Springtime in Raiderland

By Julie Gomez

Trees are in full bloom, Red Raiders line the sidewalks soaking up the sun, and the colorful tulips are making an early appearance.

Sarah Self-Walbrick/The Hub@TTU

Sarah Self-Walbrick/The Hub@TTU

Though not native to the region, bright yellow and red tulip blooms can be seen across campus, welcoming in the new season. The tulips typically do not bloom until after spring break, but came up early this year, according to Don Roulain, senior superintendent of Tech’s Grounds Maintenance.

“Mother nature seemed to throw us a curve this year,” Roulain said. “Normally we don’t see them coming up until later in March, first part of April. But this time, with the ground being warmer, we see them start coming up mid-February.”

The tulips have been a Texas Tech tradition for many years.  The planting process usually takes place right after homecoming.

Planting the red bulbs is not an easy task. In groups of two or three, the crew members will prep the flower beds, drilling holes in the ground. Another group of six workers comes in behind the first group, dropping the bulbs into the holes, then covering the bulbs with soil. The flowers will stay dormant until the temperature warms the ground.

Sarah Self-Walbrick/The Hub@TTU

Sarah Self-Walbrick/The Hub@TTU

The tulips are pretty tough, and just like our Red Raiders, can withstand Lubbock’s crazy weather. Through the rain, snow and wind, after the tulips fully bloom, they can last up to six weeks.

“For West Texas weather I would say they are fairly durable,” Roulain said.

David Lira, superintendent of Grounds Maintenance, said his crew and department take pride in their work on campus and want others to do the same.

With the help of 50–60 crew members and 60,000 red bulbs, Texas Tech looks picturesque.

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