If you have to plant more than ten tulips, save your hands (and back) and plant how we do with the trenching method. Trenching method is just as it sounds. Instead of digging one small hole for each of your tulips, you dig a trench big enough to hold them all, pop your bulbs in and cover it back up. Done. There are a few more specifics that I will divulge underneath, but I appreciate the trench method because I can plant multiple varieties at once. This comes in handy for flower farming and majestic landscapes. Here is a more in depth description. As always, if you're short on time, just read the bold, make up the rest, and I'll back you up my friend.
1. Dig your trench- You want to dig an even-ish hole from 4-6" deep. The general rule is 3x's the height of the bulb. If you have large, bulbous bulbs(ha ha ha bulbous bulbs) you will plant them deeper than scrawny bulbs. Side note, you can trench any bulb, not just tulips. Therefore, a tiny crocus bulb wouldn't get planted as deep as a tulip bulb.
2. Pop your bulbs in- Get those bulbs in that trench! If you are planting during commercial breaks, just throw those babies in there so you can get back to your Monty Don. If you would like a more structured bed, set your bulbs in with the little gnome hat top facing the sky (this is where the sprout will come out. Spacing can be as tight as eggs in a carton, or a pinkie's width apart. Just make sure they aren't touching each other. If you have perennial bulbs that you would like to grow and multiply in time, give them more space.
3. Water your bulbs- Give those tulips a good soak. It should be longer than a sprinkle(not the cake kind). Once you see puddles forming, or have thrice sung "Yankee Doodle," whichever you fancy, you can call it a day.
4. Lay down your pest fence- I usually put a little dirt on the bulbs then lay the fencing down. What kind of fencing you say? I use a 1" by 1" plastic fencing like this photo here. You can also use the metal type. DO NOT use cotton or rope as squirrels, chipmunks, voles, moles, hungry neighbors can all chew through rope. You are just going to lay the fence on the dirt like a blanket on a bed. The plastic fence is nice, because it is easier to cut if you have to cut it to fit your trench.
5. Cover it all up- Just push that dirt back over your little spring firecrackers. If you have an amendment, mix it in now. I don't usually amend for tulips, they are quite resilient and have all they need to eat in those little bulbs. Sometimes I will mulch over them or mix leaf mulch in with the dirt if it is a new bed.
There it is, 5 simple steps to plant tulip bulbs like a pro. If you want a mind blowing landscape, play around with layering your bulbs. Think of it as 3D gardening. You can get 3 layers of bulbs (large, medium, small from bottom to top) in one trench no problem. A post on this will be coming soon. If you'd like to be notified when, don't forget to follow us on Facebook or Instagram and sign up for email notifications.