Voles love bulbs, but you can deter them by pouring a handful of sharp gravel over each bulb before backfilling with soil.
Photo/Illustration: Steve Buchanan
One of the biggest pests for bulbs is voles (small rodents distinguished from mice by their short tails), which tunnel just beneath the surface of the soil and devour bulbs; tulips in particular are a delicacy. I’ve found that a handful of sharp crushed gravel or marble chips poured over a bulb at planting time helps deter voles. Rather than dig through the gravel, they’ll look elsewhere for food.