Tips on outdoor planting!
Check Your Shipment Against the Packing Slip
Inspect your shipment against the packing slip. Open all inner boxes to thoroughly examine your order. We often insert bags of smaller bulbs into the inner boxes of other varieties to protect them during shipping. Back ordered bulbs will be shipped as soon as we receive them. Please call us to discuss replacement orders for any varieties that are sold out. If there is a discrepancy between your shipment and the packing slip, please call us immediately so that we may resolve it with you.
Inspect the Bulbs Immediately
Inspect the bulbs carefully. We make every effort to ship only healthy, firm and top quality bulbs to you. If you have any concerns about your bulbs, please call us immediately so that we may answer your questions. If you are unable to plant your bulbs when you receive them, open all of the boxes and bags to ensure proper ventilation. Store them in a cool, dry place (out of the sun), about 60û to 65û. Poor storage conditions may cause bulbs to dry out or to become moldy. If we do not hear from you, we will assume that your bulbs are healthy and of the high quality that you have come to expect from us. We can not be held responsible for improper storage, planting or weather conditions, improper site conditions or delayed planting.
Prepare Your Planting Site
Make sure that you select a planting site with appropriate sunlight and good water drainage. Tulips and narcissi prefer part-day, full sunlight or filtered sunlight for optimum coloration and prolonged flowering periods. Bulbs will not grow in an area with poor water drainage (they hate "wet feet"). For clay soil, add sand or peat moss. For sandy soil, add peat moss or aged leaf compost. Flower bulbs prefer neutral pH soil (soil test results should be "7"). Never add horse manure, mushroom compost or other "hot" manure or compost to your flower bulb beds. Determine the proper planting depth and spacing for your bulbs according to our chart. Dig 2" to 3" below the planting depth to loosen the soil to promote thorough root development. If you are in Horticultural Zone 8 or warmer, we suggest that you consult a local nursery for horticultural information about precooling bulbs to suit your specific micro-climate. Overall, we recommend that tulips be prechilled in Horticultural Zones 8-10 and that all bulbs be prechilled in Horticultural Zones 9-10. Generally, flower bulbs should be prechilled for about ten weeks from 38° to 42°F. Never put them in the freezer! Plant the bulbs immediately upon removal from the refrigerator.
Plant Your Bulbs
Plant your bulbs once the weather has turned consistently cool and before the ground has frozen. Place the bulbs firmly in the soil with the pointed end up. See the Planting Chart for specific planting information; the general rule of thumb is to cover the top of each bulb with 3" to 4" of top soil without breaking off any sprout growth. Feed your bulbs with our Dutch Organic Bulb Food three times a year: at planting time in the fall; when the sprouts first push through the soil in the spring and when the foliage dies in the summer. To prevent the possibility of root burn, lightly dust the bulb food over the surface of the garden bed as a top dressing after you finish planting your bulbs. Please do not mix fertilizer into each hole; broadcast the fertilizer over the surface of the bed and water it in. If there is a prolonged, dry fall, water your flower bulb beds occasionally. Cover the beds with about 2" of mulch after the ground freezes completely. Mulching helps retain ground moisture and helps protect bulbs from temperature spiking. Some good mulching mediums include straw, salt marsh hay or oak leaves.
In the early spring, remove the mulch as soon as the flower shoots emerge. Carefully top dress your flower beds with a second application of bulb food. After your bulbs bloom, "dead head" the flowers as soon as they have faded, leaving the foliage and stems to die back naturally. Apply a third application of bulb food to strengthen the bulb. Remove dead foliage once it dies naturally. Bulbs are best left to regenerate in the ground!