Voles and bulbs don’t combine effectively. Once I first planted my backyard over a decade in the past, I didn’t have a vole downside. However in more moderen years, my property has grow to be the Las Vegas Strip of rodents. I don’t know what I did to anger the backyard gods, nevertheless it will need to have been unhealthy as a result of this plague of furry pseudo-hamsters has been epic. One of many first tip-offs I had voles was that my tulips began to vanish.
My restricted tulip assortment was concentrated in an space near the home (and away from the deer’s prying eyes), so it was pretty apparent when one 12 months the tulips merely evaporated. Then the veronica in the identical space began trying peaked, and I found that its total root system had been sheared off. I’ve tried numerous methods through the years to populate this specific stretch of vole superhighway, corresponding to planting new bulbs with pea gravel or encasing greater crops in metallic mesh baggage. The one factor that labored was planting vole-resistant issues like euphorbia and grape hyacinth. However I actually miss my tulips.
A number of years in the past when the vole inhabitants appeared to be declining a bit, I made a decision to roll the cube once more and spend money on some species tulips. I advised myself that maybe these wild variations had been more durable and higher in a position to stand up to an onslaught from the vole military. And you realize one thing? They had been. Now that is possible an entire fluke, and I did take some prevention measures, corresponding to planting the brand new bulbs with crushed oyster shells (as Tovah Martin suggests in her article “Get to Know Species Tulips,”) and siting them amongst a sea of euphorbia. However regardless of the motive, I bought to get pleasure from a tulip present for the primary time in years. It might be wishful pondering (or false promoting) to say that species tulips are extra rodent resistant than their hybrid counterparts. Nevertheless, I believed my story would possibly function inspiration for anybody on the market who thinks they’re out of the tulip sport utterly due to their backyard pest issues. Generally gardening is a bet. In my case, I positioned a $10 guess on bulbs and this time the home—I imply the voles—misplaced.
—Danielle Sherry, govt editor
From Effective Gardening #204