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Planting tulip bulbs NOW la

TadsTads Posts: 210
I need some help & advice please, with planting tulip bulbs.
i have 120 tulip bulbs to plant in troughs.  I live in Guildford, SURREY. 
The soil in these troughs has grown petunia during summer months. It is pretty “sodden” at the moment due to all the rain we are having, but I need to plant the bulbs before our first frosts, so must do so this weekend.

1) do I need to replace the soil in my troughs, with FRESH NEW SOIL ? & if so with what combination of ingredients (please be specific - like compost/sand/grit - what % combo do I need?)  does it need to be fibrous rather than earthy soil.  The soil here is clay, but I have always mixed it with generous doses of compost & some grit. (Tho it’s still a pretty heavy mix I have at the moment, I think 🤔) 

2) if I don’t need to replace the present soil, can I just plant the bulbs in the present wet soil
? (Won’t the bulbs rot?)

Would really appreciate the kind advice of members.
thankyou,
tads 😊
guildford


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Posts

  • AstroAstro Posts: 291
    Going off the general consensus the first option would be best. With regards to mix I would personally mix enough compost and grit into the soil so that when pressed it firms a little without becoming solid. 
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 26,544
    bulbs are their own little food stores, so I'd not worry about the soil , but tulips like to be planted deep, 6 or even 9 inches is ideal. 
    Why is the soil "sodden" ? are there not enough drainage holes? or are they blocked? You need to address this too.
    Devon.
  • yorkshireroseyorkshirerose North YorkshirePosts: 571
    I would recommend you replace the compost. Multi-purpose (preferably peat-free) or John Innes no 3 would be suitable. Tulips like good drainage, put a handful of sharp horticultural grit under each bulb you plant and work some extra into the compost too - ratio approx, 5:1 compost:grit.
    Plant them deeply, at least double the height of the bulb below the top of the compost, more if there is room. Cover the top of the compost with sharp grit too to deter mice or squirrels ( I also put wire mesh over mine as I have a very persistent squirrel) 
    Can you move your troughs undercover or somewhere very sheltered against the worst of the winter weather.? They are liable to rot if too wet,
    A gardener's work is never at an end  - (John Evelyn 1620-1706)
  • TadsTads Posts: 210
    Thankyou, Astro, Hostafan1 & yorkshirerose, asa the rain stops tomorrow I’ll get out there & see what I’ve got exactly, to deal with.  Taken all your very good advice on board, thankyou very much 😊🤗 ✅ 
  • TadsTads Posts: 210
    Bulbs all now planted in good soil mixed with JI number 3 & a handful of grit under each bulbs (whew).  How can I keep cats (my daughter has a pair of beloved Bengals 🐯🐯) off my newly planted tulip troughs - (just planted 120 bulbs) -  I’ve covered the tops with potting grit - can I shed citrus peel on the top of the grit  - will that keep cats off? Or any other advice, I should really welcome. 
    Can anyone help?   Thankyou, 🤔
  • AstroAstro Posts: 291
    edited December 2019
    Tads said:
    Bulbs all now planted in good soil mixed with JI number 3 & a handful of grit under each bulbs (whew).  How can I keep cats (my daughter has a pair of beloved Bengals 🐯🐯) off my newly planted tulip troughs - (just planted 120 bulbs) -  I’ve covered the tops with potting grit - can I shed citrus peel on the top of the grit  - will that keep cats off? Or any other advice, I should really welcome. 
    Can anyone help?   Thankyou, 🤔
    Yeah cats do love a prepared bed, ideal for littering 🐈. I found putting down mesh or having sticks poking up deter,  more of a physical barrier though obviously nothing that could injure the cats. I'd use some citrus too, though it may need multiple applications.
  • B3B3 Posts: 15,805
    Sprinkle holly twigs on the top. It'll keep the squirrels off too.
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 26,544
    Astro said:

    Yeah cats do love a prepared bed, ideal for littering 🐈.
    Surely you mean " P*ssing and sh*tting on"?
    Devon.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 66,135
    Now now @Hostafan1 ... 'tis the season of peace and goodwill ... spank
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 26,544
    Now now @Hostafan1 ... 'tis the season of peace and goodwill ... spank
    so will the cats just p*ss and sh*t in their own gardens? 
    Devon.
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