A regular planting of tulips occurs in the fall after the summer heat. In Zone 5, September or October is the ideal time to get those bulbs in the ground to prepare for spring blooming. I missed the opportunity to plant in the fall so I searched for a loophole. I found one. However, I still got a late start to force growing tulips.
I had hoped for tulips in the middle of the winter. It would have been nice to have color around the house after this winter we had. Little did I know at the time, tulips need cold to begin the growing cycle. I read tulip bulbs need anywhere from 8-16 weeks of cold temperatures of 32 degrees F to 50 degrees F in a dark area. That’s why they need to be planted in the fall. I opted for the growing loophole and growing in containers. I have placed the containers in my unheated garage to simulate winter soil conditions.
I purchased two trashcans from Dollar General for my containers. I cut six holes in the bottom for drain holes. Although the potting soil needs to be moist during the eight weeks of darkness, it’s not so much water that it seeps from the bottom of the container.
I attempted to purchase the bulbs locally. Nobody has any in stock because they are sold in the fall. However, I wanted the Blueberry Swirl/Ripple variety. I eventually found what I was looking for on Groupon and I purchased the 40 pack for $28.99. I am not familiar with the brand, but I’m hoping for the best.
I filled the container halfway, about six inches, with Ferti-Lome Ultimate Potting Mix which I did purchase locally. I then began placing the bulbs.
I placed 15 bulbs in the container. It’s important that the bulbs are not touching when they are placed.
I added more potting mix to the container, filling it to about one inch from the top.
Easy as 1,2,3!
It’s a straightforward process. The most difficult part was waiting two weeks to receive the bulbs, which wasn’t an issue for me since I didn’t plan ahead anyhow.