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Tulips are spring flowers and their arrival signals the coming of a new season! For the tulips, this new season has already been underway for quite some time.
At Vanco Farms we plant our tulip bulbs outside in our tulip fields in the fall for them to root before winter sets in. They are planted in netting with state-of-the-art equipment and machinery.
When the warmer weather comes, our tulips pop out of the ground. This has become quite the attraction for people to visit our blooming tulips fields. The blooming season varies from year to year, depending on winter/spring conditions – and Mother Nature! There is an approximate 3-week window when the fields are in bloom, and this can happen anytime between early May and mid-June, depending on climate conditions and other growing factors.
The petals are soon removed from the tulip plants so all of the plant’s energy can go into the tulip bulb, which is growing and multiplying under the soil surface.
The tulip plant continues to grow for about 6 weeks after the flower is removed and then the tulip bulb is removed from the soil.
Often when a small tulip bulb is planted, it will grow into a larger tulip bulb with some additional small bulbs off to the side of it. The harvested bulbs are then dried and separated into different sizes. The smaller bulbs are saved to plant in the tulip field again for the upcoming fall. The larger bulbs are then used in the greenhouse for a process called tulip forcing.
The larger tulip bulbs that are separated from the smaller in the field tulip process are planted into small trays with dirt in the early fall. The tulip bulbs are then put into large coolers where the temperature is cooled down to wintry temperatures and the tulips are tricked into thinking it is winter already in the fall. The tulips are held in these wintry coolers until they are brought out into the greenhouse and tricked into thinking it is spring.
This process called forcing effectively shortens the summer, fall and winter months the tulip bulb needs to bloom and gives us tulips in months that tulips do not naturally grow outdoors. We hope that this jump-start on spring brightens and shortens your winter as well.