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Dutch Bulbs grow well in any average garden soil with good drainage. It is desirable, however, to break up heavy soils before planting and work in some compost or peat to a depth of 10-12” to keep the soil loose.
Planting Your Dutch Bulbs
Before your bulbs arrive, you can improve poor soil with the addition of some organic matter in the form of compost or aged manure that is worked thoroughly into the existing soil. Once this has been done and a few days have passed to allow the soil to settle, you can plant your bulbs.
One of the most frequently asked questions about planting bulbs is, “Which end goes up?” Most true bulbs, such as Tulips and Daffodils, have pointed tips which should point upward. Corms, tubers, and rhizomes usually show sprouts on their upper sides, and these should be on top when planted. Some of the smaller bulbs, such as Poppy Anemones, look like small dried peas or small stones and can be planted in any direction – their shoots will find their way toward the sun.
If you are planting a bed, you can spade the entire bed area and then dig out the top 6-8” of soil. Place your bulbs atop the remaining loosened soil. After you have set them in place, cover them with the removed soil and water thoroughly.
For planting smaller groups or individual bulbs, you can use a simple garden trowel. Dig a hole a bit larger then the bulb, and be sure to loosen the soil at the bottom of the hole and treat it like a miniature bed (as described above).
You may prefer to use a bulb planter which digs uniform holes. Treat each hole as described above for planting with a trowel.
For best planting depths and spacing, see the planting charts or the directions printed on the bags. However, if your soil is particularly light, or if you plan to plant later-blooming flowers amongst your bulbs, you may want to set your bulbs, you may want to set your bulbs a bit deeper than suggested.
Food for Bulbs...Since each bulb is a complete “plant factory” in itself, it has its own built-in food supply. It comes from Holland ready to be planted as it is.
However, we do recommend giving your bulbs supplemental feeding with a commercial bulb fertilizer to stimulate root development, promote stronger growth, and produce bigger, longer-lasting flowers. Mix with soil when planting, and in spring as new growth appears.
Watering...After planting, give your bulbs a deep watering, and then let Mother Nature do her job. Average spring weather conditions should provide enough moisture for your bulbs. However, if the weather is unusually hot and dry, a weekly deep soaking will produce larger, longer-lasting blooms. (A general rule of thumb is that all plants need an inch of water each week.)