The gardener's eye

The Gardener's Eye

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Tovah's Tulip Tip

I finally plated all the tulips this week after our Halloween snow. Unfortunately, I have a vole and chipmunk problem. This year, I took some advice from Tovah Martin's blog PlantsWise about how to protect bulbs from rodents. She recommends, "my secret is to sandwich the bulbs between crushed oyster shells (you can buy them in large bags from the farm feed store as “chicken grit”). It works." So I went to Agway and got some chicken grit and gave it a try. If Tovah's tip is successful, I'm going to add some chicken grit to the hole when I plant or divide herbaceous plants that the rodents munch on. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. You learn something new every day.


  1. I hope that the tulip bulbs may be left alone for the hungry animals, so you may enjoy the blooming tulips in the spring next year.

  2. Thanks, Hans. I will let you know what happens next spring. Looks like things are beginning to get cold in your garden.

  3. Chicken grit is a good idea - down here in N.C. they sell a product called permatill, cooked and crushed slate used to break up the heavy clay, that is said to repel rodents too.

  4. Thanks for the tip. It certainly makes a lot of sense. How are you liking gardening south of the Mason-Dixon Line?

  5. In Virginia we use chicken/turkey grit that is actually teeny crushed granite chips - pH neutral and long-lasting in the soil. Voles have soft feet and don't like the sharp grit. Seems to help.

  6. Hi Donna,
    I can't wait for the tulips! Thanks for commenting.

  7. I will have to try this. We have been using small sharp gravel sprinkled in with the bulbs and that has worked great.

  8. DGP,
    The more I hear, the more I think this will work. I took a peak at your blog; you take a mighty fine picture! Thanks for commenting.



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