lesson for the novice

novice_2009(zone 6b)November 26, 2009

I planted daffodil and tulip bulbs. Squirrels or voles ate them all.

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stevexyz(Dallas, TX 8)

The Squrills or voles proababbly ate the tulips because the scent was comming up through the ground from being plantedtoo shallow. The daffodils proababbly rotted scence they are poisonous to animals. tha tomips may have also rotted and/or been eaten.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2009 at 11:22PM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

I planted daffodil and tulip bulbs. Squirrels or voles ate them all.
When did you plant them? How do you know they have all been eaten?

Taken from the link below:
Will squirrels and other rodents eat daffodil bulbs?
No. The bulbs and leaves contain poisonous crystals which only certain insects can eat with impunity. They may, however, dig up the bulbs.

Tulips bulbs,on the other hand can be eaten by critters.

Sue

Here is a link that might be useful: American Daffodil Society FAQ

    Bookmark   November 27, 2009 at 9:53AM
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ontnative(5b Can/USDA 4)

Around my area, crocus and tulips are liked by the local squirrels. Narcissus/daffodils, hyacinths and alliums are almost always left alone by animals. Bulbs need good drainage, especially when dormant, or they might rot and turn mushy. Daffs need to be planted early in the fall in the colder zones, so that they can form good roots before freeeze-up. If planted too late, they will rot and turn to mush over winter. Were your bulbs nice and firm when you planted them? Did you plant them at the proper depth, and at the proper time for your region? If you follow a few guidelines, the large imported dutch bulbs are nearly foolproof. If I were you, I would try planting some again, but maybe not this fall as it might be too late for your zone. They will give you so much happiness in the spring.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2009 at 12:45PM
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linnea56(z5 IL)

Knowing how late, is TOO late, for a particular zone would be helpful for many newcomers. (Even for some of us, who, uhh, have been known to push the envelope from time to time.) Anyone know if there is a chart?

novice_2009, when did you plant? You will probably have to wait until spring to see if your daffodils survived and did not rot.

I have had (only a few times) had squirrels dig up the daffodils only when I had planted something tasty (like crocuses) in the same hole. This was a (failed) strategy I was trying to protect the crocuses, hoping the scent of the daffs would put them off the bulbs they like. In each case they tossed the daff aside, and I was able to replant it immediately. I usually troll the gardens checking until it gets too cold.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2009 at 2:11PM
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elleni(4a)

linnea56: Knowing how late, is TOO late, for a particular zone would be helpful for many newcomers. (Even for some of us, who, uhh, have been known to push the envelope from time to time.) Anyone know if there is a chart?

Yes, linnea56, that's what I need as well! There's still time to plant tulips in my zone, but I am starting to believe its too late for daffs. I wish my basement was cool enough to store some of those sale daffs I've been drooling over. And our detached garage is too cold, everything would freeze during the heart of Winter.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2009 at 12:34PM
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ontnative(5b Can/USDA 4)

Pot up the "sale" daffs for forcing and keep in your garage or cool basement (I use both my unheated garage and cold cellar). Do NOT let daffs freeze until they have established good root systems. Once well rooted, they can take the freezing temps. That's what they endure outside after all. Once they have bloomed in the spring, keep them in a sunny window until it is safe to plant them outdoors. I find that that is the only messy part of forcing. I never have enough window space for ripening the bulb foliage. However, once planted outside, they do just fine.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2009 at 10:36PM
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pitimpinai(z6 Chicago)

If the ground is not frozen solid and good enough to plant tulips; then it is still not too late to plant daffodils.
I like to lay chicken wire over newly planted area to keep squirrels from digging up the bulbs. I remove the chicken wire after the ground freezes.

I usually find tips of daffodils chopped off, though, especially in late fall like now or early spring when tulips have not poked through the ground yet. That's got to show that daffodils are not immune to squirrels and/or rabbits. I found several tips of daffodils lying on the ground in my backyard today. Squirrels really are having a field day.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2009 at 10:44PM
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elleni(4a)

Ah, ontnative and pitimpinai, you are both very naughty! I just finished planting the last of my bulbs today... Stop tempting me to buy more!!

    Bookmark   November 29, 2009 at 6:15PM
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vetivert8(NI-NZ zone 9a)

Really dumb question from a land free of squirrels and voles - how would I know my bulbs had been munched? What would I see that would point to little rodent teeth?

On the bargain bulbs - as well as the 'how late' there's also the 'how plant'. Sometimes they've been left in too much warmth and they are quite rubbery. (Iris, lily, tulip, Freesia, Vallota, Lachenalia) Very dubious. Often need shallow planting - and there's a risk that the roots will emerge inside the bulb coat instead of growing out and down. Some may take a year or more to recover and do well.

I'd do that for a variety I'd been after but mostly, now, I steel my heart and walk away - with something else. ;-))

    Bookmark   November 29, 2009 at 7:52PM
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cantstopgardening(Zone 4/5 WI)

The latest I have planted tulips was Dec 12th, according to my garden journal. If I had bulbs to plant this year, I would still be able to get them in, as my ground isn't frozen yet.

And, yep, they survived.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2009 at 2:33PM
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elleni(4a)

vetivert8: ... how would I know my bulbs had been munched?...
Usually you'll see scraps of bulb flesh around the over turned hole when squirrels have been out committing their crimes. I think voles work underground. Luckily, I don't have them and can't attest to what their crime scenes look like.

cantstopgardening: The latest I have planted tulips was Dec 12th...
And I thought I was bad last year using hot water to thaw spots for tulips last Thanksgiving. My ground isn't frozen here either this year, but I must stop any crazy thoughts of digging any more holes! Hum... how many below 30 degree days does it take to freeze ground? ;-)

    Bookmark   December 1, 2009 at 11:55PM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

I'm wondering where our OP (Original Poster) went. We have all kinds of questions and good info for him/her.

Sue

    Bookmark   December 2, 2009 at 12:03AM
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katob Z6ish, NE Pa

vetivert8: "how would I know my bulbs had been munched?"

-another tip for ruling out rodent damage is that there will typically not be a huge weta nearby. :)

Sue - chances are the OP has moved on to other (seemingly) more important things than talking bulbs.... I don't understand it completely but some people don't sit at work wondering how their daffs are rooting or where they should put in a few extra hyacinth.....

The info is there though and helpful to many I'm sure.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2009 at 9:30PM
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