At the beginning of each year, our garden team is already hard at work preparing for the first planting of the year in January at the Silos—tulips and daffodils. Our team begins months in advance to ensure the flowers are blooming by spring, so we sat down with them to hear more about their process and strategy.
THE TEAM’S PLANTING PROCESS
This year, the team planted 5 varieties of tulips and 1 variety of daffodil on the Silos grounds. The bulbs arrive cooled in Texas, which tricks the bulbs into thinking they’re in a colder climate and allows for their bloom cycle to begin. Our garden team phased the planting process over the course of a week in efforts to get the bulbs into the ground as soon as possible. In total, over 26,000 bulbs were ordered this year, so the garden team was busy planting!
THREE PLANTING STRATEGIES
Before they begin, the team amends the soil, adding compost and bulb tone into the beds to promote better blooming. They then use one of three planting methods to bury the bulbs:
Bouquet: A large hole is dug in the soil, and 15-30 bulbs are placed inside, making sure they aren’t all on top of one other. Using this method results in the tulips coming up together like a bouquet.
Packed: The goal here is to create an "even spread" of blooms by packing the garden bed or planter. The bulbs are packed and spread evenly and then covered with 3-6 inches of soil.
Sprinkling: The objective for the sprinkling method is for the bulbs to be planted among existing plants in whatever space is available. A skinny shovel is used to move the dirt, and a single bulb is placed into that hole, then covered with dirt.
From there, the timeline and even whether or not the bulbs will sprout is up to the weather. There’s so much anticipation involved as they wait for the flowers to grow.
With natural variations in the weather, sometimes the tulip bulbs took longer than the daffodils to bloom, but when they finally do, we’re excited to see the added color they bring to the Silos grounds.
After the tulips and daffodils bloom, the team uses both hand watering and irrigation systems to keep them happy. The flowers usually last until around Easter before they wilt. Next January, this planting process will start all over again!
Our garden team does such a great job showcasing the beauty of the season in every corner of the Silos grounds. We’re thankful for their hard work in making our gardens spring-ready for visitors that come from near and far. We hope you get the chance to see these blooms in person this Spring!