Our bulb sizes & quality

Have you ever bought “cheap” bulbs only to regret it because you got disappointing blooms? The secret behind good quality bulbs is the bulb size. It takes years to groom a tulip bulb for that perfect flowering, and the same goes for most other bulbs too.

Don't be taken in by substandard bulbs

There are other factors that also come into play. Storage temperatures and the way in which bulbs are stored is important. They also have to be virus-free. Although growing bulbs in the garden is incredibly easy, preparing them for your garden takes time and skill.


      A tulip bulb should be no smaller than 12cm in circumference. That indicates a “top-size” tulip bulb. Of course, they don’t keep getting bigger indefinitely. After they reach top size, tulips are inclined to start multiplying, splitting up into smaller bulbs that may not flower at all, or will produce smaller blooms.

      A similar principle applies to narcissi. Bigger bulbs will give you multiple flower stems while smaller bulbs will give you just one. Bigger really is better!

      Because Farmer Gracy represents a Dutch bulb-growing family with a proud heritage that goes back for generations, we’re not about to spoil our reputation with undersized bulbs. Bulbs are carefully graded, and those that are still too small will be held back from the market, giving them another year to reach the ideal size.

        Disease free

          Although fungal bulb rot is easy to spot, there are more insidious diseases that can attack plants, preventing them from doing their best in your garden. Some growers will offload virus-infected bulbs on the market in unbranded packaging. The results may be disappointing. Simply put, a sick plant won’t perform as well as a healthy one, just as you aren’t at your best when you’re ill.

            Storage temperatures

              Bulbs are lifted during dormancy, and the way they’re treated while “resting” can be just as important as the way they are cultivated during active growth. Scientific studies have determined the exact temperature regimes that must be used prior to planting in order to get the best blooms. You wouldn’t be able to tell if these have been adhered to just by looking at the bulb. But you can have confidence in the Dutch-grown bulbs Farmer Gracy has made available to the UK market.

              Same species, same variety, worlds apart in performance

              If you’ve noticed that your bulbs don’t seem to give their all in springtime when you compare them to bulbs other people have planted, it may not be your fault at all. As a gardener, you might think that you did something wrong, but your real problem may be the quality of the bulbs you bought.

              The differences in performance between high-quality bulbs and “cheap”, substandard bulbs are worlds apart. You can’t grow wonderful plants when you begin with substandard materials, whether you’re growing plants from seeds, cuttings or bulbs.

              We get you off to the best start

              Sometimes, nature throws surprises at us, so guaranteeing success is impossible, but provided your bulbs have well-drained soil and sufficient moisture, that should be all you need to get prize blooms when you choose bulbs from Farmer Gracy.