should have any concerns that you would like an answer to, please do not hesitate to reach out. Our team would be more than happy to assist you!

Happy planting!

Tulips Tidbits


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RoozenGaarde / Tulips.com
15867 Beaver Marsh Rd., Mount Vernon, WA 98273
1-866-488-5477 info@tulips.com
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