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10 Frequently Asked Questions On Planting Tulip Bulbs

1. What are the best types of tulips to plant?
Many of the hybrid (grown and bred) tulips that came from Holland or from one of the Holland tulip festivals are some of the best. You can plant beauties such as Red Emperor, Florentine, or other varieties of both single and double blooming flowers. For more specific information regarding what types you will have to check which USDA hardiness zone you live in. A zone map will tell you how cold of a temperature the ground in your geographical area drops to during the winter. These maps are numbered by regions, and are a very useful tool. You can find this map at the United States National Arboretum website, http://www.usna.usda.gov/Hardzone/ushzmap.html?

2. What kind of soil should I use?
Generally speaking you should use a loose, sandy soil in which to plant your tulips. Your tulips should be well-drained to ensure proper growth.

3. How much sun should my tulips get?
Most of your tulips need quite a bit of sun. However, planting in them in a lightly shaded area-but not away from the sun-will help keep the bulbs chilled during the winter.

4. How do I plant and take care of my tulip bulbs?
This is a broad question that can be answered in many ways. Some of the most important tips for properly caring for your bulbs include making sure you plant them deep enough (6 inches under the ground), make sure they receive enough water (one time per month before bloom, one time per week after bloom is recommended), and make sure you remove all the weeds before they reach more than an inch high. You also may need to add mulch for extra insulation for the winter months or a fertilizer that contains Nitrogen, Potassium, and other necessary plant ingredients. Make sure you do not fertilize them after they have begun to bloom, however, because they could develop a fungus or other disease.

5. What tools do I use for planting my tulip bulbs?
The most commonly used tool for planting small tulip patches is the trowel, a small spade, with a blade that is approximately six inches. For larger gardens many people use a garden fork, or larger garden spade. You can also use another device called a Dibble, which is a T-handled tool that has a sharp point at the end of it. You insert this device into the ground, and it makes an impression in which you can put your tulip. Then, you cover the planted bulb with surrounding dirt.

6. Why didn't as many tulips come up the second year as the first?
This could be due to a variety of reasons. One could be that the type you have purchased to not fare well in your climate. It could also be that you need to add peat moss or sand to your soil. This will help the water drain from the tulips more properly. You also may need to move your tulip bed to a more well-lit area of your yard.

7. How long do tulips bloom?
Some tulips bloom starting in the early spring for approximately one month. Some tulips bloom in mid to late spring, and bloom for the same period of time or shorter.

8. I planted bulbs. Why did they not come up?
This is the plight of people who did not know better. If your tulips did not come up the first year there is a chance that you either did not allow them to incubate for long enough. They need to either be chilled in a refrigerator for a few months before growth in warmer climates, or they need to be planted in late fall, just after the ground reaches below 60 degrees.

9. When do I plant my tulips?
You plant them in what is considered fall in your area. In some hardiness zones you plant them in mid September to early October, and other areas you may not plant them until November, December, or January. It all depends on when the ground begins to freeze. If you are experiencing an unusually warm winter in your area you can also refrigerate the bulbs for a few months. Some may only require refrigeration for about 8 weeks.

10. What if some of my tulips have developed a fungus?
Remove the affected plants immediately, and make sure you not fertilize them with high-nitrogen fertilizer after the blooming season. Not only that, but you may need to add protection such as mulch to your tulip patch to keep out unwanted hosts.


Tulip Care: Your Garden's Priority

Tulip care during the growing season is a concern of many tulip gardeners. After all, you've invested money and time in planting new bulbs in the fall. You've fertilized and watered the garden after planting.

Now, spring is unfolding and you want to make sure that you get to see the flowers you worked so hard to cultivate. You should take to properly care for your tulips, before, during, and after the growing season. Read this article to know how to take care of tulips in your garden.

Tulip flowers are a hardy species, but if you don't know how to deal with the main challenges, your garden will suffer. Here are the top concerns and issues with tulips before flowering.

Fertilize your tulip plants twice a year. The best time to feed tulips is in the early spring (before they bloom again). The best way to feed them is to add a tablespoon of a granular fertilizer on the soil around each bulb. This should be done before flowering because feeding your tulips after flowering could cause a disease.

Tulips need lots of water. If your garden gets plenty of rainfall nature will take care of the watering. If you live in a very warm area all-year-round, make sure to water your tulip garden at least once a week.

Watch out for animal pests. Rabbits eat more than lettuce, they love to gnaw on tulip plants. Since tulip shoots break through the soil before grass and other vegetation grow, rabbits can be trouble. You can prevent rabbits from eating your tulip plants by using a physical fence, chicken wire, cayenne pepper, or non-toxic commercial products like Liquid Fence.

