I went for a walk recently and noticed a good portion of the leaves have fallen from the trees and the air has a crispness to it. The radio announcers are talking about snow in the weather forecast. Let’s face it — before we know it, everything will be white and we will be complaining about how cold it is. But for us gardeners, there’s still time to do more planting…if the squirrels don’t feed.
I hate the thought of a long winter. I like to plant lots of spring bulbs so I can dream about how my garden is going to look when they come into bloom in five months. I was sitting at the kitchen window the other day watching the squirrels as they dug holes everywhere to stash their treasure for winter. I wondered how many tulip and crocus bulbs they have moved on my fellow gardeners.
A few years back, I planted about 150 crocus bulbs only to come out the next morning to find that the squirrels had dug them all up and moved them to places unknown. I was furious and promised myself I was never going to have that happen again. I set out on a mission to make sure my bulbs were never dug up again.
The game plan
I started out by planting hundreds of daffodils (their proper name is Narcissi). When you think of daffodils, I bet you think of yellow ones. I have miniature (Tete a Tete), super-sized (Dutch Master), white (Mount Hood), pink-centred (Pink Blend) and orange-centred (Chromacolour),
I spend lots of time searching through bulb catalogues looking for different daffodils. I have found ones that bloom in the early spring as well as others that bloom much later in the season. My new hunt is for double daffodils such as Ice King or Extravaganza.
The most interesting one I have seen to date is best described as an extraordinary, yet beautiful, dwarf daffodil. Narcissi ‘Rip Van Winkle’ has highly cut petals like a child’s homemade tissue paper star in bright yellow.
When I plant my bulbs, I like to naturalize the area. I put all my bulbs into a bag and shake them up mixing several varieties together. I toss the bulbs up in the air and let them fall into the garden. I plant them where they land. I’ve found if you plant them in rows and one or two don’t come up or come back the next year you are left with empty holes and visually your display doesn’t make you happy.
A few other bulbs that the squirrels will leave alone are Fritillaria, Hyacinths, Alliums and Siberian Iris.
So before the snow flies and the ground freezes, add more spring bulbs to your garden and let the dreaming begin. Spring is only five months away!
Need some more help scurrying away the squirrels? Follow this expert’s tips! Take a look at this short video:
To ensure your lawn is ready for planting, consider speaking with a lawn car and maintenance expert! After all, spring will be here before we know it, right?
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About the Author: Denise Hodgins is a gardening expert who regularly writes for the Toronto Sun.