Tuesday, May 18, 2010

How do you plant an bed of annual flowers in the summer around a tulip bed that I planted in the fall?

I see so many beautiful tulip beds with dozens of tulips in the spring, and then summer comes and I see flowers planted in the same location. How is this possible without digging up the bulbs? Maybe I'm not planting deep enough? Every year I dig up some by mistake..

How do you plant an bed of annual flowers in the summer around a tulip bed that I planted in the fall?
The municipal beds that you see are usually the result of the workers pulling out the bulbs and then replanting with annuals.

I know this as a friend of mine was present one day when they were pulling out the bulbs and asked if he could have some.

They will then replant the bulbs in a way called heeling in which is to plant so the greenery will still live to feed the bulb. They are then replanted in the fall.

For people like you and me the way to do it is much simpler.

The problem with bulbs is that to get new flowers next year you have to leave the leaves which will feed the bulb. But they can look ugly.

So you need to hide them.

When I am planting bulbs in the fall I generally get some perennials too. They are usually much less expensive because the garden centres pretty much want to get rid of them.

Then I dig the hole deep enough for the perennial and then just a Little deeper.

I plant the bulbs. Cover them a little , then plant the perennial on top. This also helps in deterring squirrels as a bonus.

So now as the tulip leaves look droopy and yucky the plant is growing up and it's leaves make the spot look great and yet I still get wonderful tulips the next year!!

As for existing beds and tulips, you can also add perennials in the spring especially if you get the smaller ones that you will usually find this time of year which do not have such a deep root ball. You just have to be more careful in making a hole for them so you do not dig into the actual bulb.

You can also easily and successfully plant annuals around these leaves. You will want to plant the kind that get a little taller so they will effectively hide the tulip foliage.

The annuals do grow faster than perennials so if you are planting in the spring or early summer it may be an idea to plant both annuals ( for immediate camouflage) as well as perennials for next years screening.

Reply:Your tulip bulbs should be planted 6 inches down, which you can buy a bulb hole digger that gives you the measurement on the side so that your sure your planting deep enough. If you plant smaller sized plants on top you should be fine they will grow to be large as the season goes on. If your planting a larger plant sometimes you might hit where the bulb is planted (as stated above) just plant somewhere else you might want tulips the other tulips you have planted in that area will multiply. You can also store the bulbs you have dug up and replant them in the fall in the spots where you dug them up. Hope this helps.
Reply:Don't wait until the tulips are gone. If your tulips are planted deep enough (6-8 inches), you should be able to dig between them to plant your annuals with minimum disturbance. If some of the larger tulip leaves are covering the new planting, it's OK to trim a few of them out. Once the rest of the tulips brown out, cut them down and enjoy your annuals.
Reply:If they are dug up just plant them in a different spot. The bulbs multiply anyway, it's probably a good thing that you are thinning them out.

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