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Dug Japanese garlic and Sky High Scarlet tulips today

OldDutch
5 months ago

I wish I could brag about the garlic. No such luck, but the tulips are very nice. Starting with 10 bulbs two years ago, I ended up digging something like 80 blooming size bulbs this evening and some of them were huge. I dig 2X or 3X tulip bulbs for every one I plant, and they cure beautifully. I use the tulips between the garlic varieties and dig them every year generally a bit earlier than the garlics, but this year some of the early garlics were very early and not very big either. This does not seem to be the year in Minnesota for turbans or Asiatic garlics not in my yard anyway.


The picture isn't very good but you can see how big many of the bulbs are compared to the 2x6 boards they are laying on. Sky High Scarlet grows 36" tall and stands up very well with almost zero lodging. It is also truly a single late bloomer, too. It surely likes how I prepare the garlic beds...

Comments (4)

  • Northern Gardener (3b west central MN)
    4 months ago

    Fabulous size!

    OldDutch, this is really interesting. I was taught to feed and foster the foliage as long as possible so it would build up the bulbs, but you choose not to do this?

    Also, most people find that bulbs decrease in vigor over the years, depending on type. (Are these Darwins?) I'm just wondering how you do it! :) What's your routine over the year?

  • OldDutch
    Original Author
    4 months ago

    Tulip bulb size definitely varies by variety, also feeding foliage should continue as long as possible, but I do not leave my tulips in the ground from year to year. Each year they go into the beds I have prepared and fertilized for my garlics; so it is like the first year every year. These are a very tall single late variety, Sky High Scarlet, that blooms up to 36" tall and some times even more. The bulbs are naturally larger than say the Apeldoorns that I use to grow.

    I dig them every year and move them around along with my garlic beds. I dig them as the foliage starts to show a little yellow. I want the foliage still attached so I can find the bulbs. It will continue to feed as it dries in the racks. Tulips still cure beautifully and so easy. Just keep them dry and relatively warm. The longer you leave them in the ground the bigger the bulbs and the richer the bed the more the increase. They will cure properly even if dug maybe just a week or so after the flowers drop.

  • katob Z6ish, NE Pa
    4 months ago

    They look great, that will be quite the show again next year. Do you keep most of them for replanting? I would think they're starting to take over by now!

    Mine have been out of the ground for several weeks already. I must be a zone or two warmer than you.

  • OldDutch
    Original Author
    4 months ago

    A lot depends on the variety. I had a few overlooked Apeldoorns that were dug earlier. Single earlies would have been dug long ago. But the Sky High Scarlet are a very late bloomer and so get dug later.

    I sort them to blooming size and smaller and plant back the blooming size bulbs. they multiply in the enriched garlic beds essentially in deep nests like potato onions do at the surface, but seldom more than three bulbs in a nest if they are decent sized. even then usually 2. If I have the room I plant out the smaller bulbs in a nursery row to grow on. In about three years they multiply past what I need; at that point I get real fussy about what I plant back, IOW only the biggest bulbs that produced the best flowers.. That will be the case next year, if no disaster intervenes.