Thursday, October 7, 2010

Ten simple ways to stop wild animals from digging, eating or stealing your newly planted tulips & crocus.

Ten simple ways to stop wild animals from digging, eating or stealing your newly planted tulips & crocus. Save your bulbs from hungry wildlife or destructive critters!

Here are some suggestions for how to prevent wild animals such as mice, voles, moles, woodchucks, chipmunks, skunks, and deer from digging up or eating or otherwise destroying your newly planted bulbs (without the benefit of Ewoks to stand guard of course).

1. Dip your bulbs in animal repellent before planting. We carry an organic animal repellent liquid that smells like peppermint, so it will keep the critters away, but it won’t make you gag.

2. Plant pellets of mole and vole repellent in the hole with your bulbs. The organic pellets contain castor bean oil, which keeps the critters at bay.

3. Water well to firm in the soil around newly planted bulbs. Nothing calls to chipmunks like soft, freshly dug ground.

4. Another strategy to guard your bulbs from scavenging chipmunks is to trim the stakes of a gridded peony support and push the shorted plant support into the dirt over your bulbs, so the metal grid is flush with the soil. You can leave it in the ground all year long, and your bulbs will grow up in between the grid.

5. Line your planting hole with old window screen or chicken wire, cover with a layer of soil, and plant your bulbs within the protected hole.

6. Plant sticks with your bulbs, criss-crossed and pointing in all directions to discourage tunneling moles and voles.

7. Get rid of moles and voles permanently by killing the grubs they feed on. Use Milky Spore (organic, kid-safe, pet-safe) on your lawn. The spores kill the grubs, and as the grubs decompose, the spores multiply. One application of Milky Spore will stay active in your soil for years to come. This has the added benefit of reducing the Japanese Beetle population.

8. Plant your bulbs in a pot in your garden. By sinking a plastic pot into your garden soil, you can deter moles and voles from getting at them them from below.

9. Plant sharp shards of broken terracotta pots in the hole with your bulbs.

10. Plant Daffodils instead. Daffodils are toxic (when ingested) and that’s why the deer also leave them alone.

In the spring, as soon as you see green breaking through the soil, spray deer repellent and enjoy your spring blooms!

Try one or all of theses organic, kid-safe/pet-safe techniques to guard your precious spring color from the wild animals and hungry critters!

For more Star Wars vs. Chipmunk images: