How to Plant Fall Bulbs and discovering DutchGrown bulbs

buckets of blooming tulips

How do you like these galvanized fishing buckets filled with violas and tulips? Aren’t they pretty?*


We’re all about spring-flowering bulbs this week. We have much to discuss today, gentle reader.

To wit:

  • One: the concept of beauty for beauty’s sake (why to plant bulbs in the fall)
  • Secondly: how and when to plant spring-flowering bulbs like daffodils and tulips (in the fall),
  • Third: a brief bulb-related ramble down memory’s lane, and
  • Finally: a fabulous giveaway that I’m running with the stellar bulb company from Holland: DutchGrown.

Just to keep the sleepy geezer with the white ponytail in the back awake, we’re going to cover these points in a backwards fashion. With me?

The last will be first . . .

Gosh, was I excited when Pieter Rotteveel of the bulb company DutchGrown sent me a note, asking me if I’d like to try out some of their spring-flowering bulbs. (Would I???!!) I did a little reading about the company and discovered that they are a multi-generational business that started growing and selling their Dutch-grown bulbs in 1882, and that they are experts in planting, growing, and selling fabulous bulbs from the Netherlands. They have earned a very good reputation!

My first thought: that company is almost as old as I am. Har!

Anecnotal: Bryan and I spent most of a summer in Holland when we were college students, and I was entranced by the place: canals, tulip fields, massive windmills, huge dogs in tiny apartments, Delft blue everywhere, lace at every window, exquisite gardens, Van Gogh paintings and picturesque villages: those are the pictures that I carry along in my memory. Oh, and bicycles–bicycles everywhere! The people we stayed with were kind and hospitable. I’ve always wanted to go back, but haven’t–so far, anyway.

*gasp* But now that Pieter and I are like this . . .  (two fingers twined around each other) obviously BFFs, this will undoubtedly change.

(Imagining a scene in the probably-not-too-distant-future:)

Pieter: (musing to himself, at home in Holland) I am so impressed by that *cough* . . . ah . . . interesting Farm Lady in Nebraska who allowed me to send her a boxful of bulbs. She sounded so weird and nice. I really want to meet her, but I have no interest in flying to Nebraska . . . hmm . . . what to do, what to do . . . Oooh, I know! . . . (dials the phone) . . .

Me: (a few days later, opening a envelope with an international stamp) Hello, what’s this–? Three airline tickets to Holland–cool! Guys —we’re going to Holland as soon as we can find somebody to feed the chickens for a few weeks. Yahooo! Pack your bags!

. . . *siiigh* . . .

*shaking myself awake* So this dishy owner of the fabulous four-generational DutchGrown company offered to send me a few bulbs for the privilege of my writing a blog post about my experience with them. The bulbs, that is. He also offered to do a giveaway with me on my blog, so I could share my experience with DutchGrown bulbs with you, gentle reader.

It was a no-brainer, of course. Sample bulbs and share them with my gentle readers? Naturally! I didn’t realize how blessed I was going to be, though.

Gosh. I was and am totally blown away by the beauty and size of these bulbs, friends! They did not ask me to say this (of course) but they are the nicest, biggest bulbs I think I’ve ever had the privilege of planting. (Granted: I usually shop the clearance aisle of certain big box stores, late in the season. But. Still.) I couldn’t wait to plant them, and even more is my impatience for springtime when they will be blooming! Can’t. Wait!

Of course, it goes without saying (ergo: I’ll say it) that the flowers that grow from the bulbs will probably be magnificent, as well.

Okay, here’s where you come in. Pieter generously offered to ship to three lucky winners*:

(*At this time they only ship to the U.S.)

Yes! Isn’t it fabulous?

Red and white amaryllis bulbs

Isn’t this Amaryllis stunning?? photo credit DutchGrown

Jumbo Amaryllis Picotee

photo credit DutchGrown

Please enter! It’s a super-simple process. Each of the following actions will get you one entry:

  1. Share this post with a friend or relation, in whatever way you like to share.
  2. Make a comment below: tell me how you shared, and what you will do if and when you win a prize from this giveaway! (Me? I’d do a couple of cartwheels, for instance, for starters.)
  3. Check out the DutchGrown website, for an additional entry!
  4. Super-secret Pro tip: I’ll be running the giveaway over on my IG farm page, so you can get a few more entries if you click over there!

The giveaway will end with my announcement of the winners on my Facebook page, on Wednesday evening, November 25th, with a random choosing of three lucky entrants. So–share, comment, check out the website, and check out my IG.

Update: GIVEAWAY has ended!

Second from last . . .

