tulip bulbs

Asked May 18, 2015, 1:22 AM EDT

I have planted tulip bulbs for several years. This year I planted 250 tulip bulbs in two different locations. These bulbs were planted in early November at 6-8" deep. Out of all those planted only about 10 came up in spring and they were the closest to my houses foundation. After checking the bulbs this spring that didn't come up, they had all rotted. Can you tell why this happened or what might of caused this? Thanks, Joel

Lincoln County South Dakota

1 Response

This was apparently a bad year for tulips. We planted about 1500 bulbs at McCrory Gardens last October and probably lost about 2/3rds of them. I believe the problem was too little moisture in the soil for good rooting last fall then the lack of snow cover caused soil temperatures to get too cold which killed the bulbs.

You could try applying a mulch over the bulbs to help insulate them from the cold when snow cover is inadequate. It also delays emergence in the spring, especially up near a home. This helps to avoid damage from early spring freezes.