It can be hard work to plant tulips, but the effort you put in can yield beautiful flowers. Tulips are perennials that bloom every spring and are typically planted sometime during the fall. You can buy tulip bulbs online, through a mail order catalogue, or at a local nursery/garden center. There are many varieties of tulips to choose from, but for most bulbs the planting technique remains the same. To plant tulips, you will need the following materials:
Depending on what climate you live in, the actual time of planting may vary, so it’s a good idea to do research on your locale before deciding when to plant. The earlier the weather turns cold in your area, the earlier you must plant your bulbs. In warmer climates, it may be necessary to refrigerate bulbs in a paper bag for six to eight weeks to simulate the winter months.
Once you have determined when it is appropriate to plant the bulbs, you can pick out a spot to grow them. Tulip bulbs should be planted somewhere between six and eight inches deep. Note that this depth is where the bottom of the bulb will sit. Ideally, the soil will not be overly wet. While you will water the bulbs later, it is important to avoid planting them in an area that holds standing water because it may cause the bulbs to rot. As a general rule, you should not plant more than five bulbs in a square foot. If you are planting multiple bulbs, it may be easier to dig one large, wide hole rather than individual holes for each flower.
Once you have dug your hole you are ready to plant the tulips. The bulbs should be placed on the bottom of the hole with the points facing up. All of the bulbs should be planted at the same depth, and they should be evenly spaced about five inches apart. Surround and cover the bulbs with the fertilizer. It is a good idea to read any instructions on the bag of fertilizer concerning depths and soil/fertilizer mixtures as they may vary by brand. Begin filling the rest of the hole with fertilizer, mixing in more soil as you approach the top of the hole. The top layer should be entirely soil. As you add the fertilizer and soil, you should lightly tamp it down every so often, but not so much that it would be difficult for the budding tulip to reach the surface. Once you have filled in the hole, water the area until the soil is moist. You may want to cover the area with a thin covering of straw before the ground freezes in order to facilitate growth.
Come spring, you should have tulips blooming in your garden. More advanced gardeners may want to try mixing different varieties and colors to achieve a desired look. Likewise, you may want to experiment with different fertilizer types and planting depths to achieve better growth. Whatever choices you make, the steps listed in this article will help you on your way to a healthy, vibrant tulip garden.