This afternoon, the mailman delivered a package, one that I have been both dreading and anticipating. Tucked inside is the promise of beauty. Three years ago, I planted 300 tulip bulbs in my front garden bed and waited for spring. They rewarded me with a spectacular show that took my breath away and garnered the neighbor’s comments.
There are tricks to growing tulips in my zone, as they don’t naturalize easily. Those methods require enjoying the flowers, letting the foliage dieback, and then lifting the bulbs from the ground. You must wash, dry, and store any undamaged bulbs in a cool place with low humidity until it is time to plant them again in the fall. The process helps to ensure the bulb’s health and encourages vigorous spring flowering.
I follow a different course. I elect to let the bulbs remain in situ. The result is fewer annual blooms. This year, a sprinkling of tulips raised their heads, but the showing was unacceptable. I will dig 300 six-inch-deep holes, sprinkle in a bit of fertilizer, add the bulb, tamp it in and move to the next. It is backbreaking toil that won’t produce results until late April.
What are you planting today?
Keep on writing.
Jo Hawk The Writer