Today’s video shows you how we grow, harvest, and sell tulips on our small specialty crop farm.
Here are the steps we follow to guarantee that we get a hoophouse full of tulips every spring:
Step 1: Tulip bulbs are shipped to us in the fall.
Step 2: We store bulbs in our walk-in cooler for 6-8 weeks to “vernalize” them. This tricks the bulbs into thinking they’ve gone through winter already, and then they start growing sooner.
Step 3: We plant the tulip bulbs into our hoophouse in late fall/early winter.
Step 4: We water tulips on warm days throughout the winter and patiently wait for March.
Step 5: At the first sign of color on our tulip blooms, we pull them from the ground and store them on their sides, with the bulbs still attached, in our walk-in cooler until it’s time to sell them.
Since we grow our tulips for production, we need to guarantee that we get a bloom on every single one. So, we do something that might shock you–we compost the tulip bulbs every year and start over with new bulbs. This is not necessary for home gardeners who don’t necessarily have to have their tulips bloom every single year. For us though, our hoophouse space is our most expensive real estate on the farm, so we do everything we can to make sure it is as productive as possible.
To learn more about growing tulips at home, check out this article from The Old Farmer’s Almanac.
The Netherlands is a major supplier of tulip bulbs for the entire world. Keukenhof, a famous tulip garden, is currently closed for visitors, but they are offering virtual tours throughout the growing season. Check out one of their first tour videos below: