Pest-Proof Bulbs

Are this week’s chilly temps making you feel like you need to get those bulbs in stat?  Here’s a quick how-to:

  • In general, plant bulbs three times as deep as the width of the bulb.  So, a 2″ wide tulip would go 6″ deep.  Pointy part goes up.
  • For more “wow” and less work, dig flat-bottomed holes large enough to accommodate a dozen bulbs.  Lay bulbs in the bottom and backfill with soil.  You can even layer multiple varieties in the same hole (“bulb lasagna”) — large daffodils or alliums (9″), then tulips and hyacinths (6″), topped with squill or crocus (2″-3″).
  • If you don’t want to worry about cutting back the spent foliage in spring, plant early-flowering bulbs where they will be covered by the emerging leaves of summer or fall flowering perennials, or tuck them in amid groundcovers for a surprise burst of color.  You can also naturalize drifts of scilla or scatterings of daffodils into a lawn area and mow when the foliage begins to yellow.
  • To deter rodents from munching the bulbs, mix “chicken grit” (available at Agway, etc.) with the backfill, including the soil under the bulbs.

For those in the ‘burbs, here are some deer-deterrent bulbs – Latin(Common):
* squirrel resistant, too!

Allium (Ornamental Onion)*
Corydalis solida
Eranthus (Winter Aconite)
Erythronium
Fritillaria*
Galianthus (Snowdrops)
Muscarii (Grape Hyacinth)
Narcissus (Daffodil)*
Scilla (Squill)