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Tulip Planting

The ins-and-outs of tulip planting.


mixed tulip planting
tulip garden planting
tulip garden planting
mixed tulip planting

tulip planting

The most important thing for tulip planting is bulb selection and soil preparation.

Bulb selection

The bigger the tulip bulb the better. It is important to carefully check for any signs of disease or damage. The bulb should be firm, and have a protective papery skin surrounding it, something like an onion.

Soil preparation

The soil must be well drained and preferably alkaline; if it's acid, apply lime just before planting your tulips. A couple of handfuls of ground limestone per sq mtr/yd is generally adequate. Dig the soil thoroughly so it's loose and light, adding well-rotted compost or peat to poor soils. This provides an ideal growing medium for tulips and also makes it easier to lift the bulbs after flowering. Make sure you go deep enough. If you're planting your tulips at 15cm (6in) then give another 8cm(3in) as. this will enable easier root growth. Without good roots, they're unlikely to survive the winter.

Planting time

Plant the bulbs when night temperatures average between forty and fifty degrees. This is usually about six weeks before the ground actually freezes, depending on your location. Earlier tulip planting than this can result in premature shoot growth, which can then get frost damage.

Planting depth

As a rule of thumb, tulips are planted two and a half times deeper than their diameter. This varies with the type of soil. With light, sandy soil, plant 1 or 2 inches deeper than if it is an heavier clay soil. For the spacing between the bulbs see the chart below.

Prepare the hole and put a little bed of sand on the bottom to encourage root growth.Now's the time to add a long-acting ferilizer which releases it's nutrients steadily to the soil and so feed the bulbs ready for spring.

Press the bulb, with the pointed end facing up, firmly into the sand so that the bottom of the bulb is at the correct depth.

Once the tulip bulbs are all planted, give them a good watering-in and then apply a good mulch. This will help keep the moisture in the soil and the temperatures more constant until early spring.

Select good bulbs
Prepare the soil
Dig the hole to the correct depth
cover with soil
water them in
apply a good mulch
good tulip bulbs
soil preparation for tulips
make hole correct depth for tulips
planted tulip bulbs
water tulip bulbs in well
apply a good mulch to tulip bulbs

Well Done! Your tulip planting is over until next time.

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Tulip Bulb Spacing Chart

Single early tulips
10-15cm (4-6in)
Double early tulips
10-15cm (4-6in)
Triumph tulips
10-15cm (4-6in)
Darwin hybrids
15-20cm (6-8in)
Single late tulips
10-15cm (4-6in)
Lily-flowered tulips
10-15cm (4-6in)
Fringed tulips
15-20cm (6-8in)
15-20cm (6-8in)
Rembrandt tulips
15-20cm (6-8in)
Parrot tulips
15-20cm (6-8in)
Double late tulips
15cm (6in)
Kaufmanniana hybrids
10-15cm (4-6in)
Fosteriana hybrids
15cm (6in)
Greigii hybrids
12-15cm (5-6in)
Species tulips



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