How To Grow Bulbs - Knowledgebase Question

Newburgh, NY
Question by kajornsak1
April 3, 1998
What are the growing tips for tulips and daffodils?


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Answer from NGA
April 3, 1998

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In your region, the best time to plant them is from mid-October to mid-November, but you can plant hardy bulbs until the ground is too frozen to work. Planted too soon, bulbs may start growing and get zapped by frost. If you purchase bulbs well ahead of time in order to get the
ones you want, store them in a consistently cool, dark place until planting time to avoid mold, rotting, drying out, etc.

As far as planting depth and spacing, they should have about 3 times their own depth of soil above them. A good guide is to allow about 3-5 times that same distance between the bulbs for spacing. Be sure to plant them right side up! A tulip bulb is pointed at the top and flat on the
bottom. So have it pointed in the direction it should grow. UP!

You can either plant them individually, digging a hole for each one. OR you can dig a large hole, of the right depth, and plant a lot of them(properly spaced) at a time in that hole. Since bulbs are generally left where they are planted for quite afew years, it is a good idea to fertilize them when they go into the ground. Most places where you buy bulbs sell a "bulb booster" or fertilizer. Another good one is blood meal. You can fertilize in early spring also, as the foliage begins to emerge from the soil. Leave the bulb foliage on the plant, not cutting it back until it has yellowed and died naturally. The foliage will feed the bulbs for next year's flowers.

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