I have a picture in my mind of an old photograph, taken by my mother, of my Dad and me, planting tulip bulbs in the snow. I’ve got on my favorite plaid pants (it was the 70s), snow boots, and a coat with a plaid print, as well (I’ve always been an avid wearer of more than one print at a time: a fashion rebel). I’m clutching a bag of tulip bulbs in my mittened hands, and Dad is bent over, digging holes for me with a shovel. In the snow. There’s a foot of snow on the ground, at least, and snow is falling heavily, as well.

(First: what a Dad, huh? He’s the best and always has been. <3 And still is, as a matter of fact!)

As I remember the incident, I had purchased a bag of tulip bulbs (assorted colors) earlier in the fall, but then had a difficult time deciding where to plant them. Along the driveway in Mom’s impressive iris bed? Next to the house in the flower bed (that would eventually become our pig Flower’s yard)? In the back yard near the lilac bushes? I was a mess of indecision.

Meanwhile, Dad reminded me that tulip-planting season wasn’t going to last forever.

It was that snowstorm that spurred me to decide, quickly, where I wanted to plant the bulbs. I chose a spot near an ornate light post, in the southeast corner of our front yard. We would be able to see those tulips from the kitchen windows, the dining room windows, and the front porch. Per-fect.

Though the snow was coming down hard, the ground was not yet frozen, so Dad didn’t have to work too hard at digging holes for those bulbs. But hard enough. (Thank you, Dad.) And though we did plant those bulbs a tad late in the season, they came up the next spring and bloomed, right on time, and they bloomed every year until we moved away from Nelson, several years later.

I reckon they are still blooming, actually, if the front yard hasn’t been turned back into a parking lot (which is what it was when we moved there) and covered with gravel.

Oh, how I wish I could find that photo, but I don’t have a clue of where it might be: in the boxes of photos in my o’er-stuffed attic? In a photo album on the bookshelves at Mom and Dad’s place? I don’t know, and I just don’t have the time to search right now because . . .

It’s time to plant the fall bulbs, folks!

Extravaganza daffodil and tulip flower bulbs

photo credit: DutchGrown

A few quick tips for planting your fall flowering bulbs

For areas with cold winters (Zones 1-7): (If you have warm winters, you can check out recommendations on this zoning map.

Fall Bulbs should be planted as soon as the ground is cool, when evening temperatures average between  40° and 50° F. Ground temperatures reaching 40° to 50° F during fall is most common in cold climates (zones 1-7) around 6-8 weeks before the ground freezes.

Don’t let this stop you from buying those bulbs on clearance at your local nursery, though! As long as you can dig and your ground is workable, you can still plant.

Here’s a cool thing for those of you who’ve lost your special soil thermometer (raising hand): there are websites that report these things. I looked here and found that the ground temperature in our area is just about right to plant tulips. Bingo! (Gosh, there is no end to the helpful things one can find online, right?)

My method of planting spring flowering bulbs is very simple.

  1. I pick a good spot, one that will have at least 6 hours of sunlight in the spring.
  2. I clean the spot of weeds or grasses, and work it up with a potato fork, if necessary. I add compost and/or organic matter (think leaves or straw) to the soil.
  3. I dig holes approximately three times as deep as the bulb is tall, and make sure that I nestle the bulb into the hole, with the pointy end up!
  4. I like to plant bulbs in clusters, for visual impact, though you do you. It’s a free country.
  5. If your area is in the middle of a dry stretch (raising hand) you may want to water the planted area a bit, or you can strategically plant your bulbs before you know rain (or snow!) is in the forecast (also raising my hand).

Easy peasy, baby.

And the last will be first . . .

One final question from the skeptic in the front row: Why plant tulip and daffodil bulbs in the fall? You’ll have to wait for them to bloom for months. By the time they come up, you may even forget that you planted them. You may move. The world may, after all, come to an end. Who knows what the future holds? Isn’t this kind of chore of a waste of time? Who does that sort of thing? Who plants fruit trees that won’t bear for several years? Who puts in perennial flowers and crops that may not produce for years?

That’s an easy one. You do, gentle reader. You plant for future generations. I do, too. I believe that planting for the future is paramount*. Adding to the beauty and goodness of this world, ignoring the voices that say it’s a waste of time to insist on truth, on beauty, and on integrity . . . oh wait a minute, are we still talking about planting tulips? It’s important stuff, isn’t it?

Oh! Something new!

Charming Pieter from DutchGrown recently reached out to let me know that DutchGrown’s new website for the UK is live! So you folks across the pond can now shop for DutchGrown here.

You’re in for a treat!


