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The soil composition is suitable for growing tulips

adamdevis103adamdevis103 CanadaPosts: 1
Hello, my name is Adam. I am ready to plant my tulip bulbs in containers, & wonder about what composition of soil they like. I have 6 plant troughs in Guildford, which has very clay soil, so I have bought some gravel to mix into some organic matter :  Can some kind person advise approx proportions for soil mix for tulips.  Troughs are 25cm deep, will this be deep enough for tulips? Planning 10bulbs per each 70cm long trough?

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  • ButtercupdaysButtercupdays Posts: 4,002
    Nothing like being prepared, Adam, but you are about 5 months too early!
    Tulip bulbs don't appear in GCs until Autumn and it is generally recommended that you don't plant them until November, to avoid the risk of a disease called tulip fire that destroys the bulbs.
    The large flowered ones don't always last more than one season , so many people treat them as annuals. In this case multipurpose compost is sufficient. Your best chance of getting them to last more than one year is to plant really deep, at least 15 cms. They aren't fussy about soil as long as it is well drained.
    My previous garden was clay and some of my tulips pulled themselves down so deep with their special retractile roots, that I thought they had vanished and planted more. Had a surprise the following spring when both lots showed up!
    You can plant them fairly close together though, they look better in clumps than lined up as if they are facing a firing squad. They look good underplanted with things too - Muscari, Anemone de Caen, forget-me-nots or Bellis Daisies all work well and so do grasses such as Stipa tenuissima or blue fescue or you could try Carex testacea, looks great with orange tulips. You've got plenty of time to plan it after all :)
  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 7,731
    We also have clay, so grew them in pots, with a 50% mix horicultural grit and any compost, pots on feet for extra drainage, yes plant end of November, I watered them once then put them under the potting bench so they stayed out of the wet, because it rots them, have had them in the same pots liket his several years did the bulb lasagne, because I think tulip leaves look a whole lot beter than adffidils when you leave them to died down, grow danceline last year after seeing Monties, gorgeous, come out green, then go white, with cerise pink edges, look like roses.
  • We also have clay, so grew them in pots, with a 50% mix horicultural grit and any compost, pots on feet for extra drainage, yes plant end of November, I watered them once then put them under the potting bench so they stayed out of the wet, because it rots them, have had them in the same pots liket his several years did the bulb lasagne, because I think tulip leaves look a whole lot beter than adffidils when you leave them to died down, grow danceline last year after seeing Monties, gorgeous, come out green, then go white, with cerise pink edges, look like roses.

    Sorry for reviving an old thread - it came up as I was searching for those Danceline Tulips.

    Nanny Beach and anybody who tried planting this variety, can you please let me know if those tulips came back next year and if they required any special treatment when they were first planted and the next year if you kept them.

    They are not very cheap to buy, so if they are just for one season, I would only buy just a few, but if they do come back next year, I might consider filling a larger planter and keep them for years to come.

    thank you  :)

    Surrey
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