I live in Madison, Wisconsin, USA (zone 4 or 5). We have some tulips
that have been growing for 3 or 4 years now, and they are getting
crowded. How and when do I separate them?
When answering, assume that I can kill plants more effectively than
On 19 Aug 2004 16:30:02 -0700, firstname.lastname@example.org (Ted Shoemaker)
Any time after the foliage has died back is good for digging/dividing.
Just dig carefully, break the bulbs apart, and re-plant with a little
bulb food of your choice. How lucky you are to have tulips that
multiply instead of disappearing!
The first fall, we planted about 400 flowers. We mainly fed the
squirrels. About 10% of them came up the next spring. Fewer still
came up the next year. This one batch of tulips is the exception.
The first year we planted tulips, the same thing happened. Squirrels. Last
year after planting some more, we laid chicken wire down over the top of the
planted bulbs, and they (the squirrels and other bulb thieves) couldn't get
to them. This Spring when they started coming up, we removed the chicken
wire, and as far as I could tell, we didn't lose a single one to the little
Here is the method that I use to keep the squirrels from
bothering my bulbs: Right after you plant them be sure to
water them well. Then take some moth balls and crush them
up (moth flakes work better but in the last few years I have
not been able to find them at a reasonable cost). Sprinkle
them on top of the area where your bulbs are planted. Rake
them in a little (it helps to leave them close to and on top
of of the surface). I have been using this method for my
bulbs for years and it has worked well for me. I also have
tried putting pepper on the area where the bulbs were
planted but that didn't work well for me and that is why I
switched to moth balls.
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