MySecretGarden

U.S.A., Washington State. USDA zone 8a. Sunset climate zone 5

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

First Tulip Container


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This is my first attempt to grow tulips in containers. I planted about 70 bulbs in 4 big pots. The bulbs were purchased at a clearance price in a home improvement store and planted in November.
There were several reasons why I decided not to plant them in the ground:
1- Soil in my garden is sandy and rocky. When I say rocky, I mean very rocky. I mean you can not just dig a hole and put a bulb there. You need to get out at least some rocks. I'll never forget how I asked our builder why did they dump a truckload of rocks on the back of the lot where I planned to create a garden (it is now called A Terrace Garden). He was puzzled, looked at me and said that they didn't put any rocks there. Yes, I said, there is a load of rocks in my back yard! No, said he. Yes, insisted I! Then, his face lightened up. At last, I thought, he remembered! But his facial expression changed from "I know!" to "Poor you!" There was a look of pity in his eyes. Pity for me. He paused and said in a very soft, gentle , compassionate voice :" Tatyana, it's not a load of rocks.... it is your soil."
No way I was going to plant the bulbs in that ground! It would take me many hours to pick up rocks ranging in size from little pebbles to soccer-balls.
2- Containers are easy to move and rearrange.
3- There is less chance that squirrels will dig them up. There was one accident when a pot got turned over by our dog who probably sniffed the bonemeal which was added to the pot's soil.
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Through the winter, I kept the pots under big fir trees that helped protect them from getting too much rain. I watered the containers only once or twice, since the winter and spring were pretty moist.
I made sure the pots had good drainage. When the green tulip tops showed up, I moved the pots to more sunny places. When the buds were ready to open, the pots were relocated to a prominent position where they could be seen both from the house and the street.
I am glad I spaced the planting of my bulbs over time so that the tulips wouldn't bloom all at once.
Tulips in three other containers are yet to bloom.
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Copyright 2010 TatyanaS

44 comments:

  1. You know I should try tulips in containers. There are a lot of hungry voles here. Your tulips that are in bloom now look lovely.

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  2. Those Tulips are just amazing Tatyana - postcard perfect! I may just try some again one day and follow your tips (although really I shouldn't as my conditions are too marginal)!

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  3. Absolutely spectacular! I never tire of seeing those gorgeous, cupped blooms -- they simply sing of spring. :)

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  4. I need a calendar. I see these things and say, "that would be a great idea!" and then see "November". Day late and a dollar short. Next year. I'm marking my calendar....now.

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  5. I diligently plant tulips in containers every year. But they never come up. I hope the voles and other critters appreciate my efforts... :)

    Yours are very pretty!

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  6. Your tulips are lovely. We don't have any this year. The next time I try tulips, it will have to be in containers. They just don't stand a chance with the gophers and deer. Maybe this fall I'll try planting out a couple of half wine barrels in the gardens.

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  7. Definitely have to try tulips in containers next year. I saw a few bloggers doing this and it really inspired me. How many bulbs did you put in one container?

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  8. Hi Tatyana. What a splendid idea lady. Those pots will bloom for a long time that way and can be moved around for added color. The pots of them look so wonderful and pretty. Have a wonderful week.
    Lona

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  9. Your tulips look so healthy and they are absolutely beautiful. I love the pots you chose to plant them in. I also know that your neighbors appreciate you putting them where they can be seen from the street. I know I certainly would. :-) Your garden always looks wonderful.

    ...sorry, I just can't muster up compassion for your rocky soil situation. LOL

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  10. I hadn't thought about growing tulips in containers before. But, after reading your post - I wonder why more people don't do this? Your tulips are beautiful :-)

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  11. Amazing tulip flowers! It is a very smart idea to plant them in the container. We can not grow tulip here in florida, but at least I can enjoy them through the blog world :) Thanks for sharing!

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  12. Awesome Tatyana. I would have done the same thing. Yuk on the rocky soil. Those are beautiful.

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  13. They look great in pots Tatyana

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  14. It looks great! I will have to remember this idea in the fall. I'm terrible about digging into bulbs during the summer because I forget they are there, probably worse than the squirrels :)

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  15. Lovely Tatyana, I imagine they look even more impressive in real life!

    I also have Tulips in containers... Although that was through laziness and leaving it too late before planting and the ground was too wet/frozen to plant them! :D

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  16. Very pretty, Tatyana! I planted, again, bulbs in pots last fall. Have you seen any photos of them on my blog???? Nooooooo, you have not! Ha ha ha! I got nothing!

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  17. These look great Tatyana. The great thing about the pots is that you can hide them when the leaves start to die off.

