“There are great planting kits for spring tulips” says Ruth
A versatile favourite to plant many ways, says Ruth
FOOD is never far from my mind at the best of times and, when you are planting tulips, it’s hard to get away from it. Not that tulips are edible however. Far from it in fact – they are poisonous to eat and can be an irritant and people who have sensitive skin are advised to wear gloves while handling them.
The reason they make me wonder if it’s lunchtime yet is down to two ways of planting them, one traditional and one more modern.
The tried and tested way of grouping tulips with other, complementary varieties, is called ‘lasagna planting’ (see right), because the various plants are layered in a pot to create an intense burst of colour at different heights.
A more modern way of planting single varieties is in a ‘pizza’, a circular tray holding bulbs at the correct width. This creates a pleasing arrangement when the plants shoot and flower.
Tulips come in a wide array of heights and styles, and their velvety petals can be found in every conceivable colour and combination.
The general rule of thumb when planting tulips is to set them in the ground at around three times the depth of a bulb, and one bulb’s width apart.
They do best in a sunny, sheltered spot with fertile, free-draining soil. If you have heavy clay, improve it by digging in lots of well-rotted compost or manure. This will also improve the moisture content of thin, sandy soils.
My tulip pizza came from Bakker Bulbs (✆ 0344 481 1001, bakker. com), but check out garden centres and supermarkets, and other online stockists such as Parkers (✆ 0161 848 1100, jparkers.co.uk), Bloms Bulbs (✆ 01234 709099, blomsbulbs.com), Peter Nyssen (✆ 0161 747 4000, peternyssen.com) or Van Meuwen (✆ 0333 400 0022, vanmeuwen.com).
Lasagna planting is easy and pretty Vibrant tulips bring zing to borders There are so many ways of planting tulips