Dutch tulips fields are blooming again

After a very cold start of spring, finally all tulip fields in the Netherlands are in full bloom. The Ruigrok Flowerbulbs nursery grows 110 acres of tulips.

Cultivating tulip bulbs
Tulips propagate by small bulbs which grow off the larger “mother bulbs”. In October and November they plant the smaller bulbs and cover the fields with a layer of straw. In spring, they carefully check the tulip fields for viruses and infections. When they are in full bloom, the nursery staff take their heads off! This is to stimulate the growth of the tulip bulbs. They dig tulip bulbs in June-July. Growing a full size tulip bulb takes 1-2 years.

The story of Tulipmania
If you think of the Netherlands, tulips are the first things that come to mind. The Dutch climate is perfect for growing tulips, as they need a period of moderate cold. However, the tulip does not originate from the Netherlands. Its roots are in the mountains from Kazakhstan and through a long journey via Persia, China, Turkey and Belgium, the first tulips came to the Netherlands in 1593. These first tulips were planted at the Hortus Botanicus in Leiden, and they were cultivated by an exclusive group of botanists. Later on, tulip bulbs were stolen from the Hortus and soon the tulips spread all over the Netherlands. The start of the tulip trade.

At the peak of Tulipmania, in March 1637, some single tulip bulbs sold for more than 10 times the annual income of a skilled craftsman. It is generally considered the first recorded economic bubble. After a while the tulip trade recovered it self and this was the start of a prosperous trade and breeding of countless tulip cultivars. In 2016 the total Dutch tulip culture covers around 29.000 acres.

Source: Ruigrok Flowerbulbs

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