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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Dh and I are planning to do a massive bulb planting this weekend... daffodils, tulips, and a few crocuses.

To put it mildly, we have a squirrel problem. I am paranoid that they will dig up all of our bulbs.

Any ideas?
 

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I read something about planting them in a wire cage. Sounds like alot more work in digging, also harder to get them out again, but it's supposed to work. Good luck! I also ordered a huge number and have never done it before.
 

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Daffodils and crocus are poisonous, so they will be fine. Tulips are like candy. If you mix up the edible with the inedible ones, your pests will stay away. If you feel really ambitious, you can plant the delicacies in wire "cages" by digging trenches and lining it with chicken wire. I've mixed my tulips with allium to keep away the pests, because the allium's onion scent deters them.

Most of my bulbs have not even arrived yet...because I'd love to join you in planting this weekend. I've ordered 1,500 bulbs this year (sounds much worse than it is plantingwise), so I've got a lot of work on my horizon.

Happy planting!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Bamboogrrl -


1500 bulbs! Wow. I'm doing about 200 and I thought that was a zillion!


I assume you are a bulb planting expert.
Any tips? I have a bulb digger tool (I'm so lacking in the gardening lingo) but that's it. Is it pretty self explanatory, or do you have any pointers to make it go faster?

Back on topic... Thanks for the tip about allium. I may try that out, otherwise will be getting some chicken wire.
 

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TwinMommy - I'm not sure what you mean by "bulb digging tool," but if you are talking about that evil device that has a handle and a round thing on the end you push into the ground...sigh. It's awful, and will make you hate bulb planting. Your arm will hurt a lot.

If I'm working alone with larger bulbs (daffs, esp), I'll dig back the grass or sod, roll it back, dig out some dirt, throw in some compost, plant the bulbs and roll the grass back. Remove the grass entirely for tulips. Pretty easy. If dh helps, he'll get a heavy long-handled pry bar and jab holes into the ground, I'll plant a bulb and kick the hole closed. This works great for smaller bulbs (fritilaria, muscari, crocus, scilla, miniature iris, snowdrops) that have a hard time breaking though the grass.

It's true. IT IS arduous work, but the benefits come spring are so worth it to me. I've loathed winter in the past, and it makes spring even more exciting to go running around the yard looking for the first flowers. And most of what I plant will multiply, so imagine it in 10 years... I try to look at bulb planting like a zen practice: empty my mind and play in the dirt. But even so, sometimes it's still a gigantic pain in the butt! Dh appreciates my efforts and helps a lot, so that makes it easier too. I'm trying this year to concentrate my efforts to smaller parts of the yard, so the visual impact is less diluted. Which means I'm putting 500 bulbs into the rock garden, and 600 bulbs into the shade garden. I'm learning it's much better to focus.

My durn bulbs STILL aren't here (can you tell I'd like to gets started?). Don't forget, go at your own pace, and don't overdo it. It's taken me several years, physically, to be able to garden this much. Watch that back!
 

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wow, bamboogrrrl Thank you for the info. I am such a novice. I did order the longhandled tool to step on, couldn't see doing it with an arm. Which bulbs are you putting in the shade? The front of our house faces north
: Are clumps close together a good idea in your opinion? 'cause I think I only have a 12 inch strip of sun. I was planning to put the DeCaen Anemones in the shadier part. Greatly appreciate your advice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Uh oh... yep that's what I meant by "bulb digging tool"! :LOL It took so long to plant all my daylilies this weekend that I never did get around to the bulbs, which are going in the same bed (and elsewhere). Ugh.... where does the time go.

I like the idea about just pulling the grass back and plopping a few in. For the ones in the dirt beds, the pry bar jabbing technique sounds like just the thing.

p.s., my local mostly organic gardening store recommended crushed oyster shells around bulbs that rodents like, apparently it irritates them and they back off. Any one use this before?
 

