Fall bulb planting season getting you down? Finding your bulbs chewed up or just gone? Well look no further than squirrels. These devious nut grabbers are intelligent and quick. They will track you as you garden, wait for you to leave and then dig up all your hard work. What makes it worse is the season for bulb planting coincides with squirrels’ food sources dwindling as winter comes on.
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The easiest way to protect your garden from those furry thieves is to use chicken wire or a finer material like hardware cloth to cover your garden during the early stages of planting. Alternatively, you could plant your bulbs later in the year after the squirrels hunker down for the winter.
It’s also a good idea to avoid strong-smelling fertilizers, especially ones made with meat leftovers as it attracts the heck out of squirrels and other digging and burrowing creatures. Try using synthetic fertilizers, they don’t have any smell at all so they won’t attract animals to your garden.
In a pinch you can try adding sharp gravel to the garden. It discourages squirrels and their delicate footsies from going into your garden. But this is a questionable method, like trying to provide an alternate food source to distract the squirrels from your garden.
Another easy solution is to plant the bulbs within the already existing ground cover. The flowers do a good job of hiding the bulbs from the squirrels’ view long enough for them to leave and find someone else s garden to dig up.
Now everyone knows the red pepper flake trick, it doesn’t really work and you have to redo it every time the garden gets wet. But other organic repellents can work. There are specific repellents for rodents but some say deer repellent is effective.