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Protect Your Bulbs!

by Amanda

wildflower tulips blooming

Although squirrel and gopher watching may be a fun pastime for you and your family, their tendency to snack on freshly-planted Tulips, Crocus, and Hyacinths is not so amusing. Don’t let this discourage you from planting these gorgeous spring-bloomers; With a few simple steps you can keep hungry critters away and enjoy the fruits of your labor come spring!

Crocus Pickwick growingMany gardeners will spread a natural critter repellant on top of the soil after planting their bulbs. Most repellants are made up of natural ingredients (e.g. fox urine) that tend to deter small critters. We recommend applying immediately after planting and once more after the ground freezes.

Another method to deterring small animals from eating your bulbs is shielding your bulbs with a bulb cage. These can be found at most garden centers and keep your bulbs safe beneath the ground. A more economical option for larger plantings is to line your area with chicken wire, which works the same way as the cage. You can also cover the surface of your garden bed with thorny branches from trimming your roses or perennials down.

Hyacinth Fat Tuesday MixAlthough these methods are fairly simple and effective for protecting bulbs such as Tulips, Hyacinths and Crocus, if you don’t have the resources or time to “critter-proof” your bulb beds, try planting Daffodils and Snowdrop Bulbs. These bulbs are naturally unattractive to critters because they contain natural toxins that are bitter to the taste.

Now you can plant, sit back and relax without worrying about critters snacking on your precious bulbs. Happy Gardening!