My bed of tulips 2013

Leawood, KS(Zone 5b)

On Saturday I planted the tulips in a large bed that borders on the street. I've documented my successes (and failures) with bulbs in this bed over the last several years.

The first year I received the wrong bulbs (mis-marked at the grower, I think): http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/921976/.

The next year I planted the bulbs I was supposed to have in the first season: http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1050210/

In 2011 I tried something different: http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1172041/

Last year, my plans for an allium/tulip combo were disappointing, and the squirrels seems to have their own design: http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1241176/

For 2013, I decided to go with peony flowering tulips - mixed colors (7 varieties).

Earlier in the week I pulled up the annuals (Jack Frost had done them in), raked the leaves and had the bed tilled. The soil has become very loose and rich - over the years I've added layers of horse manure before the soil is tilled in the spring and fall. I didn't add to the soil this year because it seems to be 'just right' and the elevation of the bed has increased over the years, making it higher than the surrounding area.

I placed the bulbs on top of the soil, one color at a time (to get an even distribution of colors) and then went back over the bed to plant the tulips one bulb at a time, using a trowel. Because they are doubles, I only planted 750 bulbs this year. To discourage the squirrels from replanting my bulbs, I applied a layer or Milorganite on top of the soil before adding a topping of mulch. This nitrogen-rich fertilizer has a distinctive aroma that (supposedly) repels rodents.

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Leawood, KS(Zone 5b)

Here's the bed, ready for winter.

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Central, AL(Zone 7b)

That's fabulous a Tulips bed! You did so fine!

(Zone 4b)

I look forward to the pictures and postings each fall and spring. I am tulip envious!

Blue Ridge Mtns, VA(Zone 7a)

Definitely waiting for the show to begin. Can it get any more beautiful than previous years?

Nantucket, MA(Zone 7a)

I look forward as always to your tulip bed and especially to this mixed one. Will they bloom earlier for you this spring than the Olympic Flame or Maureen? Maureen is one of the last tulips to bloom for me each year, but the stem is a tad weaker than some and can get knocked about in a big May blow. I haven't planted our bulbs yet, but will next week if the weather is good. Patti

North Shore of L. I., NY(Zone 6b)

Looks great to me. I love the idea of mixed colors of those beautiful full tulips. Can't wait to see them bloom.

Duluth, GA(Zone 7b)

I'm looking forward to seeing your beds in the spring. I love the peony flowering tulips.

Lawrenceville, GA(Zone 7a)

What are the varieties you used?

Leawood, KS(Zone 5b)

I think this bed will bloom earlier than the 'Olympic Flame' or 'Maureen' - both bloomed fairly late in my garden in previous years. Last year I planted a small group of these double tulips as a 'test' - the squirrels played havoc with the bed, but those bulbs that bloomed, were open in late March. The plants are much sturdier - shorter, heavier stems that withstand the wind and rain. The one single bulb in the middle of my lawn was evidence of the squirrel mischief.

The varieties I planted are 'Double Gedoshnik' (orange/red), 'Dream Touch' (magenta), 'Mascotte' (purple), 'Queensland' (pink), 'Redwood' (bright red), 'Sensual Touch' (orange/gold), and 'White Touch'. I added 100 'Sun Lover' to the mix because I've had great success with this variety in the past and love the rich, gold/red/orange shading of the blooms. I choose the mixed colors and variety in hopes that they will be in bloom for Easter (March 31, 2013). We'll see what the climate, rodents and other garden variables bring!

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South Lake Tahoe, CA(Zone 6a)

nice looking garden.

Ah, those rodents!
The squirrels and voles have destroyed many of our my neighbors gardens.
So, being a good neighbor, I offer daffodils and alliums and advice. They offer their cat, whose always on the prowl and gets rewarded with treats.
So far this year, it is working.

Nantucket, MA(Zone 7a)

I have just grown T.Sensual Touch. Very pretty color.

We just trapped two squirrels and bagged a rat too that had taken up residency near our veggie bed. Dh moved them out to some conservation land many miles away, but don't tell. Squirrels are not native here and only came in the late 70's with the firewood trucks from NH and Vt when people started using wood stoves, like us. They are becoming a problem as their only predictor would be Hawks and cats. No chipmunks so far. Patti

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

Leawood. Milorganite works great on chipmunks but I find it has an uneven record on squirrels. Sometimes they leave my plantings alone, sometimes not. And squirrels were digging up last year's daffodils and relocating them. Daffs work on voles and rabbits but squirrels dug up about 20 of mine.

What does work for me 100% against squirrels is freshly ground black pepper. I went to a thrift store and got a pepper grinder and bought a big container of peppercorns and I give it a few turns over any beds I disturb. I put down Milorganite (I like it for the fertilization) but found a few disturbed bulbs, so went back with black pepper. I have used it all season on any disturbed earth, particularly when I am installing bulbs, and it works very well. I put the daffs back, bought new ones, and put in a number of perennials. The black pepper has worked 100%.

If you see disturbances in your bulbs get the black pepper.

Leawood, KS(Zone 5b)

Thanks for the tip, Donna! I'm always eager to learn.

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

That's one of the many things that I admire so much about you.

I love your choice of double tulips. I used to order 12 Mt. Tacoma, 12 Maywonder (a lovely rose that seems to be out of commerce) and 12 Angelique. I would combine it with 12 White Trumphinators and allium christophii. I would overlap the three doubles and then pop in White Trumphinator.

