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Tulips swamped

THIS is what my garden looks like after all the rain. I planted 100 daffodil bulbs and 50 tulips in this garden and most have sprouted, as you can see. Will they rot in these conditions?


FROM your photo it looks like they're growing quite healthily, so as long as the water drains away within an hour or so, the bulbs may well survive without major damage. But if it often floods like this, or takes days to drain, they could become diseased.

The tulips will probably be the first to show damage symptoms as they generally prefer more freedraining soil. Both daffodils and tulips are also likely to suffer damage if the soil gets badly waterlogged when the bulbs are dormant, so maybe you should consider improving the drainage in that part of the garden.

There are some relatively simple methods for improving drainage. For instance, you could dig shallow channels 10cm or so wide and deep to direct water away from your garden. And you could raise the level of your garden soil above the surrounding area by adding coarse sand and compost or granulated bark so the water drains away from your plants. You'd need to dig up the plants first then replant in the raised bed, but I'm sure they'd appreciate the move. Wait until after the bulbs have died down before moving them.

Weekend Gardener, Issue 177, 2005, Page 30

Reproduced with permission from the former Weekend Gardener magazine. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH.

Andrew Maloy Weekend Gardener

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Last updated: October 25, 2005