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Simisma - You can plant bluebells in the shade, either Spanish or English. Allium triquetrum is supposed to be another good shade choice. I've never had much luck with anemones as I think it's too cold here for them. Hope they do well for you!

TwinMommy - Don't worry about getting it all done at once, we've got many weeks to get this stuff planted. The idea is not to turn it into a death march, but have fun doing it (if possible - we ARE talking bulb planting, not the most exciting thing on earth!). Our gardens are places of rejunvenation and calm, and they won't be if we're stressed out planting it. We've had so much rain this year, I actually feel lucky when the clouds part and I get to plant.

My bulbs are STILL not here, but now my credit card has been charged so they can't be too far away. I got the King Alfreds in last week, as well as six more peonies (for a grant total now of 29 now!). Waiting to plant the "Pickwick" crocus until the rest of the rock garden bulbs have arrived. The "Jetfire" daffs should be here soon, as well as the order from Van Engelen (drumstick allium, miniature iris, winter aconite, allium aflatunese for under the white lilacs, "Baby Moon" daffs). No sign from Brent & Becky's who will be sending me 300 "Thalia" daffs and 300 "Jeanne D'Arc" crocus vernus. Can't wait to get started...
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I did it! 225 bulbs to be exact! I am sooo sore, but it was so much fun and a gorgeous fall day to boot. I ended up going with the crushed oyster shells as a rodent deterrent - I dig the hole for the bulb(s), put in the bulbs, just cover to the tops of them with dirt, then sprinkle crushed oyster shells ontop. Then cover with remaining soil. They are sharp little pieces, and are supposed to be very irritating to rodents.

Two days... no bulbs dug up yet. Given the number of squirrels criss-crossing over the beds every day, I think this is a good sign.

Now... how many weeks until spring?!
 

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Thank you, thank you, Bamboogrrrl. Someday I hope to have your knowledge and be able to pass it on, too. What kinds of peonies do you love? I have gotten different info about planting time. Fedco says plant in spring, others are selling now. I finally realize the difference between anemone blanda and coronaria, so I put the DeCaens in a sheltered, sunny spot and am crossing my fingers. We are zone 6, central Pa., how about you. I must say I am jealous of your 29 peonies and 300 Thalias, not that you don't deserve every one of them. I will just enjoy the heck out of our 2 peonies and 5 thalias. Thank you for sharing. Twinmommy, did you really do it in one day? I am impressed. My stamina is just not there yet. We have 130 bulbs, which I thought was outragously extravagant for a beginner, but it's slow going with dd and ds. Dd keeps peeling the tulips
In any case, I am loving the anticipation of finally meeting the flowers after the winter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Simisma, I did I did I did! Sorry.. I'm still pretty proud of myself.
I started at 9am and finished up around 3pm. I took a quick break, but other than that I just kept going until that last bulb was in. About half of them I did each separately with the bulb digging tool, but for the other half, I did several at a time, as recommended by bamboogrrl. Much faster!


Dh entertained dd and ds for the morning (they go down for their nap around 1pm and I was done when they woke up), and they came down several times to "help" mommy.


Definitely NOT possible to do that many in one day with dd and ds beside me the whole time, especially with their new found love of running into the street!


See if you can co-opt dp or a friend to watch kids while you plant nearby. They could be out there with you, but with someone else to run after them if they stray too far!
 

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Ha, our 19 mo. old does the same thing, runs into the street, but first looks back and grins to make sure I see she knows she's not supposed to. She also knows I'll scoop her up. When she first started doing it I was able to stop her with a very stern word. Now I guess it's just too much fun to have mommy chasing... As for the bulbs, how slow am I? Dd fusses as soon as I begin looking at the ground, even though she has her own strong plastic trowel to dig with. Then, our neighbor came by with a box full of bulbs. I couldn't help taking about 70, now total is over 200 like yours, Twinmommy. I am so impressed with how efficiently you work. It's inspiring, so if the weather holds, I'll get out there tomorrow morning. Thank you!
 
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