Saffron and pests

Fri, 07 Nov 2014 13:30:23 PST
Finally a remedy for deer! And voles.
I will just have to stomach the smell of making this preparation!
Saffron grows with absolutely no special treatment in the open garden here in northern Normandy. Be it close to the sea though.
I just give it some general purpose organic fertiliser once a year.
They have dwarf dahlias growing over them in summer.
So they never get baked.
The soil is just standard loamy soil.
They have flowered prolifically for the last three years since planting.
One or two popped-up white this year! I never had C. cartwrightianus 'Albus' so this may be an intersting variant or just some rogue bulbs of the latter that have just decided to flower this year? They are as big as sativus. Cartwrightianus 'Albus' is a bit smaller I find.
"Here in zone 6b, they seem to do well,  even though I've been neglectful in not dividing them.
> My second-hand experience with moles, voles, etc. has been that they are burrowing primarily for grubs and earthworms, and the corms are just a tasty snack. If you use an insecticide for the grubs, then apply a strong tea of hot pepper, this should discourage burrowing vermin. (I would never kill earthworms....) The drawback of hot pepper tea is that it has to be applied every couple of days to be effective.
> On a side note, if you're battling squirrels or grazing animals, a few drops of a week-old solution of rotted egg (1 raw egg mixed in 3 liters water), also applied every 3 days, is highly effective and cheap! The solution doesn't off-gas, and is useable for at least 2 months. It has kept the squirrels out of my pots, and a few thin strips of paper dipped in this and hung on tree branches will send deer running. Applied in moderation, it shouldn't be detectable to humans."
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