Houzz Logo Print

Plant daffodils/tulips 12' deep to avoid frost heave?

Wayne Reibold
12 years ago

I live in the Pacific Northwest (suburb of Seattle/Tacoma), watch a weekly local gardening show on TV hosted by Ciscoe Morris, he recently had a story about problems with bulbs (he was specifically talking about tulips) in our area blooming for one year then disappointing results (few come up next year, of them many don't bloom but worse most don't come up), etc.

He said the answer to it is to plant the bulbs 12" (yes 12" deep). I think he said frost heave is a big problem here and this helps avoid it and he obviously stated well drained soil a must or else they'll rot.

I've had disappointing results with tulips where I do get them to bloom nice one year but then hardly the following year just like Ciscoe says but I haven't been planting them more than 4-6" deep (bottom of hole depth) and have had similar problems with daffodils over time whereby they stop coming up or those that do come up don't bloom.

Anyway I was considering trying what Ciscoe recommends and do it both for tulips and daffodils -- 12" hole with some bulb fertilizer/compost mixed with soil at bottom of hole then bulb then sand to try and keep soil light.

I'm curious if anyone has tried this and if they can elaborate on what frost heave does to bulbs (moves them towards soil surface then frost damages the bulbs?)?

Thanks in advance!

Comments (4)