How much time to plant 100 tulips?

ginjjOctober 10, 2011

I haven't grown tulips in years. I thought it was time to try them again and fell prey to Home Depot's good buy of 40 for $10.00 I came home with a total of 100 tulip bulbs. I know that's too many for both the size of my garden and the time I can put into this.

If I were to plant 100, how long would you guess it would take me? My soil is easy to dig into.

Where I live I do not believe they will bloom well a second year, so this will all be for one show of a few weeks - I bought "early, mid and late" tulip bulbs.

I do have several patches of daffodils and dutch iris which come back each year and are glorious, maybe I should just be happy with that.

Thanks for your ideas.

Ginny

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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

If your soil is good it won't take too long. One trick is not to plant individually but to scrape out a hole about a foot wide and the right depth and place 5 or 6 bulbs in a group then cover up. You would only need about 20 holes to plant all your bulbs so it shouldn't take more than about an hour tops. Even quicker if you make bigger groups. IMO tulips look far better in groups than rows.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2011 at 6:08AM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

Ginny you did not say when you bought your tulips. They should be in a refrigerator for at least six weeks before planting. I buy mine around September first and plant them the first week in December. I buy two hundred every year. I just lay them all out on the soil 4 to 6 inches apart. With my trowel I plunge it in the soil, rock it to one side and push the bulb down the depth of the trowel, right side up. My refrigerator is separate and only for garden use. If you use your regular refrigerator watch out for fresh fruit in storage which may affect your tulips bloom. No more than an hour should be needed to plant 100 tulips. Al

    Bookmark   October 11, 2011 at 8:54AM
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ginjj

OK, I'll plant them now that you both say it won't take much time.

Two questions - do either of you or both of you use bone meal at the bottom of the hole? I thought bone meal was to enhance future blooms, not necessarily this years bloom? Since they won't bloom again should I skip it?

I will not put the bulbs in the drawer with the apples. They would be in a brown paper bag on a bottom shelf in the back (hopefully they won't freeze at all, or would that be ok?)

I imagine I should plant early, mid, and late season bulbs altogether in each of the holes.

Al I think I've asked you before, but do you ever open your garden up for tours or just interested folks like myself?

Thanks
Ginny in San Jose

    Bookmark   October 12, 2011 at 2:30PM
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iris_gal(z9 CA)

Never never allow tulip bulbs to freeze in your refrig.

You are right. Bonemeal won't be of help to these tulips bulbs (zone 9 non-naturalizers). The flower buds are already formed for this spring's display. But, if you use the area next fall to plant other bulbs, the bonemeal will by that time be available to them. It's one of the "future" fertilizers and needs to be dug into a lower layer of soil where bulb roots grow.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2011 at 6:51PM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

Ginny I am not sure that a a brown paper bag will be impervious to the gas produced by ripening fruit. You may hear from someone else on that. We are hermits up here in the woods, where our only company is family, who typically help us cut firewood for the winter. In my garden no fertilizer other than homemade compost is ever applied to the soil. Our California clay is very fertile, and San Jose has some of California's best soil. Al

    Bookmark   October 13, 2011 at 11:14AM
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ginjj

Al are you saying putting these bulbs anyplace in place the refrigerator could be a problem if I have apples in the drawer?

What would be the result - smaller blooms or what?

Assuming I do plant these 100 bulbs should I put an early, mid and late bloomer in each of the holes? Or if I just scatter them as Al does, be sure they are mixed together?

Ginny

    Bookmark   October 13, 2011 at 2:21PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

Ginny - can't really help you either. I live in a climate where we don't need to artificially chill bulbs. Like Al I never fertilise anything in the garden. Just homemade compost plus manure on the veggie garden.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2011 at 4:25PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Each bulb will make 1 flower and I agree that they look better in clumps than single flowers scattered far apart. The most I would separate them would be into 10 holes, but would prefer to have 5 clumps of 20 flowers.

I think you can dig them back up when the foliage starts dying and chill them again for next year, although it's only something I've read about and not done personally.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2011 at 10:19AM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

Assuming I do plant these 100 bulbs should I put an early, mid and late bloomer in each of the holes? Or if I just scatter them as Al does, be sure they are mixed together?
It really depends on the 'look' that you prefer. If planting several bulbs spread out in one hole, I would keep them all the same and not mix them.

The link below shows a mass planting of mixed bulbs as well as plantings of clumps of the same bulbs. Though mass plantings are pretty, I prefer them in clumps, that to me look like blooming bouquets.

Sue

Here is a link that might be useful: Bulb Gardening: Choosing a Site, Establishing a Purpose

    Bookmark   October 14, 2011 at 12:17PM
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ginjj

Thank you all for your ideas! I come back to this forum once or twice a day to see what my "friends" are sharing and suggesting.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Ginny

    Bookmark   October 14, 2011 at 6:49PM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

Here at the house, my tulips are an under planting for my rose bed. They are through blooming by the time the roses leaf out. The bare rose stems after pruning are barely visible among the tulips. The roses are actually pruned and sprayed the last part of January, when the tulips are about 3 or 4 inches high. I so seldom post pictures I have to relearn each time, and today I do not have the time, or patience. Al

    Bookmark   October 15, 2011 at 9:27AM
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mamasllamas(6)

I bought from lowes a little auger that is for planting bulbs it goes on the end of a drill, it looks like a giant wood bit. i seen them on ebay too. it's real handy for me i can use the cordless drill or electric one. they come in different size augers to make different size holes.

Here is a link that might be useful: drill auger for bulbs

    Bookmark   October 15, 2011 at 7:16PM
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