Can I plant tulips this early?

Asked October 8, 2018, 2:39 PM EDT

Hi! I'm in Portland, Zone 8b specifically. This is my first time planting tulips, and I have 100(!!) bulbs to put in (the ground). The weather is supposed to be nice this week, so I thought I would do several sessions throughout the week, of planting them. But my mom (in Oklahoma) said she thinks it might be too early to plant them, and they could rot. Am I doomed to plant ten million bulbs in the pouring rain of late October? Or can I do it now? Many thanks, Kristen Ketchel-Bain

Multnomah County Oregon bulbs tulips horticulture

2 Responses

Now is a perfectly good time to plant all spring-blooming bulbs, they will not rot. I like to plant my hybrid tulips a little deeper than recommended--I plant them 8"-10" deep--because I think they last more consecutive years.

To make it easier to plant, dig a wide hole to the depth needed, mix in bone meal or bulb fertilizer, scratching it into the soil. Then I place the bulbs in the hole and then back fill with the native soil. I try to mark the variety and where I planted but sometimes I don't do it and then I wait for my spring surprise!

Thanks very much!!