Find the right position
Always choose a warm, sunny spot to plant your tulips.
Tulips like a free-draining, slightly alkaline soil, so add a bit of lime if you need to and make sure soil is not waterlogged or they will rot.
Plant late in the year
Bulbs are traditionally planted on Lord Mayor’s Day, which is usually in November. Don't plant them any earlier, to avoid the bulbs putting on too much growth then getting cut back by a cold spring.
Plant in old potato beds
If you grow potatoes, plant tulips in the old potato bed. Tulips are prone to eel worm damage but any present in the soil will have used up their energy attacking the potatoes.
Protect from mice
Protect bulbs against squirrels and mice. this can be done by laying chicken wire over the soil.
Experiment with feeding
Some English florists think growing tulips ‘hungry’ produces better patterns; others feed them with Growmore or Vitax Q4.
Lift and store
Lift bulbs when the foliage has died back and store them in a warm, dry place.
Avoid virus-prone varieties
If you want to try growing your own flamed or feathered tulips, Rembrandt tulips have patterned petals but don’t carry the virus.
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The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.
The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.