It’s time to plant your bulbs! Now that fall is coming in, bulbs need to be planted in the ground so they can pop up in the spring with their beautiful colors. However, they still have to survive the fall and winter in the ground, and sometimes, that can cause problems. Bulbs can die during the cold winter, or be taken away and eaten by wildlife. How can you save them? Try these three tips to protect your bulbs!
Tip#1: Make a Screen Door
Squirrels are adorable creatures, but they can certainly be a hassle. They’ll steal bird food, dig up bulbs thinking they’re nuts, and generally cause a mess. During the Fall, they’ll watch you bury the bulbs before going to grab them themselves in hopes to store them somewhere else for the winter. One of the best ways of stopping them is to make sure they can’t dig up the bulbs. The way we prefer is getting cheap chicken wire or other mesh products, and spreading them on the gardening surface.
Once staked in place, this mesh barrier will keep the squirrels from being able to dig up the bulbs. Even when the plants begin to grow, they’ll have large enough holes for the stems to grow through. You won’t even have to take it off in the spring – providing long-lasting protection! You can cover the mesh with a thin layer of dirt or mulch, so that you won’t have to see it, too.
Tip #2: Spice it Up
Whether squirrels are your problem, or other neighborhood animals, adding spices that are offensive to sensitive noses will definitely discourage anyone from rooting around your garden. For squirrels, sprinkle a decent amount of cayenne pepper, paprika, or cinnamon into and on top of your dirt during planting. When the squirrels come around, their noses will hurt too much for them to finish their robbery.
Neighborhood cats are also a huge problem since they can lay on the dirt and kill small seedlings before they grow up. They also tend to use the garden as their litter box, killing plants who get too much of the wrong nutrients. The best way to keep cats and dogs from your area is to sprinkle your leftover coffee grounds in your garden and around your bulbs. Once you’re done, just take the filter out and layer the grounds on the dirt. The strong odor will chase the cats away.
Tip #3: Chase Away the Deer
In a more rural area? Then you probably have issues with mice,deer, and other similar animals. These animals don’t really care about your bulbs, but will ruin your plants once they start growing. This eventually kills your bulbs anyways. How can you get rid of these animals? Simply gather up strong smelling soap, like Irish Spring, or your smelliest fabric softener sheets.
The sheets can be put on the ground under your mulch to discourage mice. They can also be clipped onto or around the plants to chase off the deer. Soap wrapped up in a little muslin pouch will get wet during the rain and make the entire area smell of the soap, keeping most animals away from your darling little seedlings!