Everything Else

Moles, Voles & Natural Controls
 Moles tunneling just underground can cause problems with your newly planted bulbs and other plants. Even though they are carnivores and are only looking for grubs, worms and other delicacies, they leave nifty passageways for voles, mice and shrews.  Great for veggies too, Dianna cages her cucumber plants next to the house where the moles and voles love tunneling under the grass clipping mulch for tasty items. Now she only needs to spot water the vegetables, before it was necessary to water a large area (“shotgun method”) to keep the varmints from going directly through the newly planted cucumbers and destroying the roots. You can make your own cages to any size using Hardware cloth from a building supply store, a heavy pair of scissors made for cutting wire and heavy gloves or if not wearing gloves, have a handy supply of adhesive bandages because the wire edges are sharp.  For more information go to Mole/Gopher Cages on our website.

Fertilizer - What to use and when.
Twice a year, sprinkle a complete fertilizer around your lily stems, using a vegetable or rose food (5-10-10) or a similar product.  One tablespoon for each large stem is plenty, you want to target the lilies when they are growing fast - in spring making a stem, and again, when the stem has exhausted the bulb and needs to build itself back up before winter.  If you miss a feeding, don't worry, wait until next year and keep in mind that chemical fertilizer granules will not be as effective if spread in fall or dug into the soil when you fall plant bulbs because winter rains will tend to wash away nutrients before your lily bulbs are ready to use the food.  "Top dressing" (spreading organic material on the surface) can be done both midsummer and in fall.

Easy to use for "Top Dressing"POOpeas™

(Yes, we know the name sounds corny.) Straight from a family farm in Idaho, packaged with its own little scooper for precise control, this granulated manure compost is easy to use as either a midsummer or fall "top dressing" around your lily stems. 

Dianna's List of Recommended Companion Plants with Lily Bulbs

Alyssum (Lobularia)
Cosmos – ‘Sonata Series’ is very compact
Dahlia choose varieties that only grow 12-14 inches tall or use as backdrop
Dianthus barbatus ‘Wee Willie’ – plus other shorter growing cultivars
Dillherb with lacy foliage and can't have too much of this when its time to make pickles
Geranium (Pelargonium) – many named cultivars, take your pick
Marigold (Tagetes)  – short varieties are best
Nigella – “Love in a mist” has lacy foliage and pretty pink, white and purple flowers
Pansy great in coastal areas
Papaver  (Poppies) – deep rooted, so will not overrun the bulbs, but some grow quite tall
Penstemon  – choose shorter growing cultivars
Primroses (Primula) – great in coastal areas
Snapdragons  (Floral Showers Series) – old standard types can overwhelm if planted too close
Violets (Viola) – great in coastal areas
Zinnia – choose shorter varieties please

BULBS - all bloom much earlier than lilies and go dormant in summer
Snowdrops (Galanthus)
Grape Hyacinth (Muscari)
Narcissus – choose tiny varieties
Species Tulipsnot the tall hybrids

Alchemilla  erythoropoda  (Lady’s Mantle) compact form
Aquilegia (Columbine) – all forms, I love ‘em!  They seed freely and have great foliage.
Aster (Alpinus and Wood’s Series) – both compact
Aubrieta blooms early and tends to be evergreen, making dense cushions of flowers
Bellis Daisy blooms in spring, not extremely long-lived, but can reseed
Campanula carpaticaavoid C. persicifolia, it even self-sows in our gravel driveway
Gaillardia ‘Arizona Sun’ – needs well drained soil when dormant, I lost mine last winter
Hemerocallis (Daylily)  – short varieties, plant at least 18” from bulbs - they will spread
Heuchera (Coral Bells) – plant at least 12” – 18” from bulbs, makes dense clumps
Peony – keep lily bulbs at least 24” away from peonies which do not need dividing
Papaver – (Oriental poppies) – plant bulbs at least 24’ away from the clump
Primula (Primrose) – likes moist soil in spring, probably best in coastal areas
Pulstatilla – attractive seed heads follow spring flowers, well behaved here
Saxifraga not the “mossy" types that need moist shade
Violets – watch the reseeding

SHRUBS – plant bulbs at least 24” away
Roses – choose Miniatures, Hybrid Tea or shorter growing Rugosa types, depending on your climate
Hardy Fuchsia  – lovely in coastal areas as a backdrop
Azalea –  the bright orange really cheers up our rainy days in spring and some have nice bronze edged foliage in summer
Barberry (Berberis) - Need a thorn barrier?  Cultivars with purple pink leaves are my favorite.
Lavender likes it hot and dry for best flowers, so plant just outside of sprinkler systems or uphill of lilies in a rockery

These are just some of our favorites and bear in mind that some cultivars may become weedy or not be advisable for your local area - so be sure to check with a knowledgeable neighbor or extension service.