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Tulip Bulbs

I have encountered one problem after another, so I have stopped the rabbits, put treats down for mice and rats and now it appears something else is digging my tulips up. There are already about 10 inches tall, I didn't believe these type of rodents would do this I thought they usually went for the bulbs? could it be squirrels though I have never seen them in the garden?

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  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Posts: 10,784
    That is strange Lisa, poor you. I don't know what to suggest. Have you used Blood, Bone & Fish fertiliser in your garden at all? Any dogs around?  I would suspect a stray rabbit if anything. The squirrels here seem to ignore the tulips both in the ground and in the pots once they start coming up.
    North East Somerset - Clay soil over limestone
  • Lisa54Lisa54 Posts: 5
    Yes thats what I thought, we had rabbits years ago and we stop by enclosing our garden as we are near a field. Haven't seen any evidence of rabbits. Then our gardener said we had mice so we laid down bait for them and they seemed to disappeared, then i started seeing larger holes, certainly not mice, so we put down rodent traps. This has totally baffled me. The tulips are well grown and they have been pulled out from the ground. Would rabbits still do this?
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 50,121
    Squirrels will dig up bulbs, but not usually once they're growing.
    Rabbits will just eat them when foliage appears, not dig them up. 

    Possibly foxes, as they'll dig, but wouldn't eat them.

    Did you mean they're disappearing completely, or are they being left lying on the ground?

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....



    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Lisa54Lisa54 Posts: 5
    The leaves are all lying on the ground and there is a hole near where the bulb would have been. never had this I suggested to my husband we get a night vision camera for animals so we can definitely know what it is. For the last two years I must have spent £150 on bulbs so we can't go on like this. i will take some photos. Thank you
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 50,121
    Yes - no point in spending all that money unless you can protect them in some way. At least if you can ID the culprit, you can look at deterrents.
    I take it the bulbs have completely gone then?
    Have you got other wildlife visiting too?
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....



    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • What a headache...I've used plastic mesh (could use metal too) to protect my bulbs before they started growing because we have so many dastardly squirrels...but wonder if used with large enough openings to fit the growing bulbs you could leave it in the ground and mulch over so animals can't dig.

    So far I've only had a tiny bit of digging in my only uncoveted area around an apple tree...the rest are looking great.
    To Plant a Garden is to Believe in Tomorrow
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Posts: 10,784
    If rabbits can't get in, then it must either be rats or foxes. If you do get a camera, do let us know what it is - I'm mystified.
    North East Somerset - Clay soil over limestone
  • Lisa54Lisa54 Posts: 5
    Thank you for all your comments I am mystified and so is my gardener as the garden is enclosed! My nephew is going to put a wildlife camera this weekend with night vision so I can see what is happening! Will report back thank you for all your ideas and help 
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 50,121
    Hope you find out @Lisa54. It can very frustrating. A camera is probably the way to solve it initially.

    If you have no signs of 4 legged intruders, I do hope it's not 2 legged ones...  :/
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....



    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Lisa54Lisa54 Posts: 5
    I thought I would give you an update on the massacre of my tulips! my nephew kindly put up a camera to monitor what was happening at night. Many times there was no footage so we began to believe the camera wasn't working. We then eventually moved it to a different spot and there we got it! Rats! and they were sitting on the boxes! We have now put other devices in place. We haven't totally ruled out anything else yet, but we have not caught anything else on the video. I was surprised that rats would still dig the tulips up after they had grown a good 10 inches! you always learn. We still have no evidence of any other animal i.e. squirrels, but then our handyman said in all the years he has been helping us he has never spotted a squirrel in our garden. Our garden though a third of an acre is still tightly enclosed. The answer is if I bought some tulips which are flowering and planted them would the rats still dig them up? Thank you for all your help and comments. will update if I find other animals on the video.
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