garden features tulips, daffodils, dwarf irises, anemone
lot of tulips planted in the ground are susceptible to
voles and hungry deer," says Poquoson Master
Gardener Noel Talcott.
of our tulips have been planted in our empty raised
beds, which held vegetables and cut flowers during the
gardening season. We have had great success and so far
have not had any issues with deer coming in to sample
the foliage or blooms."
voles can also bother bulbs, especially tulips, which
Talcott recommends planting in pots or raised beds.
our home, we layer tulips in large plastic pots, top
with soil and plant violas or pansies on top," he
we sink the pots in the ground up to the rim. In spring,
the tulips come up through the flowers. After they are
finished blooming, we swap out the pots with summer
flowers. We put those pots back in the holes and those
plants are protected from voles too."
planting bulbs, the Master Gardeners use the method
recommended by Brent Heath of Brent and Becky’s Bulbs.
process is simple: Scrape back any mulch, place the
bulbs on the ground and cover with six inches of mulch.
method works great in our mulched beds as well as in the
raised beds," says Talcott.
the raised beds, we remove about four to six inches of
soil, place the bulbs and then cover them with the
removed soil. This year we planted most of the crocus in
the lawn and they bloomed before the grass started to
grow and needed cutting. We will see how well those
return next year."
the bulbs finish blooming, Talcott and other Master
Gardeners suggest you:
the daffodil foliage to die back. Do not cut the foliage
back because the bulbs need that foliage to rebuild the
energy stored in the bulb for next year’s blooms.
tulips, dig them up and give them away or add them to
the mulch pile. Bulb experts like Brent Heath says the
Hampton Roads climate is not conducive to tulips
producing masses of flowers year after year, so it’s
best to treat them as annuals.
the bulbs with a balanced fertilizer specified for
snowdrops and snowflakes are said to be deer- and
rodent-proof because they contain lycorine, a bitter
alkaloid that’s toxic when eaten, according to a news
release from Color Blends, a Connecticut-based bulb
supplier at www.ColorBlends.com.
bulbs that deer tend to dislike include: allium,
camassia, glory-of-the snow, winter wolf’s bane, crown
imperial, snake’s head, starflower and blue squill.
tend to avoid: glory-of-the snow, winter wolf’s bane,
crown imperial and blue squill.
can be planted as groupings in large holes that you dig
with a shovel; just be sure to dig the hole the required
planting depth for the bulbs.
can also be planted individually with the help of tools
such as a bulb planter auger that fits into a standard
power drill. Simply drill to the maximum depth of the
auger and lift the auger out of the hole; about an inch
of loose soil will remain in the planting hole. The Bulb
Planter Auger from Power Planter (model #307) is three
inches in diameter and seven inches long, and comes with
a 3/8-inch non-slip hex drive for use with any cordless
or corded drill. $22.99 from
use early-blooming spring bulbs such as crocus, eranthis
and chionodoxa for their protein-rich pollen, according
to Denise Hutchins, manager at the bulb business. Bees
also like lilies and dahlias, but not the
too-heavy-to-carry pollen on daffodils and the bulb
toxin in the Amaryllidaceae family, she adds.
and Becky’s Bulbs offers two full-color booklets that
help you get the most out of your bulb plantings,
as Companion Plants" gives you 48 pages of design
ideas, plant combinations and planting techniques.
Flower Arrangements" features 36 pages of ways to
pot up and store flower bulbs for year-round beauty and
décor on porches and patios.
booklet is $5; order and also get free 83-page
informative bulb catalog at