blooming tulips

Why do tulips grow so well in Holland?

Tulips grow best in maritime areas. This means, preferably not further away than 50-75 kilometers (30 – 50 miles) from the coast. In the Netherlands the area most like this is near the coast of the North Sea. The best types of soil are the sandy-clay grounds in the provinces of South and North Holland, Flevoland and the Noordoostpolder. In particular, the maritime climate and the vicinity of water are optimum conditions for growing tulips.

Holland’s location on the 52nd degree of latitude and near sea level plays a significant role. Due to the combination of the maritime climate and the location, there are relatively mild winters and summers that are not too hot. Winter temperatures (from December until April) average between 2 and 4 degrees Celsius (35-40 degrees Fahrenheit). To fully convert the starch in the bulbs into sugars for energy, the tulips need a temperature of not more than 9 degrees Celsius (48 degrees Fahrenheit) for at least 3 months.

The annual average temperature in the Netherlands is 9.8 Celsius (48 F), the ideal temperature to grow tulips. In spring, the average rain precipitation is 60/80mm (2.5″ – 3.5″) per month. In dryer periods, there is plenty of water stored in the small canals and ditches to be able to irrigate and sprinkle the plants.

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