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How to Plant Tulip Bulbs

Whether you're planting tulip bulbs in a garden, trench, raised bed or pot, we've got you covered! Here are our top tips for planting tulip bulbs.

 

Tulip Bulbs Ready To Plant

 

 PREPARING TO PLANT

While tulip blooms won't make their debut until spring, autumn is the ideal time to get your bulbs in the ground. Depending on your growing zone, we recommend planting in late November or early December, 6-8 weeks before you expect a hard ground freeze. Our tulip bulbs are sourced from growers in the Netherlands and stored in our coolers at the optimum temperature and humidity for pre-cooling. If you pre-ordered pre-chilled bulbs from our farm, they'll arrive on your doorstep ready to plant at the perfect time for growers in Zones 7-11! As long as your ground isn't frozen you can plant tulips. Can’t get them planted right away? Just place your bulbs in a cool, dark, well-ventilated location (34-50 degrees F) for an additional few weeks. We recommend planting no later than January 1st.

Choose a planting site with full sun or partial shade. Tulips love to soak up the sunshine, but don't like to be too hot. Make sure to pick a spot with well-draining soil. We always recommend testing your soil prior to planting to ensure your tulips will perform their best in their new home.

Planting tulip bulbs is simple and doesn't require any special tools. So slip on your favorite pair of gloves, grab a shovel and a hose and you'll be good to go!

 

Planting Tulip Bulbs

 

PLANTING TULIP BULBS IN THE GARDEN

Using a shovel, dig a hole about 6-12 inches deep to allow for drainage. If you have a bulb planter in your toolshed, grab it, but keep in mind that it can be a tedious process if you have more than one to two dozen bulbs to plant.

For a dramatic effect come spring, plant your bulbs about an inch apart. We love to see clusters of tulips all together, and recommend groupings of 10 to 20 bulbs planted in a circle shape or cluster.

Place your bulbs pointed side up, nested like eggs in a carton. Cover with the soil you removed and add in some aged compost if desired. Water them deeply and continue to water weekly or bi-weekly unless you have rain. 

 

PLANTING TULIP BULBS IN A TRENCH

If you're a flower farmer or cutting garden enthusiast growing tulips for cut flower production, you may wish to plant using the trench method. In native soil, dig a trench 3-4 feet wide and 6 inches deep. Fill the trench with bulbs, pointed side up and about 1 inch apart. Cover the trench with the native soil you removed. Give them a good soak, and, unless you have rain, continue to water weekly or bi-weekly. 

 

Planting Tulip Bulbs In A Raised Bed

PLANTING TULIP BULBS IN A RAISED BED OR POT

Planting in pot or container is a great way to enjoy tulips if you don't have the garden space. To plant, remove the soil from the bed or pot about 6-12 inches deep. If you are filling a new pot or raised bed, we recommend using a well drained potting mix. At your local nursery look for mixes that are labeled "Raised Bed". Avoid potting mixes that have fertilizer or peat mixed in and labeled "moisture control". Our favorite for tulip planting is E.B. Stone Organics Raised Bed Potting Soil. Place tulip bulbs pointed side up like eggs in a carton (one inch apart). Cover with the removed soil or new potting soil. Water your newly planted bulbs well and continue to water weekly or bi-weekly if you do not have rain.

 

Tulip Bulb Planting

 

With these simple steps, your tulips will be ready for a colorful spring. We think you'll agree - the hardest part is waiting all winter for tulip blooms to make their appearance!

 

This post may contain affiliate links. I make a small commission if you purchase a product from the link. I only recommend products I love and use in hopes they will help you too! 

1 Response

Sheryl Delap

Sheryl Delap

December 06, 2022

Hi,
I am planting my bulbs in a raised garden bed. I am in zone 6 so, our ground has been frozen for 5 weeks. Our temps have been avveraging 30 degrees lately.
- Do I plant the bulbs 6 inches deep?
- Also, I will be keeping in garage (not heated) so, should I water once a week?

thanks, Sheryl Delap

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