Like rabbits, squirrels can harm the tulip plant. However, squirrels dig out and eat the tulip bulb. One of the best ways to protect the bulbs is to install netting over the bulbs when planting them. That practice will deter squirrels from reaching the bulbs. Once the bulbs have been planted, you can sprinkle blood meal on top of the soil that seems to repel squirrels.

Voles are another problem. Voles are small rodents that burrow and dig tunnels underground. Voles see tulip bulbs as food and will eat the bulbs, destroying your tulip garden. Unfortunately, there are not very many effective ways to remove voles.

Grubs are insects that are the biggest killer of tulip. If the dirt in your garden has grubs, use some time released insect/or grub killer on the ground around them once or twice a year. Nurseries and home garden centers offer various grub insecticides in granular form that control these pesky insects.

Here's an additional tip:
The blooming season for tulips is between two to three weeks long. You can plant other flowers in the same garden as the tulips so that the new flowers will fill in when the tulips die.

When days become longer and warmer, you will have more time to enjoy your garden. By making time for tulip care in the spring as your priority, your tulips will grow tall, strong and beautiful -- perfect for bouquets in your house.


Improve the Look of Your Outdoor Storage Shed: Use Planters and Gardens

Do you have a metal storage shed on your property that just doesn't look right next to your home? If you do, perhaps it is time for you to dress it up a bit. That means you're going to make it look a bit "homey" rather than being something that looks like it's all about business. You're going to make it blend better. And the way you're going to do that is through using planters and gardens. However, you have to be careful as to what flowers you use in your planters and gardens because a lot of heat accumulates around your metal storage shed.


Planters are great to hang around the door of your storage shed and even around the eaves of the building. Now don't hang planters all the way around your metal storage shed because that could look a bit tacky. Around the entrance should be good enough. Just make sure you place planter-friendly flowers within the planter that are also friendly to the sun and heat. Such flowers include:

- Madagascar Periwinkle - This flower grows to up to 2 feet. This is one in which you want to buy the plants and not grow from seeds because they are difficult to grow. They do not like temperatures below 60 degrees and they enjoy a lot of sun. They come in various colors such as pink, lavender, white, and red.

- Wheat Celosia - This flower doesn't like cold soil and it doesn't like cold water. Basically, you have to keep it in the sun. It grows to anywhere between 2 and 4 feet and comes in pink, purple, or red.

- Amaranth - These can actually grow to be anywhere from 18 inches to 6 feet tall. Ground planters may be ideal for these or they can make a great hanging basket from the doorway of your metal storage shed. They come in orange, gold, green, purple, and orange. They do not like to be transplanted and they hate wet soil and shade.

These are just a few examples of what to use. Regular potting soil that uses the specifications listed above are great. For example: If a flower hates wet soil, then it is perhaps not a good idea to buy a moisture lock soil. You also don't want to use planters such as metal or dark colored planters. Planters of those colors can actually make it too hot.


You can always plant flower gardens around your metal storage shed in addition to planters. The combination looks very nice. You can till up the ground and use a fertilizer that works well with such flowers and can invest in some potting soil to provide adequate nutrients to the flowers. Here are some flowers to consider:

- Celestial Blue - This flower survives heat and drought. It has pink, purple, or violet blooms that butterflies cannot resist.

- California Juniper Shrub - Shrubs are great to add to a flower garden and this shrub is not an exception. It is both heat and drought resistant. You do, however, want to make sure this is planted into the actual ground and not into store bought soil.

- The Blackfoot - This one is native to Florida and is known to withstand soil conditions that are less than perfect. It is also beautiful and easy to take care of.

So if you need to make your metal storage shed look a little more exciting, this is a great way to do it. Sure, it may not look in the winter as it would in the summer, but a few shrubs can help with that. It is up to you how you do it and what's even better is that you can be creative.


Choosing the Right Garden Fencing for Your Yard

Garden fencing comes in all shapes and sizes. The type that is right for you will depend on a variety of factors, including your own personal tastes. Here are a few of the different types to help you make your decision.

Picket Fences -- These are wooden fences that provide a classic, historic design around your home. The typical picket fence is painted white and made up of "pickets" that are evenly spaced (anywhere from an inch to several inches). The standard style uses a single piece of straight wood for each picket, all the same size. Other styles include different sized and shaped pickets that can create a unique design.

The Plymouth style is a perfect example of a picket fence using different sized pickets that appear to rise and fall, creating a wave-like structure.

Trellis -- If you would like a fence that provides an open feel, then the trellis is a good choice. Trellises criss-cross, often creating square or diamond shapes that can be seen through. But if you prefer your privacy, simply choose a design that places the trellises close together to block from any prying eyes.

