Shopping for tulips is one of my favorite fall gardening activities. There are just so many different varieties of tulips out there & I pretty much want them all. Planting tulip bulbs isn’t as much fun as window shopping for them though, especially if you have a lot of bulbs to plant (check out my 3 best tulip planting tips). I’ve tried many tulip planting methods like digging individual holes, creating one big hole & using a bulb planter. But, I hit the gardening jackpot once I learned how to plant tulips with an auger drill bit via a video from Garden Answer. Hands down, it’s the easiest & quickest way to plant tulips. Read on to find out how to plant tulips with an auger.
- Tulip bulbs
- Auger drill bit
- Power drill
- Bulb fertilizer
- Find a sunny spot to plant your tulips. They perform best in full sun areas.
- Drill 6-8 inch deep holes in the ground using an auger drill bit. Space holes at least 4-6 inches apart.
- Toss fertilizer in the holes, then plant the tulip bulbs pointy side up.
- Cover the holes with soil, firmly pat down the dirt & give the area a good soaking water.
- Plant bulbs in clusters for a more natural look or in mass for the wow factor.
- Protect newly planted bulbs from critters by spreading chili flakes over the area or laying chicken wire on top of the soil. Make sure to check the area for a few days after planting to make sure said critters haven’t dug up the bulbs.
- Take pictures of where you planted them so you’ll know where to look for them in the spring when they break dormancy.
I bought tulip bulbs a little bit late this year. I usually buy them earlier in the season & wait until the weather cools down in order to plant them. I also decided to bite the bullet & purchase tulip bulbs online for the first time. Needless to say, I didn’t have a lot of choices since most tulips go out of stock in a flash online. But, while browsing rareseeds.com a couple of weeks ago, I came across the most perfectly named flowers ever, Labrador tulips. I didn’t even know that these existed! I grew up with a black lab named Lou who was my entire heart & soul. As a result, I LOVE all things labrador retriever. I love anything that reminds me of Lou, really, so there was no way I could pass up these tulips. I have never been so excited to over a plant name before & I can’t wait to see them bloom in the spring!
The Labrador tulips were planted in a section of my garden that is mostly devoted to dark-colored plants which I have nicknamed my Morticia Addams garden (check out my dark garden tutorial). Clearly, I love dark flowers & dark foliage. They make such a striking statement in the garden & in a vase. I already have two different dark tulip varieties in the same area, Black Parrot & Queen of the Night, so the Labrador tulips will fit in just fine. My long-term goal is to plant the entire area with dark tulips, but my budget says that I have to plant a few each year instead of going big all at once. Sadly, my Black Parrot & Queen of the Night tulips haven’t bloomed the way they used to, which can be typical for tulips. Both varieties bloomed great their first year, but each subsequent year they have bloomed less & less. Tulips are perennials in my area, but it can be hard to find varieties that bloom well year after year. Hopefully, the labs will be a more dependable tulip variety & I can one day plant up the whole flower bed with them!
I have had a lot better luck with daffodils, hyacinths, allium & crocus bulbs naturalizing in my garden, which means they multiply themselves & come back stronger year after year. Definitely look into these flower bulbs if you are looking for a more consistent spring flower show. My daffodils have come back particularly strong every year, so I highly recommend them. It can definitely be frustrating to put the effort into planting tulips only to have them put on a good flower show for one year. Which is why I recommend planting a variety of flower bulbs to ensure good returns. This is also why planting a few tulips at a time & testing out how that particular variety fares in your garden is a good idea before spending the time & money on mass planting.
I’m telling you, an auger will straight-up change your fall gardening life. Go buy one if you don’t have one already. Planting flower bulbs becomes so much less of a chore when you can just drill holes in the ground instead of digging them. Especially if you don’t have the most workable soil. Our area’s soil has a lot of clay & it feels like I can’t dig anywhere without running into roots. An auger cuts my tulip planting time in half, plus it’s fun! Drilling holes is fun, digging holes isn’t, at least for me. Make your gardening life easier, plant tulips with an auger! Happy gardening, everyone!