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6 messages
27/08/2012 at 13:21

I'm not new to gardening, but this is the first year of my retirement which was going to be spent mainly in my garden, however I hadn't anticipated the rain!  I've recently been able to dig out a space 5m x 1m at the side of my garage and cleared all the old perennials out, only to find my tulip bulbs rotten in their baskets which I planted maybe 2 years ago!  I have heavey clay soil and as this bit of garden is visible from my kitchen window, I'd like a cheerful display from early spring and would like to group several tulip bulbs again. Should I be taking these bulbs up every year and what else could I plant to continue the early spring garden before the tulips make an appearance in late April?

27/08/2012 at 13:55

One solution is to plant tulips in aquatic baskets and take the basket out after they have finished flowering. I also have clay soil and the tulips do not last, I grow them in pots and daffodils in the ground. 

I would also add biennials, wallflowers, honesty, sweet rocket.

27/08/2012 at 14:05

Go with the flow and choose bulbs to suit your soil - plenty of daffs and alliums will cope with clay soil,especially if you can work in plenty of compost and/or well rotted manure and some grit to open up the soil.

Grow tulips in pots - either plastic ones you can sink in the beds in spring or terracotta or glazed pots that you can move about as features.   Give them good quality compost and keep them sheltered and frost free through winter then bring them out into the light in spring.

27/08/2012 at 20:17

Hello, from what I have learnt from others, Tulip bulbs perhaps do not do that well in the ground. I planted a few last year and left them in the ground and I'm going to just see what happens next year. I had a good display from those that were in the pots

 

27/08/2012 at 23:02

When buying tulips from a specialist supplier at a flower show, I was told that if you want tulips to last in the ground from one year to the next, you need to plant them at least twelve inches down.       Not sure if this actually works, as I have never managed to dig a hole that deep!

27/09/2012 at 12:13

It seems that tulips are well known for only flowering in their first year of planting.  I lift mine from pots, and keep them dry in the greenhouse, but often they shrivel away.  If I understand right, it's the  SPECIES tulips that will carry on flowering each year.  If you look on packs of tulips it should say if they're species or not  .Although having said that, I have some red tulips in a bed that have flowered for 30 years!  Lucky or what?

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