Time for Tulips


DIY and how-to

Time for Tulips

May is the best month to plant tulip bulbs. With a little effort now you’ll be rewarded with spectacular blooms in early spring.

Here’s what you need to know :

  • Plant your tulip bulbs in well composted soil in a sunny area of the garden. Avoid planting them next to an east-facing wall as inadequate sunshine will result in the plants toppling over.
  • Plant your bulbs 8cm and 12cm apart. For the most attractive display, plant them in clumps of 10-20 bulbs. Plant in a natural cluster-like arrangement, rather than in a straight line.
  • Cover the bulbs with a thick layer of mulch to keep the soil cool and moist.
  • Water well every 3-4 days. If you allow the bulbs to dry out they will not flower in spring.
  • Feed your bulbs with bulb food once every 2 weeks.
  • For a foolproof alternative, try temperature treated tulips. These tulips flower in August (instead of September) and the cooler temperatures at this time allow them to develop longer stems and fuller flowers.

TIP: Ideally, tulips like their heads in the sun and their roots in the shade. You can create these conditions by planting winter and spring-flowering bedding plants between the bulbs. Try pansies (read “Perfectly pretty pansies” below) or stocks for best results.