Tulip Picking 101
How to pick a tulip at the festival:
- No need to bring scissors but do BYOB (bring your own bucket) with some water for the ride home. We provide buckets for picking.
- Simply grasp the stem as close to the ground as possible and pull straight up.This ensures a long stem. If you pull further up, the stem could snap leaving you with a short tulip or worse just the flower.
- Don't worry if the bulb comes out of the ground with it. You can snap it off at our "Self Serve" wrapping station and leave it in a bucket for us to use as our planting stock.
- We know that despite our request folks will still try to take the bulbs home. They are coming out of the ground too soon to produce a flower next year. It can take several years to get a flower. Please, whatever you do, do not put the flower back in the ground because the bulb did not come up with it and you want the bulb- yes this happens and they will die which creates a financial loss for us.
- Don't leave your flowers in the sun for too long especially mid-day because they will wilt. Luckily they just need some water to perk up. Keep them in a bucket of water for the drive home to ensure freshness.
How to wrap your tulips at the "Self Serve" Wrapping Station: Once you've finished picking bring your flowers to our "Self-Serve Wrapping Station". Tables are all set up with everything you need - paper, tape and pens. Snap off any bulbs that may have come up and place them in the provided bucket. Wrap your tulips in paper being sure to count how many you have, secure with tape and write how many stems you have on the paper. If you need help one of our volunteers can assist you. We suggest leaving the leaves on till you get home as it give them a little extra protection and cushion for the car ride home. Stack your bucket at the end of the table or return it to where you got them.
What if I picked too many or my child picked a bunch of flower heads with no stems? We put a lot of hard work, effort and money into this event and wasted or discarded tulips hurt our business. Only pick what you are willing to pay for and if your child picks a bunch of flower heads we ask that you pay for them (honor system). Our unique field grown tulips would retail for $2-3 a stem and we want to continue to be able to provide them to you for only a $1.00
Picked the wrong tulip? Please do not try to put them back in the hole you picked it from, tulips will die if they are stuck back in the hole without bulbs & roots... Also please do not leave them on the ground or hidden amongst the other tulips; dead tulips left on the ground can cause disease and damage our flowers and bulbs. Thank you in advance for your help with this and keeping everything clean and tidy.
Can I re-use the bulb in my own garden? Unfortunately, the answer is no for two reasons. The first reason is that we are using them for our planting stock. The second reason is that if you are pulling the bulb out of the ground before it has had a chance for photosynthesis to grow a new baby bulb, then the new bulb won't be strong enough to survive or produce a flower. It can take us two to three years of replanting to get a big enough bulb to produce a flower. Bulbs need to stay in the ground after they have been cut or deadheaded until their leaves have died (June/July in New England).
How to keep your cut flowers blooming as long as possible: Pick early or later in the day when the sun isn't as hot. Put them in water right away and keep out of the hot sun. Don't leave them in a hot car. When you get them home, tulips will do best with indirect or no sunlight and the cooler it is the longer they last. Tulips drink a ton of water so check the water level daily and change it if it gets cloudy. Adding flower food will not prolong the blooming time of a tulip but a few ice-cubes added to the water will. They also continue to grow after they are cut and are one of the few flowers that do this. When you get them home from the farm keep the paper on if they are a little droopy, place them in water overnight, then take the paper off the next day.
Oops, my tulips ran out of water and are droopy, can they be saved? Yes, well as long is it wasn't for a couple days! Tulips are very hardy, get them fresh water right away and out of direct sunlight. They should perk up within a few hours and look as good as new by the next day.