I have a lot of time to think about tulips between roughly the third week of April and the third week of May. It occurred to me to share some of these thoughts and tidbits about tulips as we're quickly into the middle of Tulip Season around here!
Tulips keep growing in the vase! It can be helpful to cut them over time, otherwise they can get a bit ... unruly!
The white on their stems is where they were under the soil. We harvest all of our tulips with the bulb on, and on most stems you'll see some part of the white.
Some of our stems are over three feet long! When they get to you, we've generally chopped them to a bit more of a reasonable size, so you might miss the lovely white bottoms of the stems!
French, double, lily, fringed, parrot - there are so many varieties of tulips (over 3,000!). Each year we grow 18-20 different varieties of all colors, shapes, and sizes. Some bloom early, some late.
We plant our tulips in early-October in a high tunnel. We rotate high tunnels, as tulips can be susceptible to 'Tulip Fire' - a plight we (thankfully/knock-on-wood) haven't experienced.
After we pull up the stems with the bulbs on, we take them down to the pond for a good rinse. They get dirty, and we like to at least clean off the majority of that soil.
We have a home-built cooler (on wheels, although it's never yet moved!) where we can store a couple thousand tulips for several weeks. We wrap them in newspaper and store them standing upright with their bulbs on. The cooler stays between 35-38F and can get a bit chaotic in the middle of the tulip season!