The Q&A Archives: Tulips Animals Eating Blubs

Question: i planted some tulip blubs in oct of 1999 and they all came up in the spring of 2000 in oct of 2000 i planted additional blubs in the same areas and only about 10% of the blubs came up this in one spot only all the blubs incuding the first ones never came up along a stone wall. someone told me that i probably have a mole problem. if this is true how can i prevent this from happening again. thank you

Answer: Numerous animals will eat tulip bulbs (and tulip tops), so unless you have seen the typical mole tunnels they are not necessarily the culprit. Tulip bulbs are a favored food, so you may have to try a number of protective measures. One is to place a layer of wire mesh on the soil surface to prevent digging from the surface. Another is to make wire mesh cages (a small and sturdy mesh such as hardware cloth) and bury the bulbs inside them -- probably the most effective. Some gardeners report success dipping the bulbs in a repellent such as Ropel at planting, or in using commercial repellents over the general area. If squirrels are digging them up in the fall, planting them very deep can help. Another option is to plant daffodils instead since the critters seem to avoid those altogether -- they are toxic.

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