Have you seen all of the gorgeous tulips at the Oakbrook Center? Year after year they dig all of them up (usually after Mother’s Day) and offer them to the community so we can all enjoy them in our own yards! Get all the details below about when it’s happening and what to expect.
When to Get Free Tulips
This year, Oakbrook Center is doing the tulip giveaway differently. It will be one day: Monday, 21, 2018. All of the tulips will already be pulled and put in crates. You are welcome to come starting at 8:30 am on the 21st and take a crate or partial crate for your home garden. They will not be dumping tulips with the dump truck like they have in past years.
Where to Get Free Tulips
The crates of free tulip bulbs will be in the outer parking lot of Oakbrook Center between the first and second entrance to the mall off of Kingery (Route 83). In other words, if you are looking at the front door of Pinstripes it will be to the left and across the entrance street to the mall. I know that sounds confusing, but you’ll know what I’m talking about when you get there and I’m sure people will be congregating in the area that went last year. Oakbrook Center reserves the right to change the location; I will update this information if I hear otherwise.
Please know that for the most part you will not be able to tell what color the tulips are because the flowers usually fall off by the time they get to the parking lot.
It sounds like you will not be needing to bring a laundry basket or blanket since the bulbs will already be in crates, but if you would like a partial crate or if there are more bulbs than crates, you can bring bags or a blanket to carry them just in case.
All of you on the Kidlist Facebook Page, email list, and readers I have met out and about have been so incredibly nice, so I doubt I even have to say this, but please be courteous. Oakbrook Center is so generous to let us take the bulbs for free so let’s all be kind to each other in the process!
How to Store Tulip Bulbs
If you plant tulip bulbs right now the animals are much more likely to dig them up and eat them. The freshly dug dirt attracts animals and the roots won’t be established, making it really easy to take and eat. So we recommend that you wait until the fall to plant.
First, lay the tulips out to dry. Do not cut off the stem or leaves- letting the plant die back naturally allows the nutrients to go back into the bulb. You can lay them out in your garage, basement or tie and hang them. It’s best if you line them up without touching so the air can circulate around each one. Once the green part dies back and turns yellow, you can take it off and store the bulbs.
The best way to store them is in brown paper bags. Mix the bulbs with wood chips or wood shavings to absorb any moisture that could get into the bag. (If the moisture remains, the bulbs will rot and be worthless.) Place the paper bags in your basement or another dark, cool place until you are ready to plant before the ground freezes in the fall to be completely satisfied with your blooming tulips in the spring.
100 Oakbrook Center
Oak Brook, IL 60523