When you visualize your spring garden, you may picture a sea of yellow Daffodil (Narcissus) cascading down a hillside, their orange and yellow trumpets nodding in the spring breeze. You may envision beautiful stands of bright red Tulip (Tulipa) marching tall and stately across evergreen borders.
You may see a carpet of lovely Anemone (Windflower) spreading bright spring cheer under bare-limbed shade trees. You may look forward to the fragrant blooms of jasmine-scented Hyacinth (Hyacinthus) perfuming the spring air. During the planning process, the spring garden sounds lovely, but you could be in for a disappointing spring if you don’t take precautions against nibbling critters when planting spring bulbs.
Flower bulbs are nature’s perfect package: everything required to grow and nourish a beautiful flower all wrapped up in a neat little easy-to-carry package. Unfortunately, those are the same qualities that make spring bulbs so attractive to woodland critters. Squirrels, chipmunks, rabbits, deer, mice, voles, moles and other critters love to feast on tasty flower bulbs and can decimate your carefully planned and planted garden in a single evening. Don’t let all those hours spent toiling on your knees planting bulbs go to waste. To ensure a beautiful spring garden, follow these humane tips to keep critters from snacking on spring bulbs:
- Tulip bulbs are especially attractive to deer and squirrels. Interplanting tulips with naturally poisonous daffodils or alliums is an effective natural deterrent.
- Lay sheets of chicken wire over planted areas to keep critters from digging up bulbs. This is particularly effective for shallow plantings like anemones.
- To protect bulbs from burrowing animals, plant bulbs in wire cages or make your own from chicken wire. Choose wire large enough for plant stems to grown through.
- Spray bulbs with foul smelling pest repellents. Let dry, then plant.
- Motion-sensor lights will startle and deter deer and other nocturnal nibblers.