bulb predators and Bomarea

Adam Fikso irisman@ameritech.net
Wed, 14 Dec 2005 09:27:33 PST
I thought I would add a bit here (being careful to not hit REPLY and copy the whole list). Wire mesh is usually called hardware cloth in the US.  If one uses Dogpile, types in-- hardware cloth--, one major supplier (TWP) lists it in various sizes in various metals: steel, galvanized steel, stainless, bronze, etc. and various meshs. I have never seen a mouse who could go through the 1/2 inch size, although Diane, you're quite right, most  can easily go through a 1/2 inch crack, but not through a square opening of that dimension.   If you have miniature mice, use the 3/8  or 1/4 inch mesh.

Another safety procedure is to get decomposed granite to put on the soil on top of the place where the bulb is ensconced in its wire cage.  Press the granite pieces into the soil so it's embedded down about 3/4 inch or so in an area about 4 x 4 inches arojover the top area.   Mice, chipmunks really won't dig down into this because it hurts their paws.  If you have really desperate hungry mice...  give them a constant source of food about 20-25 feet away from where the bulbs are.. The other effective method is a biological control.  Get an outdoor, or barn cat who can go in and out.   I tried to grow crocuses in my lawn for about 5 years with about an 85% loss ratio., until I used the granite.  Cheaper, faster, and more permanent than little wire cages.  They see the granite, try it, remember what happened last time and quit.

I had a Bomarea species from Archibald via Watson a few years ago.  It germinated in 10 days.  It's a weed and invasive in its native country.  Couldn't establish it here in the Chicago area.  May try again. Your slow germination experience may mean that the seed is not viable or dead. If you dig it up and find it still there and apparently alive, try a higher germination temperature,e.g., 75-80° F.  Adam FIkso in Glenview, USDA Zone 5a  and 26° F this morning.  

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