Bulbs can be used in many ways in the garden. A few bulbs planted here and there can be a welcome surprise in the early months of spring, especially when clusters are nestled between your perennials for a splash of colour before the perennials are even up. Or, if you are planting an empty flowerbed, you can even try a grid or checkerboard pattern – placing the bulbs in rows an equal distance apart from one another.
Squirrels can be problematic as they like to dig up, relocate, or eat your flowering bulbs. But there are a few things that you can do to help deter these mischievous little critters. Try planting later (plant at the end of October rather than early September) to reduce the amount of time between planting and freeze up. After planting, sprinkle the soil surface with a little blood meal – they don’t like the odour and shouldn’t bother with that area. And bonus, it’s a fertilizer. Just be sure to reapply after heavy rains as the blood meal will wash into the soil.
Hen Manure, also a fertilizer, has shown great results at deterring squirrels. Sprinkle the dehydrated, pelletized hen manure over your planted bulbs for approximately 2 weeks of deterrent. And finally there’s Animal B Gon Max or Super Hunter, a bitter tasting spray that can be sprayed onto the bulb before planting. If something digs up the bulb and takes a nibble, they will encounter a very bitter taste and (hopefully) will leave it be.
If pesky squirrels continue to be a problem, try planting bulbs that are not as desirable to them and other critters. Hyacinths, Muscari (Grape Hyacinths), Alliums, Daffodils, and Fritillaria are great bulbs to use if you have little furry friends that want to dig up your gardens.
So remember, when the days get shorter and winter is around the corner, stop by and pick up some of your favorite bulbs, plant them before the ground freezes, and watch the magic happen as the snow melts!