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Digging up old Tulips

Two years ago I planted 100 orange&yellow Kees Nellis tulips for a public garden. They produced a great display in the first year but less so this year. Since I anticipate weaker growth next season I wish to dig them all up and replace them with a different display. The bulbs are planted 20cm or more deep but after an exploratory dig I found only a handful of them with some difficulty as the bulbs have now shrunk. The bed they sit in ais 8m by 4m.
The task of digging through for 100 very small tulip bulbs which i may not find is unappealing. Alternatively, I wait for new growth then try to remove them but I had no luck when I did this this year. Does anyone have any words of advice ?


  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 7,428
    Plant your new scheme in similar colours so that if any of the old tulips flower, they'll look OK and add to the display? (or use colours that will contrast in a good way)
  • Yes that's a good idea.I'll definitely mull over what i could plant that would look good with the new scheme.Thanks a-plenty
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 SomersetPosts: 10,190
    That would be a lot less work. If any bulbs then come up "blind" you could then just hoik them out.
  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 3,532
    If you plant species tulips, sometimes sold as perennial tulips, they will multiply instead of fading away. The flowers are usually smaller and less showy, but in a mass planting they're just as effective.
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