Anyone can create beauty by adding color and design with fall bulbs in your garden. Here are some simple tips for planting your tulips in the fall so they can acquire healthy root systems.
Wait for it: Tulips need to be planted in cool soil. October is best in the NW.
Shade is good, and acid is bad: Avoid planting under cedar or pine trees.
Dollar deep: Place at least 6 inches of soil over bulbs.
Snack before bed: Fertilize after planting.
A little goes a long way: Ensure bulbs are damp during the growth and bloom time.
If tulips have been planted in the same area as you are choosing to use, dig a hole 12″deep and 12″ wide per 10 tulip bulbs. Add compost and new potting soil in the hole with a bulb fertilizer and a hand full of lime. Mix in the hole and water. Cover tips of bulbs with 4 ½” of soil.
CLIMATES & TIMING
Western Washington: Plant in late Oct. when ground temperatures are cooler.
Eastern Washington and Colder Climates: Use 6″ of soil to cover bulbs. Plant early Oct. before 1st frost.With severe cold, add 1″ of peat moss or mulch over the top of the soil.
Southern Climates: (Areas where winter climates do not reach below 40 degrees for at least six weeks.) Bulbs will need to be pre-chilled in the crisper draw of your refrigerator with no fruits or vegetables, as they will damage the flower bulb. After chilling them for 6 weeks, you may then plant them by our directions, preferably when your ground temps are the coolest in your area, usually late November.
Planting Tips: Plant bulbs in soil with good drainage.
Plant at least 10 bulbs in a hole placing bulbs 1 ½” apart, as that helps protect the blooms from strong winds and rain.
Where Not to Plant: Tulips do not grow well in acidic soil, or planted under cedar or pine trees.
Be cautious not to plant bulbs under eves of homes or protected areas where the ground does not get the natural winter rains. Ground surface needs moisture.
When your tulips are blooming, water the soil, as that will make the bloom time last longer.
AFTER THE BLOOM CYCLE
- Top the tulip heads before the petals start to drop.
- Wait three weeks, as the bulb takes the nutrient from the plant.
- Use a knife to cut away the dead foliage to the soil level, Dead foliage causes disease in the bulbs.
You may leave the tulip bulbs in the ground for another season, or dig them up. Hang the bulbs in a ventilated bag and store them in a dry area (a rodent free space). If you choose to leave the bulbs in the ground, be careful not to plant annuals over the top of the bulbs. Summer watering will drown or rot them.
To replant your bulbs in the fall, plant in a different space or replace the soil if you choose to plant in the same area. Dig the hole and put new soil 12″ down. After placing the bulbs in the hole, top with new soil.
FALL BULB PLANTING TIPS
Plant three times the depth of the bulb
Temple of Beauty, and Blushing Beauty: 8″ of soil over the top of bulbs. They will be 36″ tall. Plant 1 to 1 ½” apart, close for weather protection.
Tulips: Plant 1 – 1 ½” apart, with 5″ of soil over the top of bulbs.
Daffodils: Plant 2-4″ apart. Cover with 6-8″soil. Leave them in the ground as they will propagate.
Crocus: Plant 1″ apart 2 ½” deep. Crocus also will propagate.
Hyacinths: Same as tulips
Miscellaneous Bulbs: Plant 2 ½” deep. Same as crocus, leave in the ground to propagate.
- Drill holes in bottom of container. Add 2″ of stone or pea gravel for good drainage.
- Fill ½ the container with a new potting soil.
- Add a hand full of lime, and our fertilizer, or a good Bulb Booster. Add fertilizer according to the directions. Level the soil, and moisten that area.
- Plant bulbs 1″– 1 ½” apart, and make sure the bulbs are 1″ from the outside perimeter for frost protection.
- Add the remainder of soil to the container. Gently water the soil. A water wand works great.
- When weather is cold, add plastic, (a garbage can liner works fine), around the outside of the container, not the top or the bottom of the container.
- Top the container with hardy pansies. This gives lots of winter color. The tulips will grow through the pansies and they make great accent for your tulips.
- For longer bloom time water your tulips when in the bloom cycle. Be sure to water close to the ground, not to disturb the flower petals.
- Choose a sunny location
- Select well drained sight. Make sure the eye; ( new bud) is only 2″ below soil surface.
- Peonies will not bloom if planted too deep.
- Add lime or organic fertilizer, ¼th cup to each root. Mix fertilizer in soil before planting. Water.
- Peonies do not like to be transplanted. They will live many years without being divided.
- Pinch off some of the buds if you wish to have larger blooms and longer stems.
- Stake tall peonies with frames before they reach 12″.
- Water peonies during dry spells, especially the first year.
- Plant in shady, well drained soil.
- Dig a hole 8″ x 12″ . Amend soil if necessary.
- Spread the root systems, plant new growth or buds facing up. Cover with ½” soil and water.
- After a few years you could divide the clumps and re-plant in other locations.