It’s also a good idea to plant bulbs in layers, with late-flowering varieties on the bottom layer, working up to the earliest flowering varieties on the top. Choose large bulbs and avoid any with damage or mould. Try growing groups of early-flowering tulips in a bed which will be occupied by annuals later in the summer. Keep reading our easy gardening guide to discover when, where and how to plant tulip bulbs. Aim to plant within a week or they’ll start to sprout. Plant tulips in autumn to enjoy in spring. Gardeners in the coldest Zones (1 - 4) should plant bulbs in late August and early September. For a tulip-packed spring, we’ve also picked some of the best late tulips to grow.. It's important that the pot you get has drainage holes in it. You can grow tulips in most soils as long as they don’t sit in waterlogged soil. 4-6" below the surface of the soil), 4-8 ins apart. Reference 2 shows pictures of the fungus on tulips and gives a good description of the disease. Keep it simple by planting a variety on its own or several of the same variety packed closely together for a bumper show. Remove it when shoots appear. In order to save time, try planting a large number of small bulbs by lifting a piece of turf and planting a group of bulbs in the soil. Squirrels, rats and mice can also be an issue. Pots of tulips are also useful as gap fillers in a spring bed or border. Leave 5cm of soil between each layer. If the bulbs are left in the ground, make sure they’re in a spot that will be baked by the sun from June to September, otherwise the bulbs will rot in the ground while they’re dormant. Roses are red, violets are blue. The small-flowering species and Darwin hybrids are ideal for this type of planting, because they self-seed freely and will reward you with blooms year after year if left undisturbed. Don’t be tempted to compost the foliage and petals, as they may be infected with tulip fire disease and, if this is the case, they will contaminate your compost. Read more. Tulip bulbs are planted in the autumn before the ground freezes. For more autumn gardening advice, click here. Discover 10 of the best early-flowering tulips to grow, below. In 1636, The Dutch traded bulbs for the same price as houses, a period known as 'tulip mania' and forward wind to 1835 where a London gardener possessed a single bulb worth 200 guineas! CLICK TO DOWNLOAD. Space the holes four to six inches apart. Just as they rush the holidays, retailers are also guilty of rushing the planting seasons. Discover UK's biggest Tulip Bulbs selection. Use chicken wire to cover freshly planted pots. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so. Thinking about a plant’s natural habitat is useful when it comes to looking after them. Plant one or two varieties in a single shade to make an eye-catching display. If you want to fill your garden with colour next spring, plant bulbs from October to December, before the first frost. Since bulb planting season kicks off at the end of September, learn when to plant tulips bulbs and grow a beautiful garden filled with delightful tulip flowers. Several types can be planted together, but it’s tricky to get the flowers to appear at the same time. To help avoid tulip fire, plant your tulip bulbs in November, choosing a sunny spot with well-drained soil. A wide range of colour and form, like the exotic-looking parrot mix or the sumptuous tulip 'Ice Cream' means there's a tulip for all tastes. Choose a site that has good drainage. While fall is considered the best time to plant your bulbs to ensure beautiful blooms come spring, there's no reasons to fret if you fell behind on your gardening chores—you can still get those future flowers in the ground.. Tulips, which are classified into 15 divisions, are easy to grow, work well in borders and containers, and are widely available. Abbey House Garden in the Cotswolds showcases an impressive 24,000 bulbs, and offers plenty of ideas for modestly sized borders and containers. Inside, you will find invaluable practical advice from real gardeners, plantspeople and designers. Water well and leave the pot in a cool, protected spot. Their numbers may diminish a little, so it’s a good idea to plant some more each autumn. Most bulbs have a long dormant period, requiring little attention for much of the year. Easy to grow and care for, the main issue with tulips is whether to dig them up after flowering or leave in the ground. Discard them in the garbage. Tulips also work exceptionally well in containers, especially when used as a focal point. If unsure, plant the bulb on