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One of Mike's Tulip trench plantings in bloom.
Many gardeners meticulously plant bulbs in an exact pattern, making sure the proper colors are coordinated and each bulb is placed just right. We think this is a wonderful way of gardening and love seeing the results, but sometimes there just isn’t enough time or there are hundreds of bulbs involved. This is where trench planting comes in.
Trench planting is an easy way to plant clumps of bulbs together to create a big statement in the garden. Instead of using a bulb planter or spade to plant single bulbs, you dig a large hole in the garden, place the bulbs closely together in it, and bury them. Voila!
Stylistically, smaller bulbs like Tulips, Daffodils, and Hyacinths look better when planted in larger clumps instead of placed in single spots throughout the garden.
Lay out the bulbs close together, with the pointy sides up.
Bulbs thrive when planted under most trees, unless they are very acidic evergreens.
Cover the bulbs back up and give the area a good watering to remove any air pockets.
First, select your bulb varieties. Mike “The Seed Man” chose to do a trench planting in his front garden with hundreds of Tulip bulbs. You can easily do the same with Daffodils, Hyacinths, Crocus, and other spring-blooming bulbs.
After you have your bulbs, dig a large trench to the depth you need to plant the bulbs. A large shovel should suffice for this step, although if you’re doing smaller trench plantings you could use a spade as well.
Once you’ve dug the hole, drop the bulbs in and arrange them so the correct side is facing up. Typically, this is the pointy end of the bulb.
Water thoroughly to get rid of any air pockets.
Sit back and wait for a huge burst of color in the spring!
As mentioned before, Mike planted 500 mixed Tulips in five separate trenches throughout his yard and gardens. With a little help from his daughter Sadie, he managed to plant all of these bulbs in under two hours.
Elegant Lady Lily-Flowered Tulip exudes romance with pastel colors that blend effortlessly to create a soft glow. Creamy-yellow petals fade into blush pink edges and form a delicate ...
This gorgeous mix brings new colors to the perennial Tulips. Large flowers up to 6" in diameter when in full bloom and their long strong stems make for beautiful cut flowers....
Double Late Tulip Pink Star has full peony-like flowers in shades of magenta and pink with accents of apricot. Plant Pink Star in large groups for a head turning display that will p...
The Daydream Darwin tulip is one of the largest, strongest, and easiest tulips to grow. Watch its bright, 6” orange bloom open to reveal a contrasting, almost-black center. Sweetl...
Mike was extremely happy with the results of his fall trench planting. That spring almost every Tulip came up and bloomed, creating an awesome show of color in the front of his home. Neighbors walking by frequently stopped to comment on the gorgeous blooms. And because he planted a variety of Tulip mixtures, he had a nice diversity of shapes, colors, and sizes in his planting.
The Tulips made a big statement in the front of his home.
The hundreds of Tulips bulbs planted en masse also made it easy (and guilt-free) to cut dozens at a time to bring indoors for bouquets. And because Mike chose mostly Darwin Tulip varieties, which are perennials, they come back year after year.
If you’re looking for a quick way to add a huge statement of color to your spring garden, trench planting is the easiest, most efficient way. Have you tried trench planting in your garden? Please share your experiences in the comments below!
Sadie proud of her hard work!