An open trellis is also common for wrapping around a garden. This allows for both easy viewing of the garden, no matter how high you make the fence, as well as allowing plenty of air and moisture to move through.

Solid Board -- For total security and privacy, solid boards placed tightly against each other are a perfect solution. This is a common solution around a backyard in order to prevent nosy neighbors from seeing what is going on, or to help reduce noise for your backyard get-togethers. If the saying "good fences make good neighbors" is true, then a solid board privacy fence may make the best neighbors of all.

A common design is to use a combination of solid boards up to six feet high or more, then top it off with an open lattice to strike a balance between seclusion and openness. When it comes to protecting a garden, short solid boards are typically used to allow people to see the garden, but keep out small animals that might be tempted to eat or dig up your plants.

Garden Arbor -- For very large gardens, a garden arbor provides something of a home just for the garden. The entrance is commonly an open arch to welcome visitors while the fencing defines the borders. Combine them together for a tunnel to guide visitors through.

Whatever your need for garden fencing, an ability to customize the many different styles makes for an infinite number of possibilities, allowing you to create your own unique look.


Tips In Making An Organic Tomato Garden

Because of its vitamin A content and its versatility in the kitchen, tomatoes are favored by many people. Having one in the backyard garden where you can easily have what you need in the kitchen and be assured it is free from harmful fertilizers and pesticides is now a trend. The following ideas will show you how to make an organic tomato garden.

First, have a compost area or a bin where you can make your own compost. From the kitchen waste, paper products, and garden waste compost can be produced. This helps in "fattening" or fertilizing your soil. Your compost must have some nitrogen and carbon rich ingredients. Some of the "greens" rich in nitrogen are urine mixed with water (20:1),grass cuttings, nettles, comfrey leaves, raw vegetable peeling, used tea bags and leaves, used ground coffee, and manure of herbivores and chicken. It's not recommended to use bat guano and urea in your organic garden.

For carbon rich ingredients, include wood sawing, sawdust, paper products and cardboards, and beddings from vegetarian pets like guinea pigs and rabbits. You can add crushed egg shells, and some wood ash in your compost heap hair. Next, make your own organic insecticide and aphid spray. Soak one to two cups chopped or minced tomato leaves in two cups water for aphids. You can leave this overnight. The following day, strain and place the liquid in a spray bottle. Add one to two cups plain water and you are ready to use it.

Spray it on the underside of the tomato leaves where aphids thrive. For other insects, finely mince three to four cloves of garlic and add two teaspoons mineral oil. Add some liquid dish soap and let it steep for a day. Use this also as a spray. Garlic contains anti-bacterial and anti-fungal agents. Do a test first on your future tomato leaves and observe. Dilute with water and test again until the leaves remain green if the leaves turn yellowish after two days.

When your compost is ready, then you're also ready to transfer it to your garden sight. Choose a sunny plot for your organic tomatoes. Make use of your basic garden tools when working now in your garden such as spade, hoe, manure fork and compost fork, trowel, transplanter, and a lot more. Remember to wear your garden gloves. Purchase quality seeds and plant in seed boxes. Then, transfer it when the seedlings can be transplanted. You'll learn to master making your own tomato garden as you work on it. The product is worth all the plans you have realized.


Buying Garden Seeds

Some people think that all garden seeds are alike and that how you store and use them is not really important. However, if you want to be a truly successful gardener you have to pay attention to the quality of the garden seeds you buy, how you store them and how and when you use them. All of the top nurseries and gardeners pay particular attention to where they buy their garden seeds from and how they take care of them.

The number one rule when buying garden seeds is to buy good quality seeds. You can, if you want, buy unbranded seeds from your local supermarket to try, but if you are going to be reliant on a crop you really should buy branded seeds from a reputable garden centre or seed seller.

Only buy varieties of garden seeds that are designed to do well in your soil conditions and climate. There is no point in buying seeds designed to do well in arid conditions and planting them in a rainy area of Scotland. Some will grow, but most will not.

Storing Garden Seeds

Once you have brought your seed, check the back of the packet for any specific storage instructions. Do not open seed packets until you are actually ready to sow them.

Store all garden seeds in a cool, dry place. If you do not use all of the seeds first time around you can store them until the next year, but they must be stored in an airtight container. Re-wrapping them in their packet and wrapping that in foil or Clingfilm works well.

Using Garden Seeds

Pay attention to the use by date on your seeds. Most garden seeds will germinate after the use by date, but the rate of successful germination falls the longer you keep them.

Follow the sowing instructions on your garden seeds, to the letter, and do not forget to plant them out as per the instructions. Once sown be sure to thin the crop as per the instructions. This strongly impacts on how successful your final crop will be.


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