Monday, September 24, 2012

How To Plant Tulips

Tulip garden

Q. Can you give me some tips about how to plant tulips?

A. Tulips prefer full sun, and well-drained, organic soil in USDA climate zones 3 - 8. If your preferred site is not well-drained and high in organic content, you might choose another, plant your tulips in containers or raised beds, or amend the site.

If you're not sure whether your soil is high in organic matter, you should take a sample to your nearest Cooperative Extension Service office for analysis. You will be charged a nominal fee. Follow their instructions. You can raise the soil's organic content by adding finished compost or a good grade of sphagnum-based potting soil.

Raised beds are not difficult to construct. A simple 8' x 4' box, open at the top and bottom, can be made of three boards of  2"x 8" x 8' untreated pine. Painting the wood with exterior latex paint can extend the bed's longevity. Fill the box with compost or potting soil

If you prefer a large free-form design, forget about the constructing the box. Outline the contour of the bed, cultivate the soil within, add your organic material, mound the soil and level it to a height of 6 inches.

The bulbs should be planted at a depth that is 2-1/2 times the height of the bulb, 4 inches to 6 inches apart, or 4 to 5 per square foot. Planting depth is measured to the base of the bulb.

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