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tulips

Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 7,761
did anyone have problems with their tulips this year?, mine are in shallow terracota proper bulb planters, some have been in a couple of years, some were planted last November, they flowered, but the flowers didnt open properly, and looked "papery"

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  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,776
    What varieties did you plant, what compost and how deep?
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 7,761
    danceline a couple of years back, flowered fine last year,last year planted blue wow, ice-cream, MPC mixed with plenty of grit, about 3 inches deep.  We have heavy clay soil, so all my spring bulbs are in pots.
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,776
    Not convinced that's deep enough. 

    My Belgian garden had too much rain and cold for the larger Dutch tulips to do well even in their first year but I found the botanical ones did well in the better drained parts and came back every year.   If I wanted tall tulips I planted them in pots of loamy compost and at the usual planting depth so with 3 or 4 inches of compost above them and then kept them sheltered in a dark, unheated shed that protected them from frost until their shoots poked thru.

    This garden has heavy clay in some parts and I have managed to get tall tulips to come back a second and third year after a first year in pots by improving the clay texture with loads of compost.  Lots less rain here so the clay is more brick than claggy.  Seems fine.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 7,761
    blame monty, he used these kind of pots, said you could plant them closer together and shalower in pots than in the ground.
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,776
    I rarely follow Monty's advice.   His garden style and situation are almost the opposite of mine.  His garden gets cold and very wet in winter and he likes all those big hedges to separate and compartmentalise and contain.   Feels very crammed and claustrophobic to me.

    Our Belgian garden was much colder and as wet, tho not flooded in winter but I still preferred open views and light and space.   This garden is much dryer with a wide mix of soils varying from solid clay to sand bars to good loam and everything in between it seems.   I shall break it up with island beds to make different plant groups and aspects, not close it all in.

    I put bulbs in containers to start with because after a long drought I couldn't get a spade or fork in the soil when we arrived.   I've been able to plant them out afterwards and they've been fine but I'm new to growing the larger tulips so still try them in pots by the front door for starters and then they go out in the ground for the following year.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
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