In a word, No!
Now is a great time to get out there and plant tulips before the ground freezes. Until recently the weather was really warm and although the calendar said it was a good time to get these planted, my shorts and t-shirt indicated it was a little early. Well that has certainly changed and the time to plant tulips can’t be put off much longer.
When to plant tulips?
When your elephant ear bulbs quit looking like this…
And instead start looking like this:
My bulbs from Colorblends arrived in mid September but the warm weather was keeping all of my tropical plants looking great. I tell myself that they actually do better with a hard freeze to knock down the growth, but that may also be because I just don’t have it in me to remove these really great looking plants. More on removing and storing tropical plants in our next post!
With the alocasias and colocasias removed it was the perfect time to work the soil. Using a long spade, the soil was deeply tilled and turned over to incorporate some of the leaf litter on top and also to make it easier to plant.
Once the prep was done, I decided the best way to plant tulips in here was to divide my 100 bulbs among the two beds to help get an even amount in each. I ordered the Colorblends Pink Cubed mix and I know from experience that I am a little heavy handed on the planting! This blend includes three varieties of tulips with varying bloom times which should help extend the color display until its warm enough to return the elephant ears to their place of prominence in front of the house.
The instructions for this blend say to plant tulips 5″ deep with 7-8 per square foot. To keep it simple, I tossed them onto the bed, adjusted a few to help even out and started planting right there. The soil in these beds is very light so it was easy to plant deep enough with a hand trowel. I considered removing all of the needed soil, laying out the bulbs and then refilling, but that seemed like unnecessary work.
Each tulip bulb was set upright as it was placed in its new home.
The total planting time for these 100 tulip bulbs was about 30 minutes. I’ve heard it said that gardeners are the world’s most optimistic people. It might be starting to get cold out, but rest assured, it is not too late to plant tulips in your garden. When spring comes you will be so glad that you did!