After our early spring warm-up my tulips in the sunny front yard are about 4 inches out of the ground. Once you see growth in the spring it is time to fertilize. For this task you can use a specific bulb fertilizer or a balanced 10-10-10 fertilizer. Do not fertilize your bulbs once they begin flowering as it may contribute to rot and shorten the life of the blooms.
As soon as the first flower buds show up, start watering your bulbs if the soil is dry. Keep in mind your bulbs may be planted 6-8″ deep so be sure to water thoroughly rather than just a quick, shallow watering. Spring bulbs need about one each of water a week from the bud stage through bloom and early foliage stage too so water accordingly if we have little or no rain.
Finally leave those leafy greens be after the blooms have faded since they help the plant create and store food for next year’s flowers. Spent blossoms and stems can be removed, but leave those leaves until they die back after several weeks. Think SPRING!