Bulbs That Defy Critters
Soon (late September) you can start planting your bulbs for next spring’s enjoyment. My favorite supplier is BrentandBeckysbulbs.com. You won’t believe the variety available–it’s a real collector’s catalog–and the service is terrific and the prices reasonable.
In the Hudson Valley, as in so many places, the deer, rabbits, and chipmunks love their bulb snacks–both the underground and aboveground parts, depending on the bulb. I don’t plant those big hybrid tulips anymore–they are like neon signs to deer that say “Eat Here.” I don’t plant crocus (chipmunk and squirrel snacks) either. But the good news is that there are many bulbs that are critter-resistant, and in a catalog like B&B’s, you get so many options. So for instance, knowing that daffodils are very unappealing to critters, you can peruse 10 or 12 pages of daffodil varieties including doubles, miniatures, and those with uncommon color elements like red, pink, apricot, and bright orange.
Here’s a list of the critter-resistant bulbs I recommend to friends and clients. It’s not comprehensive but gives folks a place to start so they can heal from past wounds over bulbs having been devoured: Daffodils (early, mid and late season varieties, so you can have daffodils for nearly 3 months), Species Tulips, Scillas (those cute little blue, white, or pink flowers in early spring), Winter Aconites, Snowdrops, and Alliums (ornamental onions).
If you do dearly want to grow those big hybrid tulips, to increase your chances of success, spray the foliage and flower buds with Deer Away at least once a week.