Digging Up Forlorn Bulbs - Knowledgebase Question

Roscommon, MI
Question by livingston37
August 24, 2000
I have tried unsuccessfully to dig up some tulip bulbs which haven't bloomed in a number of years. But each spring, the blossomless plants reappear. I would like to plant some new bulbs, but need to get rid of these first. What am I doing wrong?


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Answer from NGA
August 24, 2000

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Is it possible there are some bulbs left deep down in the soil? Keep in mind too that the original bulbs have probably divided into more bulbs than were originally planted, so you'll need to look carefully through the surrounding soil to find all of them. If you miss some, you should be able to trim off thenew foliage as it emerges and eventually exhaust the bulbs. I suppose too it is possible that some of the growth you are seeing is seedlings. These could be smothered out with a layer of mulch over top a layer of dampened newspaper. Then plant your new bulbs through holes cut in the paper so they can emerge easily next spring.

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