• Alison Murray

Thing to do in the garden during lockdown day 53: check tulip bulbs for babies

It is time to bid farewell to the tulips, but always worth checking the bulbs as they are a fairly reliable indication of whether they are likely to flower next year.

If the bulbs are still single and the same size as when you put them in they are likely to flower for at least another year. However, if they are smaller and have split into babies like the one in the picture, then they are unlikely to bloom again. Theoretically if you leave the small bulbs in the ground and the conditions are right eventually they will eventually have enough strength to bloom, but it is not worth the wait - we are talking years. Choosing next years tulips in the autumn and supporting the growers is definitely a more pleasing option. Tulip bulbs shopping beats shoe shopping any day.

Obtaining another years flowers depends on conditions not just cultivar. Viridiflora tulips are good perennials, but my 'Spring Green' bulbs never seem to survive more than a year in containers, where as the deeply planted Havran in the ground keep on going.

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