Want to tip toe through your own tulips?
November 6, 2012
I know, it is only November...so why am I pushing tulips on you? Cuz if you don't get your hand on them soon, you aren't going to get your pick of the litter! If you live in the South, where soil temperatures stay relatively warm all winter, tulips must be planted anew each December. Yes, I know, those Northerners have it easy. Tulips perennialize there and require little effort or care. Down here, we have to vernalize (chill) our tulips for just the right amount of time at just the right temperature in order for them to develop a flower bud. You must wait to plant your tulips until soil temperatures have reached 50F and stay there. That's usually not till after Thanksgiving and it can often be later. The perfect time to plant tulips in Texas? The third week of December.
I'm a bulb freak and I have extensive experience crafting big displays of them for mass consumption. So I decided to take a little work out of the decision making process for you and come up with some custom mixes that are both beautiful and reliable. If you live in the DFW area, you can pop over to North Haven Gardens and score yourself some, while they last!
I put together these mixes so you'd have some well-tested and very reliable varieties that work well together either as a mix that blooms all at once, or a season extender which will mix early and late bloomers.
Personally, my favorite is 'Fuzzy Navel'...I mean, who doesn't love those?! I'm kind of obsessed with the color organe, so there ya go. Some folks are ready to plant up their beds and pots with tulips now, because they also want to get their pansies in the ground. Well, nature doesn't always work that way. In North Texas, and other areas with a similar climate, you really have to wait to plant your tulips. My solution? I go ahead and plant violas, or small flowered pansies, along the edges of my beds so that my borders look great for the cool season. I always plant some pockets of warm season annuals in my beds, such as Angelonia, Zinnas, Salvias and the like. Once we get hit with with the first frost, those plants come out and I use those spaces to plant clumps of tulips. Then, I overplant pansies in those spots. So I kind of have two pansy/viola planting times: Now and then again in December. If you want to drop bulbs in pots right now and top with cool season color, you can go ahead and do so with daffodils or other perennial bulbs. Just set aside a few pots to plant with tulips in December. To read more about proper chilling and planting of tulips bulbs, go HERE.