Each year, I receive several gifts of potted tulips and I wait til the foliage is dead, then cut off the stalks and store the bulbs in the garage until fall when I plant them in the garden. The problem is that I seem to have planted them singly in straight lines and they don’t look as good as they should. I would like to dig them up and replant them in small groups. Is this possible? And when is the best time to do it?
Certainly, you can re-organize the layout of your tulip bed! You are correct in thinking that small groups of 5 to 7 tulips are more attractive than long rows of single plants. Just as you now wait for the leaves to die off and cooler weather when you are planting your gift bulbs, so you should hand the transplanting task. Wait until the leaves die down; put in small stakes or some other marker so you know where the bulbs are and then dig them up in the fall and replant them in groups as you desire. There is no need to dig them up and keep them in the garage if you simply mark their locations so you can easily find them in the fall. Coloured golf tees are ideal markers for this task!