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Planting Tulip Bulbs for Early Spring Blooms

Updated: May 7, 2019


I know we all look at the bright spring flowers when they are in bloom and think I have got to have those in my yard! So, we run to the nursery, spend a ton of money, and we buy a whole bunch to put in the garden. But guess what? You can have that gorgeous early spring garden for less; the key is you have to plant it now!


With these beautiful warm fall days coming to an end and summer projects winding down now is the perfect time to quick pop some bulbs in the ground. Bulbs like tulips are meant to be planted in the fall. The blooms are activated by the cold temperatures. Here in the north, we can just stick them in the ground and ‘voila!’ instant spring garden. Down south, the bulbs need to be put through a chilling process, like being stored in the refrigerator, in order to get the bulbs to bloom. So, there’s one thing that you can add to your list of why winter in Maine isn’t so bad: less work to get incredible spring blooms!



Pick a site that gets full sun or at least afternoon sun. The bulbs will need to be placed about 4 to 6 inches apart so plan accordingly. To do a big full garden effect dig a trench about 10 inches deep and wide enough for several rows of bulbs and fill with about 4-5” of compost.


Typically bulbs are planted three times their height, pointy end to round end, which ends up about 4-6 inches deep. Bigger bulbs will need to be planted deeper. Make sure to put them with the pointy end facing up. Then cover them with soil and give them a good watering to let the bulbs know that it is time to start growing.


Some tulips varieties grow more like annuals and will need to be replaced every year to get the best effect. Keep this in mind when selecting varieties and what is best for your garden. Tulips are a wonderful addition to the early spring garden and if you plant a variety of them you can have blooms from early to late spring.


For help installing your fall bulbs call 207-252-8829 today! Alexander’s Professional Landscaping, we’ll get dirty so you don’t have to!