This post got a little long in the tooth; I had a lot to cover! But, say, don’t forget to enter the giveaway below! Remember how easy it is:

Please enter! Each of the following actions will get you one entry:

  1. Share this post with a friend or relation, in whatever way you like to share.
  2. Make a comment below: tell me how you shared, and what you will do if and when you win a prize from this giveaway! (Me? I’d do a couple of cartwheels, for instance.)
  3. Check out the DutchGrown website, for an additional entry!
  4. Super-secret Pro tip: I’ll be running the giveaway over on my IG farm page, so you can get a few more entries if you click over there!

The giveaway will end with my announcement of the winners on my Facebook page, on Wednesday evening, November 25th. I’ll ask my pet monkey to draw the winners out of my big Pickle Jar of Entries (I mean, Malachi. Did I say pet monkey??)

So–share, comment, check out, and check out my IG. Go! Win yourself some beautiful fall bulbs.

(Author’s note: Giveaway has concluded!)

Thanks for popping in, gentle reader. I hope you and your dear ones are well. Take care. Good luck!

p.s. *Paramount

  1. more important than anything else; supreme.

28 thoughts on “How to Plant Fall Bulbs and discovering DutchGrown bulbs

  1. Lisa

    Hi! I shared the post via email (I don’t use most social media) with my daughter who lives about 5 hours away from me. If and/or when I win? I will probably squeal and my son will wonder what’s wrong with me! Then he’ll roll his eyes, unimpressed, while I plan where to plant the bulbs! I’ve never been able to do cartwheels, even as a child.
    Oh, I do have an Instagram, I need to check you there!

  2. Kristine

    Oh my goodness!! These flower pics are stunning!! I text-shared with my flower-loving daughter who lives in the next town over, so I’m sure she’s drooling now too! To the entry-drawing “monkey”: please, please, PLEASE pick me!!! I shall make this a matter of daily prayer, and when (haha!) I win, I will no doubt be as giddy as a plaid-panted 1970’s schoolgirl (which I definitely was!)!! I’m giddy right now, and I haven’t even won—yet!! My children and grands already know I’m bonkers about my plants, so my Happy Dance will simply be another confirmation that I have, indeed, completely lost it yet again!

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      Haha! Kristine, you and I are obviously kindred spirits! Thank you so much for your exuberant comment and your sharing my post!
      Good luck to you! *hugs*

  3. Marilyn Mudge

    While I no longer live in Wayne near your little sister, I do love DAFFODILS. They are so cheery in the spring and the deer do not eat them!!!! And I have visited the Netherlands in May, at the end of the tulip season – and even the end of the season was lovely. We biked for four days and I would love to do that again. And how would I celebrate? Quietly, with a cup of something warm to drink and a big smile on my face.

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      Marilyn, you biked for 4 days in the Netherlands: oooh, I’m envious! That sounds like a wonderful time! Good luck with the giveaway and thanks so much for entering!

  4. Dave

    Okay, a little late at reading this, but as you aren’t announcing until the 18th, I’m guessing I’ll still be entered. I’m less than happy with FB’s politics, so am sharing this blog on my MeWe page. I checked out the DutchGrown site. Although I don’t normally mail order bulbs, I may have to give them a shot. No Instagram, so this will have to do. 🙂

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      You and I are on the same page at our dismay of FB’s politics. I’m now over at Parler, but still have a lot going on in FB, too. You are not too late, as i’ll be announcing winners on the 25th! Thanks Dave!

  5. Carol

    I shared your post with my Mom because she is a bulb crazy lady. And if I were to win, I would give the bulbs to her. At 88 years old, gardening keeps her young and busy. The Dutch Grown website also offers so many possibilities for her garden that we may have just found her Christmas gift!!

    Your writings make me smile. So glad I checked out the Vomiting Chicken page!

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      Carol, well, I’m super excited that you found me at too! Thanks, Carol. My Mom is 85 and is an avid planter, too! I love it when I hear of older folks still gardening and planting!

  6. Rudy Crownhart

    I’ve shared this post via email to several good friends hoping they get as much enjoyment as I do. Love, love, love what you write!!! If I win, I’ll do the dance – the Happy Dance- whoop! Whoop! a bit, ask my kids who wants to get to help plant, and then decide where to plant. I started a cut flower farm this year and have so far planted 500 tulips -some in a hoop house and some straight into the flower garden. I have many deer who’d love to feast on my precious flowers so my plantings will definitely be within a fenced area.

  7. Marcy B.

    I shared on Facebook (and I intend to check out the IG post as well)
    If I win, I will NOT do a handstand-that would not end well at all! (and someone else would end up planting my bulbs because I would be in the hospital!) But I will let out a loud squeal of delight and startle my family.
    The bulbs on their website look amazing! I love purple and white tulips!

  8. becky love

    Hello Amy! And Happy Thanksgiving! I’m posting this to my co-workers, And if I win there will be NO handstands, but I do have a lovely old barn to put flowers in front of and take pictures! stay safe everybody!

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