Tulip gambles

Rodger Whitlock totototo@telus.net
Tue, 06 Nov 2012 11:36:12 PST
Walmart offered an interesting gamble this fall: big bags of mixed tulips for 
very little money. I indulged in two bags of mixed species and one each of lily-
flowered and fringed varieties, which I've potted up in the hopes of being able 
to place them out of reach of deer when they're in flower.

There's a chance that the descriptive terms "species", "lily-flowered", and 
"fringed" will be accurate, but it won't surprise me in the least if all the 
bulbs in each bag turn out to be the same - the varieties that the growers had 
too many of this year.

I'm also trying, and not for the first time, the beautiful blue-eyed white 
tulip, "Tulipa pulchella alba oculata-caerulea", in the hopes of figuring out 
how to keep the bulbs from dwindling away as they have in the past. 
Fortunately, it turns out that one of the gals at a local garden center 
evidently knows a thing or two about keeping it going so it will form flowering 
size bulbs even though potted. Her advice is to use a sandy, somewhat alkaline 
soil and to feed halfway through the flowering period, then again two weeks 

Stay tuned next year for reports on success or failure.

Rodger Whitlock
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Z. 7-8, cool Mediterranean climate

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