Question: My tulips flowered fairly well, but their blooms were all very short, hardly out of the soil. Did I need some type of fertilizer to make them grow better?

Answer: No. Your bulbs didn’t get enough “chilling.” That’s a process that fools the bulb into acting as if it had been exposed to a more northern winter, where they’re much better acclimated. Tulips must have at least 45 days at 45 degrees in the vegetable bin of your refrigerator before you plant them into cool (50-degree) soils. For most of Texas that means you’d buy them in late September or October, chill them until mid- or late December, then plant them on a cool day. Doing all that, you should have great and normal tulip flowers in March.

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