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One Lonely Crocus

March 23rd, 2009

I have one lonely crocus in my gardens. It’s not that I don’t like them, 7 years ago when we first moved in I planted 300 crocus bulbs throughout the gardens and I only had one bloom the following year. Can you guess what happened?
Chipmunks, that’s what happened. They dug up every single bulb I planted except for this one, it’s been blooming ever since. I really want to plant more this fall because they’re a great early flower for the bees (notice all the pollen).
I’m going to have to plant them in wire cages to keep those varmints out. I had decent luck sprinkling my tulip bulbs with garlic to keep the squirrels & chipmunks from eating them.

Do you have critters eating your bulbs? Any tips & tricks to keep them away?

21 Comments to “One Lonely Crocus”
  1. Bridgett on March 23, 2009 at 10:06 am

    You know what? I have not noticed any crocus here this year either! Are you sure it’s chipmunks? I don’t have any bulbs myself but they are one of the first signs of spring and I always notice them. Are you sure it’s not the weather this year?? (I’m in Ohio too).

    Bridgett’s last blog post.. The Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day Project

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    • Susy on March 23, 2009 at 10:37 am

      I saw the chipmunks digging them up the first year I planted them. I’ve only had the one bloom each year since. This fall I’m planning on planting them again, we’ll see what happens.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  2. Pine Pod Farm on March 23, 2009 at 10:12 am

    No critters eating our garden with the many cats and our 4 dogs keep them away! Our crocuses have been blooming since last Sunday and my Dad has already started his garden last week!

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  3. frugalmom on March 23, 2009 at 10:12 am

    I dont have any critters at this house, but a couple houses ago….whenever I would even *whisper* the words flower bulb the squirrels would call all their friends and show up at my house. And that wasnt all. I had to be fast while I was planting them because they would come right over to me, swipe one, and then run up the tree….

    Dang squirrels.

    frugalmom’s last blog post.. Was it the tooth fairy?

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    • Susy on March 23, 2009 at 10:39 am

      That’s too funny. I can just picture a squirrel sneaking up behind you and nabbing a bulb or two.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  4. s on March 23, 2009 at 11:01 am

    I just found a crocus blooming in one of my veggies beds, where I didn’t plant it! So maybe the rodents can plant them as well as dig them up?

    I’d try again, we generally count on losing a small percentage of bulbs to squirrels and “chippies”, but maybe you had a hard winter, which was rough on animals AND bulbs?

    I’ve used leftover fencing on top of bulb plantings at least until the ground is frozen, if it’s a spot where you can do that. Also they are totally on to you when they see fresh planted spots–so I try to disguise the hole with mulch or sod as best I can. I swear they watch you from a distance though :)

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  5. ChristyACB on March 23, 2009 at 11:08 am

    Before you go the expensive and painful route of the wire cages, try this trick: Sprinkle some crushed oyster shells in the holes (or trench) where the bulbs are going first. Then plant bulbs and mix a bit more oyster shell in the soil that you cover them with. It huts their little digging fingers so they stay away.

    I saw this on Cultivating Life and it worked on my Tulips so I imagine it works on any bulbs.


    ChristyACB’s last blog post.. A Homesteader’s Home

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    • Susy on March 23, 2009 at 11:18 am

      Thanks for the tip, I’ll give that a shot.

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  6. Victoria on March 23, 2009 at 11:39 am

    I think it’s all the neighborhood cats who keep our squirrels at bay also. Otherwise I think all my bulbs would have been eaten by now.

    Victoria’s last blog post.. Local Flower and Garden Show

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  7. Daphne on March 23, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    I tried years ago to plant bulbs. All except the daffodils where dug up and eaten. I haven’t planted anything but a daffodil since. I would love to have crocus though. The are such pretty bits of color in an otherwise dull time.

    Daphne’s last blog post.. More Soil Blocks

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  8. warren on March 23, 2009 at 2:35 pm

    We have established bulbs here so it isn’t a problem. In TN something surely got ahold of stuff though. Here we fight the deer with newly budding plants…

    warren’s last blog post.. Bonbon Jovi

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  9. ChicagoMike on March 23, 2009 at 3:11 pm

    The squirrels have eaten our sunflower tops the last two years. The rabbits seem to get the sprouts, then the squirrels finish off any survivors.

    Boy do those squirrels drive me crazy. They bite the whole head off, then take it up on the deck rail and dissemble it, leaving a mess.

    Going to live trap them this year. Good luck Mr. Squirrel, somewhere else!


    Reply to ChicagoMike's comment

  10. Pampered Mom on March 23, 2009 at 3:37 pm

    I love early Spring bloomers. I had several different ones that I inherited with this house…then my hubby decided to move the landscaping around and never replanted them. They’re sitting in my basement in a paper bag with little green sprouts peeking out. I keep hoping that just maybe they’ll get planted and have time to bloom this year. I’ll really miss them if they don’t.

    Pampered Mom’s last blog post.. Dandelion

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  11. Mike on March 23, 2009 at 3:44 pm

    Try a little powdered hot pepper, very little, mixed with a small amount of canola oil, and added to a spray bottle full of water. We use this to keep deer away, works great for a few days, or until you water or get some rain. I would not spray this directly on a flower though, just the leaves.


    Mike’s last blog post.. Extending The Growing Season

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  12. Dan on March 23, 2009 at 10:30 pm

    We have a huge population of grey squirrels in our neighborhood, old houses & big trees seem to draw them in. At any given time you can look out on the treed lot behind use and count at least 8. They eat my bulbs, plants & flowers all the time. I really dislike them and have thought a few times of starting a squirrel relocating program!

    Dan’s last blog post.. My photograph made news

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    • Susy on March 24, 2009 at 9:11 am

      Too bad you live in the city or you could start having squirrel dinners. They taste like chicken.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  13. Linda on March 27, 2009 at 12:29 am

    Counted my crocus bulbs that I planted last fall and all are here, accounted for and blooming (in KY at the moment). I used a biodegradable burlap mesh that I purchased in a roll at the local co-op to cover the bulbs after I planted them and left it there all winter. None of the local squirrels, cats, etc. touched the bulbs. And, they grew up right through that burlap. The roll was less than $20 and I still have plenty left. Worth the effort, esp. since my bulbs were spared!

    Linda’s last blog post.. Turn off Lights for Earth Hour

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    • Susy on March 27, 2009 at 9:13 am

      Thanks for the tip. I’m hoping to plant a bunch more bulbs this fall and I’ll have to give this a shot.

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  14. Ginger on March 27, 2009 at 11:53 pm

    crushed red pepper flakes solved this very annoying problem for me. expensive, but worth it!

    Ginger’s last blog post.. La vie en rose

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  15. Patricia on March 30, 2010 at 12:51 am

    What is the problem with crocus that put up green but do not bloom? I’m not sure they ever did, certaily not for the last couple years.

    Reply to Patricia's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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