***THIS IS MY ORIGINAL SOCIAL MEDIA POST I PUBLISHED ON NOVEMBER 26, 2019.***
***READ ALL THE WAY TO THE BOTTOM TO SEE THE RESULTS OF THE EXPERIMENT!***
Welcome to another episode of “Lori vs. Voles”. 😂👊
Don’t know what voles are? Lucky you.🐁 They are mouse-like critters that tunnel around under the snow all winter long (where the barn cats can’t find them), decimating everything in their path.
One of their favorite foods? Tulip bulbs.🌷
We have a TERRIBLE time with voles around here. I’m about to give up on planting them altogether, but my Dutch blood wants tulips SO BAD.
Here’s my track record for “Lori vs. Voles”.
1st Cut Flower Tulip Planting Attempt: 125 bulbs planted. Voles ate 122 bulbs. 😭
2nd Cut Flower Tulip Planting Attempt: 500 bulbs planted. Covered with wire mesh to prevent voles. Voles still managed to eat 250 of them. 😭
This year, I’m trying ONE LAST TIME. This method will prove to be either a brilliant success 🙌🙌🙌🙌… or a spectacular failure 💥💥💥. Tune in next spring to find out! 😂
I’m trying the “Kiddie Pool Method”. Actually, it’s not a method. It’s just something I made up. 😉 The tulips will be completely protected on the top, sides and bottom.
Here’s what I did:
🌷Dug a shallow hole for the kiddie pool, so I could sink it to ground level.
🌷Drilled drainage holes in the bottom of the pool.
🌷Filled the pool with a few inches of soil.
🌷Added a bucket of compost and some bone meal fertilizer. Mixed it all up.
🌷Planted the bulbs (they are planted close, like eggs in a carton).
🌷Backfilled the pools with remaining soil until bulbs were covered with a few inches of soil.
🌷Mulched with leaves.
🌷Drilled holes on the edges of the pool and zip-tied wire mesh “hardware cloth” on top of the pools.
Early next spring, I will remove the wire mesh hardware cloth so the tulips can emerge (once the snow is gone, the barn cats can patrol for me 🐱🐱🐱).
Oh, my goodness people. This is a lot of work for tulips and I’m not recommending you try this. 😵 I hope I actually have something to show for all this work!
I keep muttering “I WILL outsmart you, stupid voles….”
Did I mention that not only do Dutch people have incredible love for tulips, but they are also incredibly stubborn? 😉
And the final results in the spring of 2020…..
NOT A SINGLE BULB LOST TO THOSE BLASTED VOLES!!!!
But I do wonder…. was it the kiddie pool method? Or was it the fact we barely had any snow this winter and our barn cats were able to hunt all winter? Usually, we have about a foot of snow and the voles hide under the snow cover, safe from the kitties.
Just for fun, I sunk 1 pool in the ground and left other other ABOVE the ground. I planted the same exact types of bulbs in the 2 beds, hoping to compare them side by side (which one blooms earliest, which one has the longest stems, etc.)
There really was no huge difference. The tulips in the “sunk in the ground “ pool had slightly longer stems, likely because they were colder (tulips need cold temperatures in order to create long stems).
Hope you enjoyed reading about The Great “Kiddie Pool” Experiment!
Would I do it again? Maybe… 😉 17 Likes Share
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Serina Wells 9 months ago · 0 Likes
So glad this worked for you!! Also glad you didn’t give up! For home gardeners, you can use a very similar method but using nursery pots. Leave at least an inch of the lip of the pot out of the ground. For some reason it discourages them. You’d think they’d just crawl right over. Also, don’t mulch. They hide in any kind of covering. They troll where hawks, cats etc, can’t see them. Keep your preciouses out in the open for better luck. Now Get out there and plant!!
Lori Hernandez 9 months ago · 0 Likes
Thanks for these great suggestions!
Judy Wehrmeister A year ago · 0 Likes
Why just maybe do it again? What do you do with them after the blooms are cut &/or bloomed out?
Lori Hernandez A year ago · 0 Likes
Hi Judy, the tulips I grow for cut flower use are not “perennial” types of tulips, so I actually pull up the bulb with the flower and compost the bulbs.
It feels weird, but most tulips have very poor blooms in their second year and often putter out by year 3.