Deer, chipmunks, voles, mice, and other rodents can be a pest to your fall planting bulbs.  No one wants to come home and see their bulbs disturbed and chewed.  Some of these pests enjoy the taste of bulbs and will dig up the ground in search of them. If you have this problem, don’t worry there are ways to outsmart them

Here are our 5 secrets for protecting your bulbs from pests:

Secret 1 - Dig Deep Holes – To keep pests from getting at the bulbs dig deep holes.  Follow the instructions on your package.  If directions are not included the general rule is about two to three times as deep as the height of the bulb.  This will give your flower bulbs a better chance of survival.  The further they are planted in the ground, the harder it will be for them to be dug up.  Use a bulb planter to make it easier to dig your soil, especially if it is clay.  When you have finished pack the soil down.

Secret 2 - Use Gravel – Gravel is great to use if you have voles.  Put the sharp rocks at the bottom of the trench to keep voles from digging underground.  Put some gravel on top of the bulbs to keep other pests away.  Cover the gravel and bulbs with soil to finish it off.

Secret 3 - Cover Your Bulb Until Spring – If you have a serious problem with pests after you have planted your bulbs, you can cover the area with chicken wire.  Covering the area will prevent the pests from digging up your newly planted bulbs.  Cut the wire over the area and hold it down until growth emerges in the spring. If you don’t like how it looks, you can cover it with mulch.

Secret 4 - Plant Bulbs Animals Do Not Like – Some fall planting bulbs such as Daffodils, Alliums & Snowdrops are naturally resistant to pests.  These are great bulbs for you to add to your garden.  If you love certain bulbs like Tulips and Hyacinths that are not resistant to these pests mix them with Daffodils, Alliums, and Snowdrops to confuse animals and keep them away.

Secrets 5 - Clean Up After Planting – After you have finished your planting it is a good idea to clean up the area and remove anything such as peels from the bulbs as it will help reduce the smell of the bulbs which can attract pests. The rule is to make sure you leave the area as if you have never been there.  This will signal to the critters that nothing happened here. 

Protecting your hard work in the fall from animals who want a tasty treat is important.  These tips will help make sure your spring will abound with beautiful blooms.

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