5 top tips for gorgeous Tulips in your garden every year
Tulips are the Queen of the Spring mindful garden, but how do you make sure you get great flowers year after year? Here's my 5 top tips to make sure you get long straight stems and flowers that get better and better each year.
1. Plant the bulbs at least 15cm deep
This means the plants will be well grounded and able to withstand high winds plus the stems will grow stronger and straighter with support from the soil around them. Use a bulb trowel if you have one, or a normal trowel and tape measure.
2. Plant the bulbs close together (think eggs in a carton)
By planting the bulbs close together that the individual plants have to compete for the light and so they will stretch upwards and you'll have lovely long straight stems for cutting. It's easier to dig a big trench and put all the bulbs in the bottom. Planting them so close together one at a time you run the risk of digging through an already planted bulb with your trowel!
3. If cutting the flowers to have in the house, leave at least two sets of leaves on the plant
The bulb needs the goodness in the remaining sets of leaves so it can make next year's flower. By leaving them attached to the bulb as they yellow you give the bulb a fighting chance to flower again next year. If you remove the leaves the bulb will either rot away or come up without a flower (called a blind bulb) and you'll have gaps in your display.
4. If you're not cutting the flowers, remove the seed pods after flowering
We don't always want to cut out tulips for indoors so once they have lifted your mood and brought untold amounts of joy into your life, the petals of the flower will fall away and the plant will start trying to set seed.
Snip off the seed pod to stop this and allow the leaves to die back and yellow so the plant focuses on returning the goodness in the leaves to the bulb to make next year's flower instead.
This Instagram reel shows you how.
5. If you need to lift your bulbs store them somewhere dry with good airflow
Leave as many of your bulbs in the border as possible. But if you are growing some tulips in pots they start to look a bit tatty once they've finished flowering and the colour starts to fade from the leaves.
Plus you probably want to be able to plant something else in your pots some summer colour.
Lift your bulbs with the foliage still in tact, lay them out somewhere dry (a garage or shed is ideal). Once the foliage has gone completely yellow, remove it and store the bulbs so that air can still flow around them.
These crates free from our local farm shop are great and they stack on top of each other so they are space saving too.
Check them regularly for signs of mould and discard any that are mouldy as you don't want it spreading!