In the fall of 2014 I planted tulips every 6 inches around the rose garden
. Last spring we had almost every one come up and bloom - they all came up
, 3 or4 didn't bloom . I'm still waiting for them to come up this year ...
and it's way late . So today I dug up where I know i planted two of them -
and there's no bulb , nothing . No tunnels like maybe the ground squirrel or
moles or something got them , just nothing there . I've never noticed any
digging like squirrels got them , no tunnel bumps like moles/voles/ ground
squirrels often leave but they're gone .
Anybody have any theories on where they went ?
In your area, winter chill should be sufficient for tulips; so that is
NOT the problem.
I know that "Dutch" tulips in my area first have to be stored in the
refrigerator for about 6 weeks before planting and then must be treated
as annuals. That is, they are ripped out after blooming. Because of
that, I have no experience with tulips with one exception. I do have
lady tulips (Tulipa clausiana), which do not require winter chill. They
repeat every year and are blooming right now.
David E. Ross
While many tributes to the late Supreme Court Associate Justice
Most times it's some hungry critter that will help themself to your
bulbs,and by spring you'll find no signs of digging, it's not like
squirrels and rabbits arrive with an excavator. Even crows will steal
bulbs... naturally to crows it's not stealing, it's finders keepers...
The rose garden is right outside the living room window ... we seldom get
any snow ... and I often look out that window at my bee hives . I'm pretty
sure if any critter was getting at them from the surface I'd have seen signs
. I suspect , as david Ross suggested , that these were a variety that
needed to be dug up after blooming . I bought them on ebay , and have zero
info about them . This fall I'll be getting some bulbs from my nursery gal .
Known quality , local support - she's got a horticulture degree - and always
willing to help and make suggestions , whether you bought it from her or
somewhere else .
I treat tulips as annuals and pick up 75-100 at Costco or one of the
Big Box stores. I don't think I ever spend more than $20 or so. We put
them into a bed up front in the fall, then after bloom, I pull the
bulbs and put tomatoes there. I am notorious in the neighborhood.
Sometimes I give away the bulbs I have pulled or replant a few here
Tulips are odd and fun. I have lived in this house 23 years and each
spring I wind up with unknown tulips popping up in places I know I
never planted any.
I'm not so much interested in annual plantings . Those annuals I have
planted are mostly heirloom varieties that are expected to self-seed .
Spring around here can get pretty hectic , between the garden and the bees .
Most foraging critters are nocternal, trust me, you'd not see them. I
planted over a thousand assorted bulbs along my creek but for years
all I've ever seen were the daffs. Now that I've been encouraging
feral cats to live here for the past two years lo and behold plants I
had forgotten about have been blooming. I've not seen a squirrel,
rabbit, chipmonk or any rodent, no vole or mole mounds either... a
half dozen feral cats easily de-rodent forty acres. They more than
earn their keep. They eat very little cat food as they prefer to eat
what they hunt. I supply heated shelters and heated water bowls in
winter, low wattage, only pennies a day. They were born in my barn so
they mostly live in my barn. I have heated shelters and water bowls
on my deck and I put out food but nights they prefer the heated
shelters and water bowls I set up in my barn. I can gaurantee you
have critters stealing your bulbs. I've no idea what size property
you're on but for a typical surburban lot 1-2 feral cats will protect
your plants... house cats won't help.
I might not see the perps , but I think I would have seen some evidence . It
really doesn't matter ... oh , and there is a feral cat around , I think the
neighbor missed one when he moved . I see it occasionally , leave meat
scraps out for it sometimes . We're on 12 heavily wooded acres in north
central Arkansas , the clearing we live in is about a quarter acre .
If you're surrounded by all those acres of thick woods then it's a no
brainer, critters are stealing your bulbs. One feral cat can't clear
all those acres of rodents, and by your saying your neighbor moved and
missed one cat then you've not a clue what's a feral cat... in this
farming community it's illegal to move a feral cat. Feral cats here
are chipped and have an ear notched... get caught moving one the fine
Without knowing what zone you're in, your topography, and what
critters habituate your property it's not really possible to say, all
one can do is guess... I'd guess rabbits... deer will suck up bulbs
too... really only daffs are safe. I fence my tulips but I don't have
many because voles will eat them, only thing saving my tulips are the
feral cats I care for.
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