Crocus in cans

Kathy Stokmanis
Fri, 03 Sep 2004 18:27:53 PDT
Hi, all,

I had no experience with critters eating bulbs until I moved here.  Voles are abundant and the first year I lost all of my lilies.  Now I plant everything but Amaryllidaceae and Narcissus (and now Colchicum, thank you, Odyssey Bulbs) in mesh--half inch hardware cloth homemade cages, dollar store plastic laundry bins with holes drilled in the bottom and, my most recent find, plastic-dipped metal mesh trash cans found  at the dollar store.  I hope the plastic covering the metal will increase the longevity of the cage.  

I don't know that the plastic plant pots would work for me.  It rains 50 to 70 inches between November and April.  I bury the cages level with the ground or slightly above, since I've found vole holes barely under the surface of the soil.  So far the squirrels have not eaten anything and I have not had to use chicken wire over the surface of the cages.  Of the bulbs that I have only crocus could successfully emerge through hardware cloth.  I have not lost any bulbs since I started caging them but I agree with Jane McGary, I would love to be able to plant a drift of crocus, fritillaries or lilies and have them still be present a year later.  I have often wondered how the native fritillaries survive.  Some seem to have grown in narrow crevices between rocks but others...are the Dichelostemmas and other California native bulbs pest resistent?  .

Kathy Stokmanis
Sierra foothills, zone 8/9, no rain since April though we dodged the long term 100+ temperatures that we normally experience.

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