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):

The next year I planted the bulbs I was supposed to have in the first season:

In 2011 I tried something different:

Last year, my plans for an allium/tulip combo were disappointing, and the squirrels seems to have their own design:

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.

Thumbnail by LeawoodGardener
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