I have read many times that its best to dig up your tulips (and other bulbs)after they bloom and just throw them out and replace them each year.
I have bulbs that I have purchased at clearence prices because they were forced and not purchased. I have planted them and so far they have come up for the past two springs.
Does anyone know why they say to do this?
I have never heard of pulling up tulips after they have flowered. They come back every year. The only bulbs that I know that you throw out after they bloom is paperwhites. All my other bulbs like tulips, daffodils, crocus, et all, stay put. I only dig them up every 3 years or so to divide them. Hope this helps some.
I think it depends on where you live...in the south, the gardening wisdom is that tulips can't take the heat of our summers, and may rot in the ground where there's heavy clay soil. At best, (according to the experts), they won't perform well the next season.
I have never actually heeded this advice, but I have noticed that my tulips do tend to "poop out" after two or three years. By that time I'm ready to try something new, but I do get a couple years out of them before they give out. And some of it may be the quality of the bulb, and/or the variety...which is why I keep experimenting!
I also don't think this advice is necessarily applicable to all bulbs - I know a lot of gardens around here with narcissus bulbs that come back realiably year after year...sometimes I wonder if the bulb growers "encourage" the gardening experts to tell us stuff like that so we'll have to buy more!
A friend of mine in WA state says there is a bulb company there that actually rotatills the bulbs into the ground every year...they come back better and stronger! I find it hard to believe and don't think I'll try it!
I have heard of the removal concept...just have never done it. I usually have the "assistance" of my local squirrels for that task, the little brats! But what they don't steal, does tend to "poop out" or disappear altogether after a couple of years. This is only TULIPS and DAFFODILS I am referring to.
I think you may be onto something Go_Vols! :-) I wonder if they're in cahoots with my squirrels? :-)
Oooooh, I think we should demand an audit of the bulb growers' payroll - if we find any squirrels on there, we'll have our proof! LOL!!!!
I've never had to deal with squirrels - I guess that's the upside to living in new subdivisions where the developers have obviously taken a sworn oath to destroy all trees on the property before building any homes. But now we're in a 26 year old house, with TONS of mature trees (as are our neighbors), so I suspect we'll get to see firsthand how ornery the rascals are. Oh, and we have had to deal with moles, voles, rabbits and deer. Ain't country life great????
My grandparents, parents, and my wife have all left daffodil and tulip bulbs untouched in the ground for at least a decade at a time...maybe two decades with the daffodils. The only reason I know of for us to dig them up in this area of the country would be to separate them in order to plant a larger plot, or to give some of the bulbs away, since they do multiply quickly.
For what they cost, we would not dream of replacing them every couple of years! We just sprinkle some 10-10-10 fertilizer on the ground and they do just fine every year.
You are right, Go Vols. The tulips play out in a few years in our area and you are just down the road "a piece" from me. I have had some to come back for many years but they aren't show plants after the first year or so. I bought a large package of bulbs from Jackson and Perkins this year and almost didn't even bother with planting the tulips. i couldn't stand to just toss them and finally planted them. My squirrels don't ever seem to bother the tulips. Guess they are still eating walnuts from my big tree. They bury those all over the place and I always have many walnut seedlings coming up everywhere, even in my potted plants. Could I interest you in any walnut seedlings? Since you and I are still working out a trade, maybe you would like a "bunch" of them. I might even throw in a squirrel or two. ha! I don't think they will bother your tulips if they have a "good diet" of other favorites like walnuts from your many new trees. Just kidding! That is just my Tennessee humor.