I can't wait to see your planting.

South Lake Tahoe, CA(Zone 6a)

Thanks Donna.
Will try black pepper, and listen to them sneeze.

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

LOL! I have a story.

Many years ago, when I was growing exclusively in pots, I kept planting lilies that would bloom and then be decimated. I was mystified.

The one day I looked out the window to see a squirrel sitting in the pot, munching away. I was furious.

So I got some cayenne pepper, put it all over the base of the pot, and waited. The next day I heard a funny noise. Like sneezing. And a squirrel was sitting in the pot, with cayenne pepper all over its face, sneezing - and continuing to eat.

That was when I learned that cayenne pepper, which was heavily recommended, did not work. I gave up growing lilies for a while.

While the black works and the red doesn't, I'm not sure. Maybe because the black is freshly ground.

Leawood, KS(Zone 5b)

Many years ago I was having problems with squirrels invading my tomatoes, perennials and the plants in pots on my patio. I'd read about the 'cayenne pepper' cure, so I went to a local store that sells spices in bulk. I bought a pound of the red pepper and spread it everywhere. I even mixed some with a water/soap solution and tried spraying plants with it (it clogs the sprayer - lol). To my dismay, the squirrels and rabbits were not deterred. I could smell (and almost taste) the red pepper everywhere, but the varmints were not at all bothered by it.

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

Isn't it funny the way "solutions" to problems - solutions that don't work - end up being used by us all?

Leawood, KS(Zone 5b)

We were hit with two back-to-back snowstorms recently - about 12" of snow on Thursday (2/21/13) and an additional 10" on Monday (2/25/12). The snow in both cases was quite heavy and wet - a boon for the garden, but it creates havoc with shrubs and trees that are too weak to withstand the weight. As you can see, the 10 junipers in my border are bent double by the the snow. Hopefully, the snow will melt off in the next day or two and they will spring back.

Fortunately, the boxwood hedges around my tulip beds are short enough (and sturdy enough) to withstand the weight - in fact, they are completely buried at the moment. The moisture from these two storms will be great for the bulbs that are just ready to emerge from the ground. Let's hope these storms are the start of a nice long, cool spring!

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North Shore of L. I., NY(Zone 6b)

Oh boy. Poor tulips get socked.

(Zone 4b)

I am looking forward to the 2013 tulip display!

Leawood, KS(Zone 5b)

We had a few warm, windy days last week and most of the snow melted. Saturday we received an inch of rain, giving additional, much-needed, moisture to the garden. The daffodils, which have been in place for several years, are up, but the tulips are just starting to poke their heads out of the ground. The temps are in the 30's today, but it will be warmer later this week, so I'm sure we'll see some growth over the next week or two.

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North Shore of L. I., NY(Zone 6b)

It will be so beautiful as it is every spring in your garden. I know you can't wait until they start to come up. Honestly, I am in awe that you put in new tulips each year after you have dug up the ones that finished blooming. Then you plant those elsewhere. I do replant here but I never dig up tulips already in ground. Instead I plant over them.

Leawood, KS(Zone 5b)

The bulbs in the bed by the street have not yet sprouted, but I noticed these bulbs (a festive mix of red and white bulbs purchased as a 'bargain' at the end of the season) are starting to show.

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North Shore of L. I., NY(Zone 6b)

Hurray!

(Zone 4b)

We still have over a foot of snow on the ground and more to come this weekend. I look forward to the tulip show!!!

Leawood, KS(Zone 5b)

A week with rain and cool weather has given my bulbs a real boost! Here's how things look on April 13 - it won't be long before we have some color!

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North Shore of L. I., NY(Zone 6b)

Yes, and we are all looking forward to seeing blooms.

Litchfield Park, AZ

Yes, yes, can't wait to see the big show!

Leawood, KS(Zone 5b)

It was warm (70*F) Sunday and today is rainy and cool (50's), so the bulbs are growing fast. The bed of tulips by the columns is an assortment of red and white tulips - obviously, one of the white varieties is earlier than the other bulbs in the collection, since all that's showing today is white tulips. My bed of double peony tulips by the street have also grown dramatically overnight. They look like they could be pen in a few days.

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North Shore of L. I., NY(Zone 6b)

Looking good!

(Zone 4b)

I have tulip envy. It is always a beautiful sight, can't wait.

Litchfield Park, AZ

Yay, Yay, Can't wait!!

Leawood, KS(Zone 5b)

The bed of ''Red Passion' tulips seem to be mostly white so far. The double peony mixture of 7 varieties is just starting to open - yellow and white seem to be the first varieties. One of the varieties, "Sun Lover" varies from yellow to orange and red.

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North Shore of L. I., NY(Zone 6b)

That bed of doubles is going to be stunning.

Central, AL(Zone 7b)

Excellent display, beautiful result. Thanks LWG.

Litchfield Park, AZ

Looking good.

Northwest, MO(Zone 5a)

They are beautiful....will the weather do them in tonight. It's suppose to get to 25 degrees here in Maryville, MO tonight. Crazy Weather!!!!

Nantucket, MA(Zone 7a)

I agree that I like the combo of Red Passion, as I think the predominance of white helps high light the red without being over whelming like a red dress on the red carpet. Your beds look beautiful as always, thanks for the visuals. Raw and raining here today, so no time outside and definitely no photo's being taken today. Patti

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