Jane McGary
Fri, 24 Feb 2006 09:05:04 PST
After observing how well Crocus tommasinianus survived in a lawn area, 
despite my garden's plethora of bulb-eating rodents, I decided to plant 
extra corms of other crocuses in the same area and am pleased to see them 
returning several years in a row. I was also surprised to find seedling C. 
pulchellus (a fall bloomer) in rough pasture grass near the bulb frames. 
Therefore, I suggest that if people are having trouble keeping crocuses 
going in the garden, they plant them in grass -- as long as they can bear 
to mow the grass fairly high in spring to allow the crocus foliage to ripen.

I think the tough grass roots deter burrowing voles, and the grass itself 
conceals the emerging shoots of the crocuses, which I believe are what 
catches the attention of deer mice and squirrels; at least, I don't see 
rodents digging up crocuses which have their leaves fully extended.

I also have some very long-lived crocuses which either plunge to great 
depths (C. ochroleucus) or apparently have settled in between rocks.

Jane McGary
Northwestern Oregon, USA

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