its side. Ensure, at the outset, that you’ve chosen healthy bulbs, which are firm and show no signs of mould or sprouting shoots. You must wait to plant your bulbs until temperatures cool … I have not seen a clear answer to this. It is easy to plant tulips in the garden. Allow plants to die down after flowering before mowing over the lawn. Back-fill the hole, and water lightly. By adding grit to the bottom it will ensure they’ll get good drainage. Bulbs left in the ground produce smaller flowers next year. Species and short-stemmed varieties will look out of place in a huge container, as will tall, elegant types in a squat tub. The best time to plant tulips is November. Plant one or two varieties in a single shade to make an eye-catching display. Naturalise bulbs in lawns by taking a handful and dropping from waist height. For planting tulip bulbs, dig a hole approximately four or six inches into the soil. Most hardy bulbs originate from the Mediterranean, thriving in a warm, sunny climate in freely draining soil. When buying bulbs check they're healthy and as fresh as possible, or your spring show could be a washout. Zones 4 to 7: In colder climates, spring-flowering bulbs can be planted as soon as the ground is cool, evening temperatures average 40° to 50°F, and it is at least 6 to 8 weeks before the ground freezes. If you are feeling adventurous, it’s worth making the trip to see the Keukenhof in Holland, which covers an area of 32 hectares, with 4.5 million tulips in 100 varieties. Tulips are a great way to bring color to your yard. Aim to plant in groups of at least six, as the more bulbs that are grouped together, the better the display. They recommend applying slug pellets (organic alternatives are available if you’re concerned about using traditional types) immediately after planting, and again at monthly intervals until the plants stand well above the ground. Bulbs such as dwarf daffodils, crocuses, snowdrops and winter aconites can transform a dull looking lawn into a wonderful display of colour. When to plant. Pick a sunny site that has good drainage. By planting varieties with different bloom times, you can have tulips blooming from early to late spring. If the pot has a large drainage hole, cover it with a piece of broken pot or a few large pebbles. I've seen tender annuals offered for sale well before the last frost date and bulbs on the shelves when it is way too warm (or too cold) to plant them. Alternatively, plant bulbs in defined areas so that it's possible to mow the lawn around them. Either plunge the pot in to the soil to plug an empty spot, or on the soil if the existing shrubs and flowers are large and tall enough to disguise it. What about bulbs planted in previous years – can they get Fusarium? Gardeners in Zones 5 - 7 can't trust the calendar either. It's important to plant bulbs with its top facing upwards. If you want to garden like the pros, you should plant your bulbs in the fall, about six weeks before your area's first hard freeze, according to HGTV.com. If timed right, this should be as soon as possible after purchase. There is plenty of choice with colour as well as shape, and these days the bulbs are affordable too. T he size of the bulb makes a difference. Clare Foggett Space the bulbs 4-8in (10-20cm) apart. According to the experts at Bloms Bulbs, ‘tulip failures are mostly due to damage by slugs and snails’. Whether you are just planning to plant tulips in a pot or if you have a garden to fill, you can get the whole family involved and you'll have buckets of cut flowers come the spring.. Bulbs are some of the easiest garden plants to grow, needing only a well-drained soil and some sunshine. BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. First, dig a hole about six to eight inches deep from the base of the bulb. Plant daffodils, winter aconites, tulips and fritillarias for outstanding colour. If you want a great patio display, try growing bulbs in pots. To achieve a natural look, throw bulbs up in the air and plant them exactly where they land in the grass. MEDIA PACK Space the holes 4 to 6 inches (10.2 to 15.2 cm) apart, and dig them about 8 inches (20.3 cm) from the base of the bulb. Plant where they land with a strong trowel or bulb planter - these are ideal for digging into heavy clay soil. When to plant and how to plant bulbs in the UK. If you’re using a bulb planter, a useful tip from bulb experts Bloms Bulbs is to ‘be sure that the soil in the whole planting area is well worked to prevent any sitting water at the bottom of the hole’. When growing bulbs in a