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Sunday, April 11, 2004

Easter tulips 

Today is Easter and my mother gave me some beautiful tulips. She knows how much I love to garden and wanted me to be able to enjoy them for several years to come. I, too, love tulips and would love to see them bloom repeatedly. The only problem is tulips are not easy to grow in Florida because of our temperatures, but I’m going to give it the old college try.

Tulips require a sustained cold period to flower properly in spring. Usually 50 to 60 days at 40 degrees will allow the bulbs to regenerate. That worked well when we lived up north, and we had a variety of tulips and lilies blooming all spring. The curse of living here, and I say that tongue-in-cheek, is that we don’t have 60 days straight of 40 degree weather. So, what’s a person to do?

Well, I’ve done some research and have learned that I can park them in my refrigerator until December, after the growth has died away of course, and then plant them 5 to 6 inches deep in full sun. Now, all my Florida garden books discourage me from doing this stating that it is less trouble to buy bulbs already chilled at seed stores. But this is a pretty interesting challenge and I’m willing to give it a try. Besides, these tulips are gorgeous and my mom gave them to me. What other reasons do I need?

Happy Gardening and enjoy your family today and everyday.

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Thanks to Andrew Stenning who contributed the photograph for our masthead

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