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The very popular Red Riding Hood’s leaves are clearly defined with brown or crimson stripes.
The searing scarlet blooms, carmine on the inside and black at the base float above the lovely mottled rich green leaves on 10 to 12 inch stems. Thrives in full sun, ok in partial shade, with well-drained soil. These spring time favourites perform many duties in the garden, but their greatest contribution is to bring bright colour to winter weary eyes.
Planting Your Tulip Bulbs.
For stunning visual effect in beds and borders tulip bulbs are best planted quite close together, 100mm to 150mm apart. In beds and borders they look best when planted in small groups of about 10 to 12. They can look exceptionally spectacular when planted around the base of buildings or fence lines.
Pot grown tulips can be planted closer at 50mm – 75mm apart. When selecting varieties of tulips you should take note of their height when full grown as there are many variations. There are also several variations of single and double flowering types.
Once the number of tulip bulbs have been calculated and purchased it’s best to plant them as soon as possible. The period between mid-September and mid-November is ideal but avoid planting in frozen ground or when frost is imminent. Most bulbs, which are to be planted in the ground should be planted around 100mm deep ensuring the root end of the bulb is in contact with the soil and then covered with soil and firmly pressed. A hand trowel is the best tool for planting tulip bulbs. Tulip bulbs planted in pots will do best if planted close and at least 100mm deep. Soil rather than compost will offer the most support.
Tulips will perform best in sunny or partial shade positions and can be grown in virtually any type of soil, however they will grow best in neutral, well drained soils.
Heavy clay type soils will need some preparation work, which could include the addition of lime and well-rotted vegetable matter or leaf mould.
The bulbs contain their own food store, which will be sufficient to support the growing plant and flowers for the duration of their growing season. If you intend to leave the bulbs for future seasons then some bulb fertiliser would prove beneficial.
Remove flower heads (deadheading) and let the plant die back before removing. This allows the food supply in the plant to swell and feed the main bulblet that will produce next year's flower.
The dead tulip foliage and petals should be removed and not composted. Tulip plants can carry the disease 'tulip fire' as they die off in late spring.
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