Confessions of a Talentless Gardener: Time to Plant Tulips

The right time to plant tulips!

Day 2

Wednesdays I do not have classes to teach, so today I did not need to be at work. The privilege of being a university lecturer as opposed to a classroom teacher I once were.

While I still have tons to grade and lessons to plan, I decided to go out into the yard to continue with the Spring cleaning  that I started on Sunday, and plant the rest of the bulbs I purchased last fall, which were now beginning to grow inside their packaging.

So there I was clearing up dead leaves and disorienting woodlice and earthworms when a neighbor stopped by for a chat.

She admired my work from Sunday and asked how I was.

“Fine,” I replied. “I felt as if I was trampled on by a herd of elephants, but I am OK now, and looking forward to the next round of aches and pains.”

She laughed.

So after telling her that I was getting the area ready for planting, she asked “What are you planting?”

“Tulips” I replied.

She gave me this very blank puzzling look. “Is it the right time to plant tulips?” She asked.

“Well…” I began, “I think it probably is the right time. Look they are beginning to grow in the packaging!”


About Tulips…

April really is not the right time to plant tulips. I think its was clearly written on the packaging.

Actually it say ‘Plant in September or October,  before hard frost sets in.’


I also Googled this and I found a website that said “Nature never intended for bulbs to loll about above ground, so don’t delay planting the bulbs after purchase.”

Darn it! I failed nature!

I really did have good intentions of planting the bulbs last fall.

Anyway, all I can do now is hope for the best and see that what happens.

Today’s Mission…

So today before planting the tulips, I had more Spring leaning to do.

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Today began at 8:00 a.m.

The weather forecast mentioned something about rain happening later on in the day. So I was determined to make hay while the sun shone; or just clean-up the planters before I got wet!

Luckily, this section of the yard did not have as much fall debris as the side I cleaned up on Sunday. But there were some critical decisions I had to make.

Last summer I planted a more perennials, as well as annuals on this side of the yard. And as my planting was random, I had no idea if the plants that remained standing after being covered by four feet of snow over the winter were dead or just sleeping.

My strategy was to remove those that came out with a gentle tug. And if I couldn’t make a decision as to whether to pull them out, or prune them down, I just left them alone!

I’ll come back to them in a couple of weeks, and see if there is any sign of life.

All done…

By noon big rain clouds engulfed the space above our house…

…and by 12:30 I had cleaned up, and planted the tulip bulbs!

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I was done!

Day 2 out in the yard was another satisfying day. It wasn’t seven hours, and I am not aching as much. But I got my morning workout.

Now about that grading…


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Mauve Writer

Teacher, Learner, Writer

28 thoughts on “Confessions of a Talentless Gardener: Time to Plant Tulips

  1. I have never tried growing tulips in my life and it’s really nice to learn more about how to grow them in your own garden. These are great tips and I really appreciate the extra knowledge.

  2. It’s nice to be able to grow Tulips in your garden. I have no idea as to what time to plant them and this definitely helped.

  3. I can sympathize with waiting too long to planting things, or planting things in the wrong season. Go you that you got it done, even if the timing wasn’t right.

  4. I am also talentless on gardening but it’s always a good thing to at least try and enjoy. Have fun and you will see a beautiful result soon 🙂

  5. I envy you. I’ve said a hundred times that I’ll start my garden but haven’t started yet.

  6. Imagine how beautiful those tulips will be once they’ve grown. Can’t wait! I wish I had your gift & your patience. Gardening was never something I saw people here at home doing so I guess I never got into it, too.

    1. I am hoping they will grow. Apart from planting them almost 6 months late, we have deer visiting looking for tulips to eat:)

    1. Since I picked up this new habit of growing things, I’ve also started to have plants around the house too. It is immensely satisfying to grow something 🙂

  7. I miss gardening. I’m just too pregnant to bend down right now. Lol. I wish you luck on your planting, you never know what will take and what won’t when you’re starting.

  8. Tulips have a great color palette to choose from and I love the beauty they add to my yard. I have the yellow ones and they are just started to pop thru the soil. Great information regarding the right time to plant tulips and your experience with them.

  9. Bulbs are tricky. I remember when I planted my tulips (which are growing nicely and should be blooming before too long) that I thought it was interesting that you planted a spring flower in the fall. You did a wonderful job with your spring cleaning. i love your landscaped area with the rock wall. I hope you share pictures of this area once everything is growing.

    1. I envy you. I have never grown tulips before. I had very good intentions when I purchased the bulbs last fall. I don’t know if nature will allow them to grow now that I have broken the tulip growing laws of nature.

  10. Wow! Nice shots! Tulips remind me of my mom. She had them planted in a tower in our yard. Unfortunately I didn’t inherit her green thumb. My house is the place where plants come to die! lol

  11. I’m glad that you enjoyed the tulip planting. I can’t grow tulips here. The deer think of tulips as a delicacy and they gobble up any tulips that make a brave effort at growing. Sometimes the deer dig under the snow and turn the tulip bulbs into a taste test.

  12. Since moving into our new house my backyard has looked like a jungle. I keep procrastinating and know I should be out there doing something…I am completely lacking a green thumb.

    1. I’ll do my best to motivate you Kim. It really is good exercise and you will feel so much better when you get going 🙂

  13. I am sure all of your hard work will pay off. I can’t wait to see pictures of your tulips.

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