A query for Dan Gill: I am searching for the easiest way to plant tulips in a sunny window field. The issue is that our three window containers are 24 inches lengthy however solely 5.5 inches deep. After a layer of drainage pebbles and a layer of soil, I’m afraid I’ll solely have about four inches of soil to cowl the tulips, and I’ve learn they need to be planted 5 inches deep. Do you’ve got any ideas aside from shopping for deeper pots? — Jeremy Delany
Reply: Now could be the time for everybody to plant tulip bulbs which have been refrigerated for the final 6 to eight weeks. Tulip bulbs could also be planted within the floor or in containers. The foundations for planting, although, are totally different within the two conditions.
When planting within the floor, tulips bulbs are planted in holes about 5 inches deep spaced three to five inches aside. Nonetheless, you are planting in containers. Your window containers are lengthy, slender containers that match on or are mounted below your windowsill.
When planting tulips in containers, we plant the bulbs very shallowly and nearer collectively. The bulbs are planted with the guidelines simply exhibiting on the soil floor. The spacing is about 1 inch aside. So, depth of planting within the window containers will not be the problem you thought it was.
Additionally I would wish to clear up a little bit of misinformation about including a layer of drainage materials in containers. These layers of gravel, pot shards, and so on., don’t enhance drainage in any manner. Certainly, water will truly perch on high of the gravel. Water is attracted extra powerfully by the finer texture of the potting soil than the coarser texture of the gravel, and doesn’t move evenly from the soil into the gravel. A few of it would are likely to “sit” within the decrease potting soil simply above the gravel. This truly tends to intervene with the move of water via the potting combine and out of the drainage holes.
So, as an alternative of bettering drainage, a layer of gravel works towards that very factor. It is higher for the potting combine to fill the container to the underside. That manner, the water flows easily and evenly via the potting combine (which is particularly blended to be quick draining) and out of the drainage holes. This is applicable to all conditions when vegetation are grown in containers. So, simply fill the window containers with potting combine.
Dan Gill is a horticulturist with the LSU AgCenter. E mail inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org or add them to the remark part under. Observe his tales at www.nola.com/homegarden, on Fb and @nolahomegardenon Instagram.