A Year In The Life
Of A Valley Tulip
Late September/early October- Our bulbs are planted using 4 different tractors. We use some of the most updated machinery in this process allowing us to plant 1.8 meter wide rows meaning we are able to plant more bulbs/acre than other growers.
Oct/November: The bulbs develop a strong root system in the moist cool soil to carry them through the cool winter temperatures. For this reason, bulbs need at least 2-3 weeks in the ground after planting before the ground freezes.
December/January- needed dormancy where the bulb rests and growth is triggered as the ground warms.
February/March: The plant emerges from the soil and grows over the next 6-7 weeks.
Blooming time: Occurs sometime in April. Timing varies year to year depending on the weather. We have had blooms in our fields as early as mid March and finishing as late as the first week in May. On average our tulips bloom for around 2-3 weeks
Goodbye blooms: The blooms are removed so that energy in the plant goes into growing a large bulb rather than into the seed. It takes up to 7 years for a seed to develop into a bulb large enough to produce a flower. If treated properly a bulb will produce a flower year after year.
April-May: For around 6 weeks the energy from the plant goes into growing a large bulb. During this time the fields are fertilized and watered as needed.
Late May/Early June: The bulbs are dug up from the ground and stored in large wooden bins.
Late June to Early August: The bulbs are carefully dried, sorted and stored in a temperature controlled environment.
Sept: The large bulbs are saved for use in our greenhouse cut tulip operation and the rest of the bulbs are replanted in the fields and the cycle begins again.
The tulip bulbs in these fields are owned, planted and processed by: