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Make sure you wait until after the ground freezes to mulch your tulips. If you do it before the ground freezes, the mulch can become wet and cause the bulbs to rot or keep the ground from freezing. Newspaper and wood chips will work fine for your tulips over winter, but they should be removed in the spring. Newspaper is a good insulator and will help protect your bulbs from cold damage. At the same time, once the danger of frost has passed in the spring, its insulating properties may work against new growth by causing a delay in the soil warming up. Newspaper is also great for preventing the growth of weeds. However, this also means it can prevent wanted new growth. Remove the winter mulch as soon as danger of frost has passed. Mulches other than newspaper should be removed when the shoots are 1-2 inches high. Otherwise, the stems and leaves may become weak. Be warned that rodents love tulip bulbs and newspaper can provide nice little winter homes for them to cozy up and feast on your bulbs. Covering the dirt over your plantings with a small gauge wire mesh can help with this.
About The Author: Ellen Brown is an environmental writer and photographer and the owner of Sustainable Media, an environmental media company that specializes in helping businesses and organizations promote eco-friendly products and services. Contact her on the web at http://www.sustainable-media.com
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When should I remove leaf mulch from tulips? The mulch is 6-8 inches deep. Tulips are showing and growing through the mulch.
By Ruth from Creston, IA
Remove it now! I did mine the minute they were a couple of inches out of the ground! Looking forward to seeing the color!
MzScarlett is right! Remove the mulch now! The time to remove it is when you first start seeing the plant start coming up and it gets to be about 2 inches or so above ground level.