Wednesday, November 6, 2013

It's Tulip Time!

What?  It's fall!  Tulips bloom in the spring, but if you want them then, you need to plant the bulbs NOW.  One of my very favorite bulb companies, Longfield Gardens, sent me some tulip bulbs and I planted them yesterday.

We have a strip of This, That and The Other growing at the south edge of our property, which we put there as a sort of privacy feature. (That's really a much too sophisticated name for what this is.)  Since we live in extreme rural America, part of our personal aesthetic is wanting to include some natural areas so that our landscaping doesn't look like Las Vegas plopped in the middle of the desert.  I know this isn't for everyone, but formal gardens just aren't a part of what we do here at Our Little Acre.

So we live and let live (sort of) here in this part of the yard.  Romie calls this his garden, because when I take something out of the other gardens and it's still a healthy plant, he doesn't like to see it wasted.  I get that.  So here they go. There's a wild assortment of plants, including sumac, a tree peony, mums, ornamental grass, columbine, a cedar tree, sweet autumn clematis, bugle weed, black-eyed Susans, bee balm,bloody sorrel, a grape vine, and Shasta daisies.

And there will now be tulips.  When we received the bulbs from Longfield, we decided to plant them along the edge of this budding woodsy area to give it a colorful zing next spring.

During my Master Gardener classes a few years ago, we learned about the different types of soil and looked at soil maps for our county.  Even without seeing those detailed maps, I knew we had a couple of different kinds in our yard.  Dig in one spot, and you'll be swearing at the heavy, mucky clay.  Dig somewhere else and you'll be jumping up and down, rejoicing at how wonderful it is and wishing the entire property could be this way.When we dug the trench for planting the tulips, I was doing the happy dance.  No amendments needed here!

With a 100% chance of rain due for the next day, and daylight hours running out quickly, we opted to just mix up the three varieties of tulips we'd gotten:  Striped Apeldoorn, Hemisphere, and Moulin Rouge.  I typically wouldn't mix those pink ones with the red and yellow ones, but we did it anyway.  If it's too hideous next year, I'll just dig up the Apeldoorns and move them.  (Yeah, because I like doing things the hard way.)

L-R: Hemisphere, Moulin Rouge, Striped Apeldoorn

We also received 100 Muscari armeniacum - grape hyacinths - so I layered those with the tulips.  The tulips are planted 6-8 inches deep and the muscaris are at four inches, so I planted the tulips, covered them with a couple of inches of soil and then laid in the smaller hyacinth bulbs over that.

We had several tulips bulbs left over, so they were placed in clumps randomly further in the bed, between other plants. Everything blooms about mid-spring, so no matter how well the colors mix with each other, it will be a big burst of color for sure!

Earlier in the year, Easy Gardener had sent me an assortment of their Jobe's Organic products, so I mixed the Bulb Food into the soil according to directions on the package, as I planted the bulbs.

Once I had all the bulbs in the ground, I covered them with the rest of the soil and then mulched with chopped leaves from our yard.  Now we'll just have to wait about five months or so and see what happens.

I've used several bulbs from Longfield Gardens and am greatly impressed with their health and size.  To see what else they have to offer, visit their website at

The Jobe's Organic Bulb Food and the tulip and Muscari bulbs were provided to me at no charge.  All thoughts and opinions stated here are my own. 


Beth said...

Hi Kylee, I also have two kinds of soil in my gardens. I think the builders scraped off a lot of the good topsoil and sold it off... that left clay! However, toward the back of my lot it's nice black soil. I look forward to seeing your spring color next April. It will be beautiful!

Anonymous said...

Those are going to be some pretty tulips. I hope you'll share pictures in the spring.

Kylee Baumle said...

Beth ~ We had that kind of thing going on here too, with us having a basement and all, but a big part of this area is totally clay anyway. A few miles away is a drainage tile factory and though they now make plastic drainage tile, it used to be made of clay they dug right there on the property. I used to go ice skating on the clay pond when I was a young girl growing up in town. This area was once The Great Black Swamp, so it has a lot of rich soil, but it's also high in clay in much of the areas.

Suzanne ~ I hope they will be! I'm not sure about that color combo, but my husband assures me it will be beautimous. LOL! And yes, I'll share photos next spring. :-)

Kylee Baumle said...

Argh! So sorry that I misspelled your name, Susanne!!

Commonweeder said...

I'm still waiting for my last delivery of some 'little' bulbs. I will be looking forward to your spring tulip extravaganza.

Cindy Garber Iverson said...

I love when I dig and can do the happy dance over great soil instead of the grumble-mumble over clay. The spot you're planting your tulip bulbs looks like it's going to be perfect!

Stuart said...

Deeply envious re: your "non-amenable-soil" Kylie. Your tulips are going to look amazing in your spring and inspiring me to get one of my beds prepared for our autumn.

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