by April Reinhardt
(last updated January 22, 2013)
I'll always remember the thrill I experienced the first time I had a home of my own where I was able to plant flowers and see them bloom to glorious fruition. The best part about growing flowers was that they required little maintenance, since I had chosen to plant bulbs. As if by magic, the bulbs I had planted in late fall emerged from the still-snowy ground the following early February, reaching through the cold ground for the bright sunshine overhead. Having nearly forgotten that I had planted them, I walked onto the front porch that cold February morning and spied from the corner of my eye their emerald green finger-like stems just starting to poke through the snow. Several weeks later, the flowerbed was filled with bunches of pastel crocuses, framed on either side by giant hyacinths, with a dramatic backdrop of towering tulips.
Planting, growing, and maintaining tulips are all easily accomplished. As with all bulb plants, digging the shallow hole is the hardest part of the entire planting process. Here are the steps for planting, growing, and taking care of tulips:
You should not water the flowerbed until the tulips emerge in the spring. Overwatering before the plants grow can cause the bulbs to rot in the soil. Once the tulips start to grow, weed the bed and check for aphid infestation. If you want to cut your tulips and bring them indoors into a vase, add a little sugar to the water and the blooms will last longer. Consider digging up the bulbs at the end of the growing season and placing them in a dark container until its time to replant them in the fall.
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