Let us begin the cooling process for you! These bulbs go into the cooler at 5C°/41F° in early September and can ship out anytime until mid January 2023. Bulbs on average need 16 weeks of cooling and this a great to get some dry cooling started.
Storage After Arrival
Unpack immediately upon arrival, ventilate if not immediately planted. Store at 58-65°F. Do not store with fresh fruit, vegetables or other ethylene producing products.
Cooling is the most important step in successfully growing flower bulbs. The main rule for almost all tulips is 14-16 weeks of cool temperature at or below 48°F. This can be done according to the following methods:
1. Plant bulbs immediately upon arrival (approx. mid-September) in pots or flats. Place in cooler at 48°F. Bring into greenhouse January 5-10. OR
2. Dry precool bulbs (not planted) at 48°F until mid-October in pots or flats and continue cooling at 48°F. Bring into greenhouse January 5. OR
3. Obtain "precooled" bulbs, plant in pots or flats approximately mid-October and continue cooling at 48°F. Bring into greenhouse January 5.
After planting keep bulbs at 48°F until the roots grow out of the bottom of the container. When the roots show, drop the temperature to 41°F. Maintain this temperature until early January at which time, depending on sprout development, the temperature needs to be lowered to 34°F and held until brought into the greenhouse. If no cooler facility is available, the bulbs can be planted outside under a 6" layer of sand and straw cover. This method is only recommended in the Northern states where outside soil temperature is cold enough to make it possible to do this.
For Valentine - start in greenhouse January 10, grow at 58-65°F.
For Easter - start in greenhouse 4 weeks before Easter, grow at 58-65°F.
Planting Medium/Planting Procedure
Planting medium can be any commercial soil or soil mix as long as it has good drainage and allows for undisturbed root growth. pH level should be 6-7 and soil should have a low soluble salt level. The following soil mixes have shown the best results: Fafard #2, Fafard #3-B, Fafard #4, Metro 350, Metro 360, Metro 500, Fison Sunshine #4. Plant bulbs with the flat side outside of the container and the top of the bulb should be level with the container rim. Use either clay or plastic pot but make sure good drainage is available. There should be at least 2" of growing medium under the base of the bulb to allow for a good root structure. They also prefer a rather deep, loamy soil with good drainage. The leaves are broad or linear. Tulips can be used in pots, borders, perennial gardens or beds. Use a well-drained, composted site. Plant bulbs outdoors to that the soil is 6" above the bulb nose. Use 40-60 bulbs per square yard, space bulbs 5" apart (approx 4-7 per sq. ft.) Bulb size determines exact spacing and planting depth. Plant forcing bulbs at soil level.
Water every other day. Always make sure that watering is done directly into the pot and not over the crop.
Fertilize in the greenhouse only, not in the cooler. Use calcium nitrate at a rate of 2 lbs. per 100 gallons of water.
Height Control for Pots. The product A'Rest (ancymidol) has worked very effectively in controlling the length of the tulips in pots. However, varieties react differently at different times of the year to the same application. It is important that the forcers guide is consulted before using this product.