Documents: Container & Small Space Gardening:

September 8, 2013

Do you have a Squirrel problem?

Are these cute, furry devils eating your bulbs?

Read on for 5 great ways to deal with Squirrels

There is little doubt that autumn is a busy time for Squirrels and Gardeners. Unfortunately, sometimes both are busy in the same garden. While squirrels are stocking up for winter and burying nuts, they are also digging up and even eating some of your freshly planted bulbs.

Below we have outlined what we have found to be some of the most effective solutions.

1. Plant bulbs they don't like

Anemone blanda - lovely daisy-like flowers bloom in mid to late spring and look great with Tulips.

Crocus tomasinianus - although crocus are often considered a squirrels favourite food, there are some they tend to ingnore. We offer 2 varieties of "Tommies", BARR'S PURPLE and RUBY GIANT. These are one of the best "naturalizing" crocus; early flowering and spreading.

Corydalis solida - super easy, dependable and utterly gorgeous shade tolerant bulbs that bloom profusely in spring.

Eranthis (winter aconite) - a very early-flowering treasure that works well in the lawn.

Erythronium (dog tooth violet) - a group of graceful, woodland bulbs that bloom in mid spring and love a lightly shaded spot.

Eremurus (foxtail lily) - these grow from scary, spider-like roots to 1.5m - 3m (5' - 9') giants, making them one of the most spectacular spring flowers.

Fritillaria - these are famous for their "skunky" smell. A smell squirrels hate inspite of the beautiful flowers these bulbs produce.

Galanthis (snowdrops) - these harbingers of spring are the first bulbs to bloom. Squirrels ignore them.

Hyacinths - floriferous, fragrant & squirrel's hate them.

Bulbous Iris - the majority of these bloom very early and all are very easy to grow.

Narcissus (daffodils) - a favourite of ours that bloom every spring and will increase over time. Perfect for naturalizing in the lawn. Squirrels have been known to move them, but never eat them.

Puschkinia - lovely, denim - blue flowers in early spring.

Scilla - nobody forgets their first sight of a lawn carpeted with these in early Scilla.

Species Tulips - some of the most delightful tulips are in this group. For some reason Squirrels leave most of these alone.

2. Plant DEEPLY

Tulips actually grow better if planted deeply. This would be 25 - 30cm (10 - 12") deep for the regular 10 - 12cm bulbs and 10 - 15cm (4 - 6") for Species Tulips. Fortunately squirrels are a little lazy and won't be keen to dig this deep.

3. Bar the gates

Once your bulbs are planted, you can put wire mesh, boards, even lawn furniture over the area to keep the squirrels out until the ground freezes.

4. Acti-sol Hen Manure

We've found that this natural fertilizer made from Hen manure REPELLS SQUIRRELS.

They use a European technology to turn what was once an environmental problem into a useful garden food with the added benefit of REPELLING SQUIRRELS.

Simply scatter Acti-sol on top of the soil after you've planted your bulbs and again in the spring.

Acti-sol is made in Quebec and rigorously tested to meet both the Canadian and Quebec regulations.

6. A Jack Russell Terrier

Provided you don't mind a little wear and tear in your garden, a Jack Russell is one of the best solutions around. These dogs absolutely LOVE to chase squirrels and are more than a match for these furry devils. While Jack Russell ownership is only for energetic folk, you may be able to borrow a neighbours.

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