Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Planting Tulips

My life long dream has been to go to Holland to see the Tulips
in bloom. A few years ago, my husband and I did a Europe trip during April and we made it to Amsterdam and went to Kukhenoff Gardens. It was AMAZING. I've added a few photos to this post. Google Kukhenoff photos to see some more amazing photos.

For us in the US, now is the time of year to plant Tulip bulbs or any Spring blooming bulbs.

I live near a botanical garden that every year imports bulbs from Holland plants them in the fall, they bloom in the Spring, and they dig them up and sell them to the public for cheap and order more from Holland for the next year. (I know, waste of money right? But GREAT deal for us! :)

I bought bulbs from this garden (Thanksgiving Point) for $3 a dozen. AND because I got there before the gardeners "cleaned them" the cashier told me that every "cluster" of bulbs counts as one.

To better understand Tulips, here is a run down:
On the left is a "cluster" of 3 bulbs. Each bulb sprouts 1 flower.
You can break the clusters up and plant each bulb individually. >>

The middle is a bulb with the skin on and the bulb to the right has the skin removed.

To plant a bulb, dig a hole 3-4" deep and place the bulb with the tip up. **"Tip up" is a good rule of thumb, but when farmers in Holland plant Tulip bulbs, they push them off the back of a truck, they don't worry about "tips up" so if your bulb falls over, don't sweat it. (Below)

You can cluster bulbs in groups in the same hole 3" apart or plant individually. Usually the first year you plant a bulb you will get one flower. The second year you will get two because the Tulip grows another bulb. (1 flower per bulb) **For this reason some people "thin" their Tulips at the end of the season and re plant them in the fall. "Thin" meaning they dig up the bulbs and break them into individual bulbs again.

Clip flowers after bloom to prevent seed production. Leave the green foliage on until it's fully dry. The bulb "sucks" nutrients back from the leaves to "feed" the bulb for next season.

**If you dig up your bulbs to thin them, you must leave them spread out in a cool dry place to dry until they are dry. Then you can re plant them again in the fall.**

Tulips are my favorite flowers ever. They are so easy to care for. You drop them is some dirt Sept-Oct. and forget about them until Spring comes around and you have beautiful flowers!
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