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Trench Planting Tulip and Daffodil Bulbs

Now that October has arrived, that means that our fall bulb orders have also started to show up at the front door! Spring flowers are hands-down my favorite flowers. From ranunculus to tulips, I just can’t get enough of these beautiful blooms. I think a lot of it has to do with my dislike for the cold winter weather. When the flowers finally start to open up in the spring, I’m able to feel like I’m truly alive again. Anyway, I was able to order quite a few tulips this year thanks to everyone who reads this blog and watches the YouTube channel. So, thank you. I really mean that.

Since I like to use my tulips and things for cut flower arrangements, I make it a habit of trench planting my bulbs. Since tulips do not perennialize in my growing zone anyway, I can easily plant them super close together.

Tulips are true bulbs, which as I understand, means that the flower is already within the bulb. After digging a deep trench, about 6-8 inches, I carefully arrange the bulbs. I like to imagine that the bulbs are sitting on an invisible egg crate. As I place them in the trench, I do want to make sure that none of the bulbs are touching each other. Last, I carefully rake the soil back over top of the bulbs until they are covered by several inches of soil. Once that has been done, the only task left is to wait patiently for the spring.

This year, I planted several double varieties of tulip, as well as some more interesting singles. Of all the tulip bulbs that I planted, I think that I am most excited to see the variety called ‘Vaya con Dios’. It looks to be a very beautiful combination of yellow, orange, and pink colors. Magical!

The general premise of trench planting can also be done when planting daffodil bulbs. However, the arrangement of the bulbs in the flower bed is definitely much different. Since daffodils will return year after year here in my garden, I make sure to give the bulbs much more space at planting time. This will ensure that they are able to spread each season. At the spacing above, I will likely need to dig and replant these daffodil bulbs after about three growing seasons.

Have you ever tried trench planting? I would love to hear all about it in the comments below. Thank you so much for reading. I hope you’re having an amazing day!

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An awesome one-woman flower farm, cultivated by the love of all things pretty.

2 Comments

  • Ann Kidwell Author

    I trench planted about 250 tulip bulbs and could hardly wait for spring to see them. I love tulips. Unfortunately, not one bulb came up. They were all eaten by moles or voles, not sure which. I have since planted in planters on my back deck and was successful I have read that I could have put some wire mesh in the trench and that might have worked.

    I live in eastern WA state and enjoy reading your blog. Keep planting.

    • freshcutky

      So frustrating! I had the exact same thing happen one year. I was so disappointed. I’ve never tried planting with wire mesh before. Maybe I’ll try that one year. Happy gardening!

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