This section is from the book "The Florist And Garden Miscellany". Also see: All New Square Foot Gardening: Grow More in Less Space!.
The bulbs will now be thoroughly ripe, and should be taken up forthwith: see directions last month. Let all the offsets remain attached to the parent bulb until they are well dried. The drawers should not be put in the cabinet immediately the bulbs are taken up; let them be placed in a cool, shady situation out of doors for some days; the bulbs will thus become gradually dry and firm, and will not be so liable to shrivel as when they are shut up in the cabinet too soon. Commence removing, making alterations, improvements, and additions now, while the circumstances are fresh on the memory, as well as noted down in the Tulip-book.
Wycombe. J. Hunt.
Every bulb should now be examined, the loose dry skin removed, and the offsets large enough to bloom next year be separated; but the small ones had better remain attached to the parent bulb. We again advise all those who contemplate making alterations in the arrangement, and additions to the quantity and quality of their Tulip-bed, whether by purchase or exchange, to do it at once. Let each bulb be placed in the boxes as it is intended to bloom next season, and then transcribe the name into the Tulip-book for 1850. One advantage arising from this method is, that in case of illness (to which we are all liable), the bulbs would be in order for planting at the right time; and in case of death, when thus re-arranged and copied into the new book, would be quite intelligible to surviving friends, and much difficulty, doubt, and confusion be avoided. When this is done, the practical operations of the Tulip-grower may be considered suspended until the time arrives for making preparations for planting; the only attention meanwhile required being an occasional looking over the boxes and drawers to see that all is right.
Wycombe. J. Hunt.
I cannot vary the instructions given last year to any advantage, and therefore repeat them. " Examine the bulbs, and, if not previously done, let them now be arranged for planting, making the alterations and improvements noted down in the Tulip-book during blooming-time: this we do immediately the bulbs are taken up, while the changes intended to be made are fresh on the mind; we also procure at once any new varieties we may wish for, and then re-arrange them. The bed should now be got ready for planting. If the soil has only been in use one year, and the bulbs did well in it, there is no advantage to be derived in changing it, for they will do well in the same soil (if it be good) for two or three successive years; all that is required is, to remove about three inches from the surface, laying it in a ridge by the sides of the bed; then fork over the mould left in the bed, laying that also in a high ridge for a week or ten days. If the soil require changing, it need not be all removed. We have this day (September loth) taken about ten inches off the top, then put about six inches of two-year old rotted turf and loam and road-grit, well mixed together (three fourths loam and one-fourth grit), on the soil left in the bed, forked it well over two or three times, turning some of that left with the mould just added, so as to mix it well, and laid it up in a high ridge; two or three days before planting, it will be raked down, laying it two inches higher in the middle than the sides.
In planting, place a small quantity of river-sand on the spot the bulb is to occupy, and put as much sand upon the bulb itself as will just cover it; then carefully put the mould on the bed, covering the bulbs four inches and a half deep in the centre, and three inches the outsides; protect the bed at once, by placing small-sized iron hoops over it, rising about six inches from the surface, and run some small string diagonally from each hoop. About the second or third week in October is the best time for planting in general, though, on account of the lateness of our situation, we never plant later than the first, if the weather will allow it to be done. The best plan is to begin planting whenever the bulbs push forth their green spear, and the fibres swell at the bottom of the root (some of the early blooming varieties are already doing so with us), for the longer they are kept out of the ground when this is the case the greater injury they will sustain. We have never used the nostrums some have recommended, but have strictly adhered to the simple practice described as above; and perhaps we may be allowed to say, the blooms we have frequently exhibited are the best evidences of the utility of our method of cultivation." J. Hunt.
1. Burroughes's Duchels of Sutherland.
2. Surrounders's Lorina.
Tulips should be planted forthwith; further delay will be dangerous. The fine dry weather in the middle of October will have enabled growers to get the soil into the beds, and in fine trim for planting. The dryer the soil, and the finer the day, the better will it be for the bulbs, which should have all the loose skin removed. About four inches of mould over the bulbs will be quite sufficient.
Wycombe. J. Hunt.
Upon the presumption that all Tulips are now planted, nothing more is required by way of direction till they begin to near the surface.
Wycombe. J. Hunt.