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  18. They look so healthy and beautiful! I will have to do that next spring.

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  19. There is always a good side in container gardening and like what you said - easy to move around & you can easily uproot them when you want to divide those bulbs.

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  20. Beautiful display of tulips Tatyana!

    Rocks in the soil we know about. Our house is build on rocks, large outcroppings in the landscape, so much so that we had to truck in soil so we could plant our garden.

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  21. That's so pretty! I'm glad it all worked out...

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  22. Tatyana, I admire your tulip pots very much. We'd need a great big pot to do it up here to cope with the freeze-thaw problem. Fortunately, the one thing my sandy garden is good for is drainage, which spring bulbs love. Happy Earth Day!

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  23. Your tulip pots are lovely. I have tons of rocks here too. I used to say that rocks were all we could grow. Carla

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  24. The first of many I'm sure.. they came up great!

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  25. Your tulips are lovely! They look very nice in the pots, as well;-) I did that one year but for some reason they didn't come up the next year.

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  26. How beautiful!!! I have tried tulips in containers a few times without success. I wonder if it is due to our colder temps? Love the two toned variety! :)

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  27. Beautiful tulips! But the story about the load of rocks, now that was something. Poor you! I've wondered about planting bulbs in pots. I've read somewhere that you can actually plant layers of bulbs and have them come up in turn, like crocuses on top and a layer of tulips below to come up when the top ones are done.

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  28. Your tulips are a gorgeous colour. I also plant tulips and other spring bulbs in containers. Last year, I popped one of my containers at the back of my shed to allow the tulip foliage to die down. I forgot about the container until a few days ago when my hubby found it round the back of the shed. The tulips are all ready to bloom again.

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  29. Tatyana,

    I added bone meal to several plants I have noticed digging near so of the plants, we have dogs. Enjoyed this post as always.

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  30. They are lovely!! Good job!!

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  31. Every now and then I run into some Limestone type rock in some areas. I too believe that contractors put them there when building the house. Luckily, I dont find them often. Sorry about your rocky soil but seems you have found a wonderful solution for your Tulips!

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  32. Hi Tatyana~~ Not having to contend with the bulb's not-so-pretty dying foliage is my favorite reason for growing bulbs in pots. You've got beautiful, healthy plants. And of course the fact that your flowers are PINK adds to the allure!

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  33. You know, tulips in containers makes all the sense in the world. I showed Pat and there was a giant Ya in the room. jim

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  34. Wow, the tulips are so sweet and lovely :)! How I wish I can grow tulips here :(

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  35. Planting tulips in containers is a great idea! My own hard clay soil is not the best for tulips, nor are the hot, humid summers, so tulips here are view as annuals, though expensive ones!

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  36. Beautiful! Thanks for sharing your how-to, I have a few ideas on what I did wrong with my tulip containers this year!

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  37. Yay..super gorgeous..super lovely..beautiful T!! Love it!! Lovely post! as always!!
    Kiki~

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  38. I don't know why you want to grow tulips when you can grow rocks so easily :P lol

    Very pretty! I've never tried growing them in containers. Mine grow in the ground, but unfortunately they rot after one year and only about 25% of them grow back. I treat them like annuals.

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  39. So beautiful! Tulips are not long-lived here (I think it's too hot and humid for their taste), so I'll enjoy yours instead. :)

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  40. Your tulips are beautiful. I love tulips, there are so many different kinds...that pink is just so pretty. I would love it if tulips lasted all summer long.

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  41. Gorgeous! Pink tulips are my favorite.

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  42. Wow! How beautiful. A great idea. I may give it a try this fall.

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  43. Your tulip containers turned out great Tatyana. I should find out your secret. I tried to do the same thing two years ago (planted bulbs in containers then stored the containers in the garage). I waited and waited the next spring for signs of life and nothing ever happened. When I dug them up, they had rotted. :-(
    I guess they froze?? Maybe I should have left them outdoors? or maybe our climate is too harsh to do this?? Anyway, congrats on your success. They make beautiful focal points.

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  44. I live in Michigan and I planted 96 tulips in a big iron pot last fall. I lined the pot with bubble wrap and covered the pot lightly, after watering it thoroughly, just before the first snow. I have been watering it this spring, since our spring has been quite dry. They were sale bulbs, bought in November....all shades of pink...got the idea from P. Allen Smith!! It is GLORIOUS!! I did spray it with Ropel when I noticed a suqirrel trying to dig! I recommend this....
    I am going to try to plant something like moss rose in the soil when the tuplip foilage dies....hope I can keep it for next year!!

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