“I have a problem with squirrels digging up my flower bulbs. What can I do?” Question from Susan of Lexington, Kentucky
Answer: Squirrels, voles, mice, and other related creatures dig up tulip certain crocus bulbs but dislike most others. Tulip bulbs are especially tasty treats that hungry critters will dig up in fall and winter when food is scarce or the bulbs look best on the garden menu. Here are several potential solutions that will stop them in their tracks.
Protect Your Tulip Bulbs
Gardeners use various methods to protect their tulips.
- Apply vole or squirrel repellents after planting bulbs. These will detur digging and consumption. Shake-Away Coyote Urine is one option.
- Another method is to plant tulips 1 to 2 inches deeper–8 inches rather than 6. This can only be done with large-bulbed tulips, like Triumphs and Giant Darwins. Most animals are less likely to dig as deep or detect the bulbs below.
- Place chicken wire over tulip bulb plantings, which can be easily lifted after the blooms fade in spring. The wire will protect the bulbs before blooming. It is always nice to cover wire sheeting with mulch so it cannot be seen.
- Plant tulips that naturalize, like chrysantha tulips, which spread and resist predation in numbers.
Plant Other Bulbs
Daffodils, chionodoxa, fritillaria, scilla, muscari, and other bulbs are not as palatable to rodents, so plant lots of these instead. Many of these bulbs naturally spread to make your spring garden more and more beautiful each year. Amending bulb plantings with Black Gold Garden Compost Blend and a fertilizer formulated for bulbs will help them perform their best.
I hope that these tips help.