I wish I had William B. Miller’s job. He’s head of the Flowerbulb Project at Cornell. It’s his job to plant bulbs and see how they grow best. In a recent report, (see Cornell Chronicle Vol 43 #12) he recommends top planting for tulips, rather than digging down 6 to 8 inches, like we’re used to doing. He says that gardeners only need to till about two inches of soil, put the bulbs on top and then cover with 2”-4” of mulch. Don’t skimp on the mulch, though. Too little can make them vulnerable to critters.
The best time to plant bulbs here in New York is from mid September through mid November. Planting in December is okay, as long as the ground isn’t frozen. Ideally, you want to have them in the ground a few weeks before that, to give them a chance to form some roots.
I also got some “Early Surprise” tulips. They’re definitely not deer resistant, so I have to remember to plant them in the back. I may add a little bulb fertilizer, because that’s what William B. Miller does. I’m also gonna add some cayenne pepper. That’s supposed to repel the squirrels.
Did you get your bulbs in the ground yet?