Tenacious bulb eaters

Thu. Oct. 17, 2019

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show: Tenacious bulb eaters

Those little #*%&@ are always at it!


They are tenacious if nothing else! People have discussed ideas about what to do for as long as we’ve planted bulbs.  The best method so far is to place chicken wire over your bulb bed, secure it with stakes or heavy rocks and then mulch it with woodchips, shredded bark or leaves. The plants will grow up through the wire or hardware cloth.

You could sink the wire into the ground, making a pen around your bulbs. I’m thinkin’… seriously? I don’t think so!

For me, that’s rather impractical AND for those who like to pop them in here and there or for naturalizing.  There are repellents that work.  Plantskydd is a product I’ve used to ward off rabbits.  It works and it’s safe for kids and pets. There’s a blend to keep squirrels away too. I just talked about Repellex too.

Repellex systemic tablets

Some folks say their dog keeps the squirrels away.  Mine had fun chasing them!

Squirrels are persistent little creatures and will eat even bulbs that they’re NOT supposed to like, such as grape hyacinth and daffodils. However, they’re not big on onions, so Alliums are a good choice, as are Pinkbells, Squill and Summer Snowflake.

Allium ‘Silver Spring’
Allium mix
Campanula punctata ‘Pink Chimes’ by Missouri Botanical – aka pinkbell or pink bellflower – this plant grows from rhizomes

There’s also a product called Tree Guard that you can spray your bulbs with before you plant.  It’s main ingredient is called Bitrex and is quite bitter tasting to animals.  It’s safe for the environment and contains latex which makes it stick to the bulb.

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