How I Use Ceramic Floor Tiles As A Timesaver When Planting Tulip Bulbs

Time With Thea
by Time With Thea
We retiled several floors in our house several years ago and ended up with several leftover boxes. I didn't want to get rid of them thinking that they might come in handy one day. I am glad I did because who knew that some extra ceramic floor tiles stored under the stairs in the garage could be the perfect solution to planting a large quantity of tulip bulbs?
I like to plant about 100 new tulip bulbs every year. It is quite remarkable how you can plant these bulbs every year with a bit of care and 8 - 10 months later you have gorgeous tulip flowers growing in the garden. They are really quite low maintenance flowers to look after once the bulbs have been planted. But they can be a lot of work and take a lot of time planting especially when you are planting a large quantity of bulbs.
But using ceramic floor tiles made the job a lot easier and they ended up being an excellent timesaver! This how I used them!
The ceramic floor tiles helped with my planning and deciding where to plant the tulips. I placed ten tiles throughout the garden. When I started digging I knew exactly where the tulip bulbs were going to be planted.
I plant my tulip bulbs in clusters rather than in a large mass. Before I started digging I placed nine tulips on each tile to make sure there was enough space for the tulip bulbs.
The ceramic tile was also handy to pre-plan what pattern was going to be used when planting the tulip bulbs. This is one of the few designs I used.

The 13" x 13" ceramic tiles were also excellent quick measurement tools. Each tile was about the size of the hole I needed to dig for each cluster. As I was digging the hole I would place the tile over to see if the hole was big enough. This was a quick visual that helped me dig accurate size holes for the number of bulbs.
Once the bulbs were planted and covered with soil and mulch I placed the ceramic tile on top of the newly planted area. But this time I turned the tile over so I new right away that this cluster was completed. Once the entire tulip planting job was done I gathered all of the tiles and returned them to their box and placed them under the stairs where I will bring them out again next fall to help me plant another batch of tulip bulbs.

Since sharing this post there have been a lot of questions and comments about squirrels enjoying the bulbs after they have been planted. Where I live I have deer and rabbits that like to eat the plants later in spring but I do not have a lot of squirrels hanging around. One Hometalker in the comment section thought maybe these tiles could be left over top of the newly planted bulbs until the ground freezes and/or the snow comes and stays. I personally have not tried this but it does make sense. Another issue for some are the voles and moles that dig underground and enjoy the bulbs. Sticking an empty glass soda or wine bottle halfway into the ground with the open end sticking out may help. The wind blowing over top of the bottle creates an irritating sound for the rodents so they stay away. I also purchased two ultrasonic repellents specifically designed for keeping rodents like squirrels, voles and moles out of the garden. I bought them because I have a mouse problem and want to keep them out of the compost. I bought them at Costco and they are not too expensive. I did not see any mice all summer so they seem to work. Apparently they keep raccoons away too. Hope these newly added tips help!

This is a photograph I took of my garden in the fall. You can see it is filled with different kinds of perennials. When spring comes next year a lot of these perennials will not be visible but the clusters of deep pink tulips will be splashed throughout! It does look very pretty!

On the blog I share several more timesaving tips that I use to plant tulip bulbs. I invite you to stop by!
Time With Thea
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
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  • Brian Brian on Oct 30, 2020

    I didn’t know tulips needed dug up. I have 6 tulips that are along a fence on the property that I bought and they come up every single year. Why is everyone talking about digging them up and storing the bulbs? Any info is appreciated. I do not have a green thumb but I do enjoy gardening.

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