Sporadic bulb success thanks to squirrels and clay soil...
We are somewhat sporadic in our planting of bulbs – we seem to have ‘on’ years and ‘off’ years. Last year was very much an ‘on’ year planting hundreds of different bulbs, this year will be a lighter one.
Our heavy clay soil is a problem for bulbs. Not only for planting but for them surviving and thriving. Combined with our inherent laziness in the garden which means that nothing that needs lifting will survive. The other problem we have is our very active squirrel population. Meaning the bulbs that do survive are often stolen. They aren’t content with just eating all the bird food and gnawing their way through our phone lines (repeatedly), they also dig up the bulbs (from wherever they are planted - from pots, from the lawn, from the borders). Which means every year we hold our breath to see how many come through again.
And yet, every year we plant some more (isn’t that the definition of insanity – doing the same thing repeatedly and hoping for a different outcome?!). It’s easier now that we use the Hori-Hori though (bulb planters simply don’t work in our soil, despite trying). We just stab the soil/turf (and I know ‘stab’ is not a technical gardening term – but we’re tool people, not pro-gardeners!), leverage back slightly (don’t yank it – it’s good but not indestructible), check the depth marker that you are where you need to be, then pop in the bulb. Release the Hori-Hori. Repeat.
All the time I’m using chanting something helpful like – one for the squirrel – one for us. If only they left us half….