Squirrels vs bulbs and corms

by Pippa Greenwood

Although the squirrel damage to my Brussels sprouts was inconvenient, our meals weren't ruined. So now, they've moved on to my bulbs.

Planting bulbsIt's almost as if the squirrels had read my blog about the damage they'd caused to my Brussels sprouts. Although the damage was inconvenient, our meals weren't ruined. So now, they've moved on to my bulbs. Like many people, I've done a fair amount of late bulb and corm planting - crocus, daffodils and tulips. I'm incapable of resisting a 'reduced-for-clearance' bargain bulb.

Months after the theoretical planting date I was out, small daughter at my elbow, cramming crocus and other favourites into beds and pots. Few have survived the attentions of the squirrels that lurk in the Hampshire hillsides. The newly planted bulbs were fine for a couple of days, but, with other things on my mind, I forgot to cover the area with mesh. The squirrels have now largely excavated the area and removed most of the bulbs and corms. Only my daughter's plot is untouched - apparently squirrels don't like climbing inside children's wheelbarrows.

The remaining bulbs and corms are now hidden, camouflaged beneath the brightest polyanthus I could find in the local market.

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Gardeners' World Web User 29/02/2008 at 11:42

We live near a park, and when the squirrels tire of being fed peanuts by visitors they come to wreck our garden. I used to have several different varieties of autumn crocus, snowdrops etc, but most of these have been eaten. They seem to know when you have been planting, I think they must smell the newly dug soil, because they can leave areas of the garden untouched for ages, then as soon as you plant anything, there they are, busy excavating. They even ruined my hanging baskets less than 24 hours after I had planted them. I found several hidden peanuts in their shells buried in the compost when I was replanting. I put 'hairnets' round them of green garden mesh, it protected my winter pansies, but they did not look very attractive!

Gardeners' World Web User 29/02/2008 at 21:15

I also had a problem with squirrels.While I was away in September they had raided my newly planted pots.When I got back I put grated soap round all pots and the pots in the garden.I also found the reappearance of my dog helped to keep them away.I now have a lovely show of spring flowers.What a joy.

Gardeners' World Web User 02/03/2008 at 20:13

Squirrels are the bane of my gardening existence! Everything that I try to grow in pots, whether seedlings or bulbs are always eaten... until this year. My hair is thinning (I'm only 31) and I've been shaving my head for the last 10 years as a way to cover up the balding process... but that's another story. Anyway, now, I shave my head with an electric razor and spread my hair clippings in my pots, over the compost, and the squirrels don't touch anything! So, when you get your hair cut, save it!

Gardeners' World Web User 03/03/2008 at 12:11

I have found that soap chippings scattered on the area after planting can deter squirrels from digging up bulbs etc. It doesn't look particularly pretty but it will eventually wash away and gives the bulbs a chance to survive.

Gardeners' World Web User 04/03/2008 at 11:03

Does anyone know of any other deterents to keep squirrels off your bulbs and seedlings? I have a dog that keeps them out for a certain amount but they still come back.I would appreciate any comments. Thanks.

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