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Tulip Garden Guide:
How to plan and successfully grow your tulip garden

red tulipsEvery spring if you walk down past your neighbor's gardens for a stroll in the park, what do you inevitably see, both in the gardens and the park... beautiful displays of tulips. Gardens full of delight!

Tulip gardens are easy to create because apart their stunning beauty they are readily available, cheap and have a wide range of colors and forms. Most garden outlets and bulb catalogs sell the large-flowered garden tulips in packets of mixed colors according to group or in packets of named individual varieties.

The large-flowered garden tulips are just made for use as bedding plants - they combine really well with forget-me-nots and wallflowers.

They also can be used to great effect planted in scattered clumps among perennials or other bulbs. The smaller species tulips have a less choice of colors than the garden tulips, but they have a more delicate form and are ideal for rockeries and container gardens, or the front of borders.

The requirements for successfully growing tulips are:
  • choosing large healthy looking bulbs

  • have well drained alkaline soil

  • plant in a sunny spot.

The soil must be well drained and preferably alkaline. If your planned tulip garden's soil is too acidic, apply lime just before planting. Now is also the time to add a fertilizer which releases nutrients steadily to the soil and provides long lasting food for the bulbs.

colorful tulips in spring
Put in a little work now, and a spring riot of color awaits...

The bulbs of garden tulips and the Fosteriana and Greigii hybrids are best used as bedding plants or as group plantings in borders. Plant in early winter – if they're put in the ground any sooner any early growth could get frost damage. Dead-head your tulips as the first petals fall...only remove the wilting flowers leaving the stems and leaves intact to feed the bulb.

It's best to lift the bulbs when the tulip's leaves start turning yellow, but if the site is needed for summer bedding, lift the bulbs earlier, replant them in a spare corner, and lift again when the leaves have died down. Place the plants in shallow boxes and store in a dry shed or closet.

If you are using the bulbs of species tulips and Kaufmanniana hybrid tulips, plant them in early winter. For the best results with these tulips, choose a south-facing position with well-drained soil that is sheltered from strong winds. After flowering, remove the leaves and stems as they die. Leave these bulbs in the ground and keep the area free of weeds.

Basically that's it...just remember the main points. Choose large healthy looking bulbs; have well drained alkaline soil; plant in a sunny spot and lift and store all bulbs except the species and Kaufmanniana hybrids.

In the spring, you'll be pleasantly surprised at the colorful show they provide for such little work. You'll have created a beautiful tulip garden of your own.

About the Author...
Rob Young

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