First, make sure that you plant other bedding plants before you put in your tulips. Tulip bulbs are fairly delicate and they can be injured if you slice them with a trowel. Instead, put in the other bedding plants first and then plant the bulbs. When you put in the bulbs, they should be planted at a depth that is about three times their height. This will ensure that they are producing good stalks that will break the ground. You should plant them immediately after you get them, but if you are having an unseasonably warm season and you are worried that they will sprout, you can put them in the refrigerator for upwards of two months.
When you are looking for a place to plant your tulip garden, look around for a spot with relatively sandy soil. Tulips and in fact most bulb plants do very well in soil that is well drained. The bulbs themselves should be planted in October or November. Look for a place that will get full or partial sun when you want to plant your tulip garden. Tulips do very well underneath trees because they will get all the sun that they need during the spring, and during the harsh summer months, they are going to be able to have protection in the shade.
If you want to make sure that your tulips will thrive, consider giving them plenty of room. Tulips that are overcrowded will start to compete with each other for scanty resources and nutrients in the soil, so consider digging up some of the older bulbs and pulling the smaller bulbs away from them.
You should allow the leaves of your tulip plant to die off naturally, but feel free to deadhead the flowers. This will give your yard a much more put together look, and if you are further worried about the deadened leaves, consider braiding them together for a more groomed appearance.
When you are looking at fertilizing your tulips, consider using bonemeal. If you are worried about bonemeal affecting dogs, consider looking into special bulb fertilizers that will nourish your plants. To prevent animals from digging up your bulbs, lay down a piece of chicken wire over the bulbs and remove it before the spring arrives.