pot, pick a container that is the right size and will complement your chosen bulbs. If you are planting bulbs and you see any kind of fungal disease on the bulb it is best not to plant them. You can use chicken wire to cover bulbs planted in soil, too. Plant at twice the depth of the bulb (i.e. Fill pots with general-purpose compost, mixed with a handful of horticultural grit to improve drainage. Many spring-flowering bulbs are ideal for brightening up the base of trees before they come into full leaf. Plant daffodil bulbs 3 times the size of the bulb below the surface of the soil (the root system should also pull the bulb down further down into the soil). If you want to plant tulips in heavy clay soil, mix some horticultural sand into the planting hole to help drainage. The key thing is to consider the eventual height of the tulips, choosing an appropriately sized container. The aim is to make it look as though they have decided to grow there by themselves. Astrid Elsen Use a 50/50 mix of potting compost and horticultural grit. Planting bulbs in a herbaceous border will help to fill in gaps and provide colour and interest before perennials and shrubs begin to grow in early spring. Avoid any that are damaged, shrivelled or feel soft, and go for plump, firm bulbs. Instead, keep the tulip bulbs dry and in a cool, well-ventilated area like an unheated garage. CONTAINER DISPLAYS. Plant most bulbs at two to three times their depth. However, they can also work well planted in a lawn. Drifts of tulips look striking in beds and borders, often bringing much needed colour to the garden as it starts to come to life in spring. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. You can purchase plastic, ceramic, or terracotta pots to plant tulips. Plant bulbs to a depth of two to three times their own height and about two bulb widths apart. This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Dig a planting hole with a garden trowel or bulb planter and drop the bulb into the hole with the pointed end up. This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. Tulip bulbs should be buried about 6 inches (15.2 cm) to 8 inches (20.3 cm) deep to prevent squirrels and other creatures from finding them and eating them. To achieve the most natural effect, stick to two or three different colours of one or two varieties. However, bulbs can be stored in the refrigerator if needed until planting. If you are using a clay pot with a large drainage hole in the base, cover it with a piece of broken pot. A 8.5 inch (22 cm) pot can hold anywhere from 2-9 tulip bulbs. Deadhead the plants once they’ve gone over, and let the leaves die back before removing them to allow all of the energy to go back into the bulb for next year’s growth. The best time to plant your bulbs is not when the stores start selling them. To plant new bulbs: Plant from mid- to late autumn – this is later than most bulbs but a late planting can help reduce problems with the disease tulip fire; Use only healthy bulbs, discarding any that show signs of damage or mould ; Plant at least twice the bulb’s width apart, and at a depth of two or three times the bulb's … Tulips are red, and orange, and golden, and blue-black, and pink… there are colours you can’t even describe (although we’ve tried)! For miniature daffodils, plant at twice the size of the bulb and 3-5in (8-12cm) apart. ADVERTISING Ideally, the temperature will have dropped and there may even have been a few frosts. Replace the soil after planting, breaking down any large clumps and firm in gently, making sure there are no air spaces around the bulbs. Planting Plant them close together for maximum impact, with around 2.5cm (1in) between bulbs. It can be tricky making this look natural, but a useful trick is to throw a handful of bulbs on the ground and plant them where they fall, using a trowel or bulb planter. However, shade, drainage and planting depth can affect their productivity, so experiment. As a general rule, plant bulbs two to three times their own depth and around two bulb widths apart. Although October will suffice, leaving until November or even December reduces the chance of picking up tulip fire blight which favours warm, damp conditions. Plant tulip bulbs close together in pots to create a full display Photo: Shutterstock. Larger pots will be able to hold more tulip bulbs, which will create a fuller pot of flowers. Best month for planting: Most gardening books recommend planting tulips twice the depth of the bulb below the surface of the soil (about 3 inches (8cm) in the case of most tulip