Thursday, May 28, 2009

I'm Melting....melting..... aka "Tulip Bondage"

Ok, not really melting but DYING a slow and horribly ugly death.

Of course I am talking about all the foliage from your spring bulbs...tulips, daffodils, you name it! Your neighbors are pointing and laughing at your pathetic little brown patch of flowers when 3-4 weeks ago they were swooning over the color and beauty. I say "screw them" regardless for letting their little darlings tromp all over your newly planted grass but I digress....

Yank them out of the ground? No.
Cut them down to the ground? Not yet!
Plant other stuff around them so they will eventually be covered? Yes, but that comes with time!

Don't worry my nature challenged kiddos, this post is all about WHAT to do when faced with this dilemma!

There are actual reasons why you don't want to yank or cut the foliage down just yet. It's all scientific and crap so here is the short story: The withering foliage produces food for the bulb which helps produce more flowers next year. (Side Note: Tulips sometimes are a pain and don't necessarily appear after several years of blooming beautifully. Why? No idea. I haven't had this problem so I haven't looked it up yet. Will I? Don't hold your breath.)

Now if you have a huge yard you can probably disregard this advice because you can't see your flowerbeds beyond the moat, carriage house and orchards so who cares? But in my little yard several brown dying things stand out and that will not be tolerated. Bow to my will, Nature!

Alright enough work!

Tools you will need:
Gardening gloves
Rubber bands or string

Step One

Identify browned foliage. Duh.

Step Two

Approach said foliage is very sensitive about how it looks. Laugh at how ridiculous you look tiptoeing over to the tulips--HA! (Insert groan here.)

Step Three

Starting at the top fold the flower stem down a little at a time until you have a nice little bundle. They should be pretty pliable but if you encounter any that start to break you may want to stop bending at that point and just bundle it there. Incorporate any leaves into the bundle as well.

Step Four

Using either rubber bands or string, loosely tie them around bundle.

Step Five

Leave it alone. In a couple of weeks you will notice that the foliage (stem and leaves) will lose all of it's green/pink color and become even more brown and withered. At this point you can actually pull the foliage out of the ground without ANY resistence (if you get resistence--stop pulling!) or you can cut it to the ground and throw it away. Your bulbs should be ready for next spring!

Wicked Witch image courtesy of

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