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Mulching Tulips

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Mulching Tulips
In some growing areas with harsh winters you may wish to mulch your tulips if you leave them in the garden. This is a guide about mulching tulips.
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March 15, 20130 found this helpful

Question:

I just planted a small bed of tulips and mums, I plan to lay generous amounts of newspaper over the tulip and around the mums and then cover with 2-3 inches of wood bark. My question is will the tulips be able to come through all this in the spring?
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Jean

Answer:

Jean,

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.

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Featured Feedback:

RE: Mulching Tulips

It depends. If you put down just a layer or two of newspaper it should breakdown by spring and the tulips will have no problem growing through the mulch. If you put a heavier layer I suggest you pull back the newspaper layer in early spring. Let the tulips grow then replace it when they are up high enough to be above the mulch. Newspaper is a good mulch, but it is most effective if it is shredded. Only put down a solid layer if you do not want anything to grow up in that area.

By dmccall

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Comment Was this helpful? Yes

Questions

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By 1 found this helpful
March 11, 2011

When should I remove leaf mulch from tulips? The mulch is 6-8 inches deep. Tulips are showing and growing through the mulch.
zone 5

By Ruth from Creston, IA

Answer Was this helpful? 1
March 12, 20110 found this helpful

Remove it now! I did mine the minute they were a couple of inches out of the ground! Looking forward to seeing the color!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
March 18, 20110 found this helpful

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.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
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June 12, 20170 found this helpful

We are in June 12. Is it too late to remove wood chips? My tulips are up but just green stems.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
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