bulbs), but to help with drainage and prevent your tulip bulbs from rotting I would plant them 3 times the depth of the bulb and 3 to 5 inches (8-12cm) apart. When planted en masse, spring-flowering bulbs make a valuable contribution to formal bedding displays. They can be tall and willowy, or stocky, sturdy and compact and … As a general rule, the larger, showy varieties are better suited to a formal position in the garden. Squirrels eat ALL the fruit off my trees before to enjoy … Every issue, The English Garden magazine features the most beautiful gardens from all across the UK and Ireland - both town and country plots, big and small. Check out our tulip grow guide for full advice on planting, propagating and deadheading and more. Plant tulips in pots in the same way as if you were planting bulbs directly into the ground. Choose bulbs according to location and soil type. If the ground is free-draining and sandy, chances are that your tulips will cope with being left where they are, and will come back year after year. If you are unsure how to grow tulips in your own plot, seek inspiration from the spectacular displays at Kew Gardens, or The Eden Project in Cornwall, which every March has a marvellous show of some 15,000 tulips in the Mediterranean Biome, made up of about 30 different cultivars. The temptation is to have a colourful assortment, but this can end up looking chaotic and garish. Opinion is divided about this, and it comes down to your specific situation. Daffodils and narcissi are great in beds and borders, they are also well suited to naturalising in grass verges, lawn edges, hedgerows and banks. Bulbs in pots need more care than those in soil. It is best to plant tulips in containers of soil-based compost, because it will provide the right nutrient mix for the roots and will help retain moisture, which is important, as compost is prone to drying out in warm weather. Thankfully prices are now within easy reach, and Suttons have a fantastic selection of tulip bulbs for sale. Plant bulbs in individual holes or dig a trench if all your bulbs can be planted at the same depth. Fill the pot up with the compost/grit mix and firm it down. Alluring creamy-white blooms with harmonious pinkish stripe is the Dwarf Tulip ‘Fur Elise’ It is best to plant tulips as late as possible in the year. Read more. If you don’t have room in the fridge, don’t put tulip bulbs in the freezer; it will kill them. If you want to fill your garden with colour next spring, plant bulbs from October to December, before the first frost. For miniature daffodils, plant at twice the depth of the bulb and 3-5ins apart. To use, push the cylindrical blade down, twist and pull up a plug of soil. This is important, as it reduces the risk of tulip fire – a fungal disease that thrives in damp, warm conditions and can obliterate your tulip displays in the unfortunate event that your bulbs become infected by it. Delaying the planting of tulip bulbs until November is said to reduce the risk of the fungal disease tulip fire (see below), as cold weather can wipe out the fungus. Drop the bulb in, flattest side down, and crumble the plug into the hole. Bulb Planting Guide . Either way, plant annuals among the tulip foliage when waiting for the plants … Although that economic bubble inevitably burst, a passion for these delicate bulbs endures, and today their blooms feature in most spring gardens. This method applies to spring-, summer- and autumn-flowering bulbs: Dig a hole wide and deep enough for your bulbs. Dig holes for the bulbs. To plant daffodil and tulip bulbs, start by digging a trench, and then at the bottom of the trench add some grit. Tulip Planting Tips. Planting tulip bulbs in autumn for a beautiful display next spring is a wonderful thing to do. Typically, 25 to 50 bulbs may be needed to make an impressive show. Daffodils, tulips, crocus, grape hyacinths and fritillarias are just some of the plants to choose from. Place a layer of this mix in the pot, then arrange the tulip bulbs on top of it, tips pointing upwards. Landscape architect Bunny Guinness suggests a liberal sprinkling of ‘cayenne pepper (bought in bulk) sprinkled above them’, and she has discovered that John Amand from Jacques Amand spreads well-rotted cow manure above the bulbs. Boasting superb weather resistance, tulips will come back year after year. For the best results, plant your bulbs according to the package's planting times. Good drainage and plenty of sunshine is key, since most bulbs are prone to rot while dormant. 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