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|| Spring Bulb Tips
Get Your Timing Right
Please don't plant your Spring bulbs till after Halloween up here in the North, and closer to Thanksgiving down South (in the DEEP South, ask your local county extension agent about the best planting strategies, or check the instructions at www.bulb.com). Plant any earlier and those bulbs could 'spring up' WAY too soon (like during a warm December) and their fabulous flowers would be ruined--also ruining your Springtime show! But you SHOULD continue to buy lots of these delightful plants--nothing cures the month of March better than walking out your front door and seeing beautiful bulbs in bloom!
There's Strength in Numbers!
Remember that just about all bulbs look better when planted in bulk--you should have a good dozen of each in a setting for big bloomers like tulips, daffodils and hyacinth. And the sky's the limit with early-blooming smaller bulbs, like crocus, snowdrops and grape hyacinth--ESPECIALLY grape hyacinth. If you can find them at a good price, purchase a hundred--or even several hundred--of these low-growing, purplish-blue beauties and put on a real show.
Create Your Own "Show Garden" With Grape Hyacinth!
Yes, those beautiful, low to the ground, bluish-purple cone-headed cuties can really look spectacular in a massive planting. One of the most breathtaking displays I ever saw was a life-sized 'river' of grape hyacinth in Holland--hundreds of thousands of bulbs had been planted to create a waterway of blue that even had a bridge cross over it! You can achieve the same sense of wonder with a few hundred; create a 'stream' running through your flower beds, or a huge circle with a few early daffodils in the center --they bloom at the same time. Use your imagination and sketch out a design; just don't plant till after Halloween!
Love Tulips? So Do Rodents & Deer!
Have hungry pests been a Spring bulb problem in the past? We all love tulips and crocus, but so do hungry deer and rodents--especially them tulips! Tulip bulbs are delicious and nutritious--they kept residents of Holland alive during the Nazi occupation--and wildlife just love them. Mice, voles, squirrels, chipmunks and other rodents eat the bulbs in the ground--and if they don't, deer will dine on the tasty blooms! You can protect the in-ground bulbs by buying a roll of chicken wire and using it to make a small, rodent-proof cage around your bulbs. Or surround the buried bulbs with cayenne pepper powder or sharp stones; there's even a product called "Vole Bloc" sold just for this purpose. You'll find it at most larger garden centers.
Or Plant These "Pest Proof" Bulbs!
...or simply bail out and buy beautiful Spring-blooming bulbs that taste terrible, and that vermin and white tail never touch! Like daffodils--their bright colors and early appearance make them especially welcome antidotes to the otherwise gloomy month of March, and they're almost guaranteed to return and multiply year after year. The pendulous flowers of fritillaria are VERY pretty, but they smell AWFUL up close. Tall, big blooming and very showy ornamental alliums--related to onions and garlic--also go untouched; proving that hungry wildlife have no gourmet leanings!