By Charlie Nardozzi

October is the time to plant spring-flowering bulbs in your garden across much of the country. If you've ever planted tulips, hyacinths, and crocus, only to be frustrated when few flowers emerge the next spring, you're not alone. A common cause for poor bulb performance is that the bulbs were nibbled by mice and voles over the winter.

Now research from Cornell University describes which spring-flowering bulbs that mice and voles like the best, and which they will avoid. Most gardeners know mice and voles love tulips and avoid daffodils, but what about other bulbs? Researchers fed 30 different bulb varieties to mice and voles in the lab. Some received fresh bulbs while others received the bulbs mixed with applesauce to entice eating. They found mice and voles loved to eat all tulips. They fed on hyacinthcrocusalliumscilla, and Dutch iris when hungry. However, they avoided daffodilcamassia, chinodoxa, muscarifritillaria, and snowdrops. So, if vole damage is a concern, either protect susceptible bulbs with cages or place crushed oyster shells in the hole at planting time. Or just stick with the mice-and vole-resistant bulbs.

About Charlie Nardozzi
Thumb of 2020-06-04/Trish/0723fdCharlie Nardozzi is an award winning, nationally recognized garden writer, speaker, radio, and television personality. He has worked for more than 30 years bringing expert gardening information to home gardeners through radio, television, talks, tours, on-line, and the printed page. Charlie delights in making gardening information simple, easy, fun and accessible to everyone. He's the author of 6 books, has three radio shows in New England and a TV show. He leads Garden Tours around the world and consults with organizations and companies about gardening programs. See more about him at Gardening With Charlie.
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