Plant Your Garden

WHERE to Plant: Choosing a Garden Site
Guide | What | When | Where | How

Garden Site Rules
All test garden sites must be selected according to specific rules (protocol). Your tulips are intended to indicate the arrival of spring in your community. Every effort should be made to plant them in an area that best represents the general climate of your region. Look for a site with these conditions:

  • Exposure: Tulip bulbs can be planted in full sun or partial shade, but should not be planted in heavily-shaded areas. For consistency, tulip bulbs must NOT be planted near the foundation of a building, or on steeply-sloped ground. These garden sites could affect your data by causing premature or delayed growth.
  • Drainage: Bulbs must be planted in a site with good drainage. As a rule of thumb, avoid planting bulbs where water puddles after a rain. A well-drained loam soil is best. If the soil is heavy clay, add organic matter such as compost or peat moss to loosen it.
Garden Protocol Checklist pdfPDF Version
Use this checklist for each site you consider. Rank each variable from 0 (doesn't meet criteria) to 3 (meets criteria). The site with the highest score is best.

Possible Planting Sites


Good exposure to sun.


Not in full shade.


Slope does NOT face south.


Air temperature matches average for our town.


At least 15 feet away from foundation of building.


Away from sunny pavement.


Not in an enclosed courtyard.


Workable; Can dig down 8" with a shovel


Well Drained; Water does not form a puddle after a rain


Safe from foot traffic & other interference.




Safe from predators.


Safe from salt or other chemical run-off.