Removing Mulch From Bulb Beds - Knowledgebase Question

Aston, PA
Question by bossybrown
March 21, 2001
I recently read that I was supposed to have removed the mulch from my bulb beds before the foliage emerged. Some bulbs, like my crocus, are already flowering, while others like my tulips, and hyacinth have emerged, but have yet to flower. Should I still remove the mulch, and if I do, won't my soil dry out?


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Answer from NGA
March 21, 2001

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When gardeners use a very heavy winter mulch or cover the beds with evergreen boughs to protect particularly tender plants, they need to reduce the cover in order to allow the shorter bulbs to reach the light. In your case, they seem to be fine so I would not worry about removing any of the mulch. Mulch rots away and settles over time, so you may find that it in fact needs to be renewed a bit later this spring. A layer about two to three inches thick year round is adequate in most cases.

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