Bulb Questions and Answers
How do I keep squirrels from digging up
Squirrels can be terrible pests! They won't bother
daffodils and other narcissi bulbs (which taste terrible to them!), but
they find tulips and crocus in particular to be worth the effort to sniff
out and dig up.
The only sure-fire way to protect tulips and crocuses and other tasty
bulb treats from squirrels is to lay wire mesh such as chicken wire on top
of the bed. The squirrels can't dig through the mesh and the flowers will
grow neatly through the holes.
Bulbs are most vulnerable in autumn immediately after planting when the
soil is still soft and worked up. Digging then is easy! Squirrels often
"chance" upon bulbs when burying their nuts in soft ground. Or they are
attracted by "planting debris" such as bits of papery bulb tunics and
other bulb-scented bits from the bulb bags. Don't advertise your
plantings. Clean up and keep those squirrels guessing!
Here's one trick that garden writer Judy Glattstein has found to work.
After planting new areas, lay old window screens in frames on the ground,
covering the newly-worked up soil. The screen weighs enough to foil the
squirrel, but allows for air circulation and rainfall. Once the ground has
settled, remove the screens and store for future use.
Another remedy that some find successful is to actually feed the
squirrels during the autumn and winter. The theory is that the local
squirrel population, when offered a handy plate of peanuts or other
easy-to-get treats will leave your bulbs alone. At the White House, the
gardeners put up six peanut-filled feeding boxes to satiate the furry
denizens there -- and reduce squirrel damage on bulb beds by 95 percent!
Many gardeners claim success with commercial repellents, but these are
often sticky and unpleasant to deal with or wash away in the rain.
Home remedies include scattering things that smell like humans, which
squirrels apparently do not like, such as: cut hair (collected from the
hairdresser's floor) and/or vacuum cleaner bag contents on top of new bulb
plantings. You will find advocates and detractors of both methods. A
favourite Dutch remedy is to interplant Fritillaria imperialis. This tall
dramatic plant gives off an odour that squirrels (and deer too,
reportedly) find repellent. There is a book on the subject, "Outwitting
Squirrels," by Bill Adler, Jr. (1988 Chicago Review Press, Chicago, IL).
It's aimed at owners of bird feeders, but you may find some helpful hints.
Should I apply mulch? How deep? When?
Mulch is not required but it is often beneficial. Three inches is
plenty. Wait until the ground cools down. Contrary to popular notions,
mulching over bulbs is meant to retain soil moisture and keep the ground
temperatures cool and stable, not to serve as a "warm winter blanket"
(except in the very coldest climates). Mulch just before the ground
freezes. Applying mulch too early in the season, when the ground is still
soft and warm, can invite infestations by field mice and other critters
who like to burrow in to establish winter quarters (and no doubt dig up
tasty tulip treats!).
Is it true that bone meal is the best bulb
Once upon a time, bone meal was considered an excellent bulb
fertilizer, but times have changed! Most bone meal today has been so
thoroughly processed that the essential nutrients have been literally
boiled out. As well, some of the newer bone meal formulations smell just
like bones ending up actually attracting dogs, raccoons, etc who start
digging in the area where the bone meal has been applied. Spring-flowering
bulbs actually need no fertilizer for their first season of blooming. A
healthy Dutch bulb will already contain all the food it needs to support
one season of spectacular growth. Bulbs that will be left in the ground to
naturalize will benefit from well-rotted cow manure or special bulb
fertilizer when the shoots first appear in spring and again the following
How long will it take for an Amaryllis to bloom in the
Once the Amaryllis has been planted in a pot it should
be watered and placed in a warm , sunny spot. Under these conditions it
should flower in about three weeks. As soon as the bud opens, the pot
should be moved to a cooler spot so that you can enjoy the flowering
process a little longer.
Can I plant an Amaryllis in the garden after it has
Once the flowers have faded, an Amaryllis can be planted
in the garden. If the summer is warm and the leaves receive enough
sunlight to encourage bulb development, it may produce another flower next
year. However, the pot must be brought inside in the autumn months, as the
Amaryllis cannot tolerate any frost whatsoever.
When do bulb growers in the Netherlands plant their
Growers in the Netherlands plant their bulbs in
November. They can do this because winters touxiang in the Netherlands never really
start until mid-December. In regions where the winter starts earlier, it
would be advisable to plant tulips in October.
What is the Flower Bulbs Quality Mark Foundation
The Flower Bulbs Quality Mark Foundation Holland is a
foundation that was established to offer consumers an independent sounding
board for any complaints that might arise. You can contact this foundation
if your bulbs have not provided the desired results. Sending a photo along
with a complaint is not obligatory but can definitely support your
position. You can also submit a complaint if the bulbs you purchased
produced flowers other than those indicated on the packaging. Just make
sure, however, that the SKBH logo appears on the
In which country are dahlias cultivated?
Dahlias are cultivated primarily in the Netherlands.
Most of these growers ae located around the Bulb Research Centre (LBO) and
companies that select new varieties. Other regions where dahlias are
cultivated are the western coasts of France and the United
Why are tulips grown in Holland of all
Tulips were introduced into the Netherlands at the end
of the 16th century by Carolus Clusius. People in the Netherlands were
quick to take an interest in these bulbs and started experimenting with
growing them in the gardens around their homes. Because the demand for
tulips grew, an increasingly professional approach was devoted to their
cultivation, and it turned out that the coastal area � and especially the
strip of land just inside the Dutch dunes - had the perfect conditions for
this. The marine climate with its mild winters and cool summers, proper
drainage with a consistent water level, the right type of soil and the
fact that the Netherlands was a centre of trade were all very beneficial
factors. With the increasing urbanization occurring in the traditional
bulb growing regions, the most important growing areas today are located
in the northern regions of the Netherlands where there is still enough
land available for bulb growing. This will assure their cultivation in the
Netherlands for a long time to come.
Are there bulbs that scare off mice and/or
Unfortunately, no bulbs have the capacity to really
scare off mice or rats. There are a few precautionary measures that can be
taken to keep these pests from eating your bulbs.. First, plant the bulbs
deeply enough and cover them properly with soil so that mice and/or rats
are not attracted to the planting site. Secondly, cover the border where
the bulbs have been planted with some finely meshed wire netting. Lay out
this netting so that it more than covers the border and then insert the
edges slightly into the soil.