Outsmarting the Squirrels: Tips for a Critter-Free Garden

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C., November 1, 2012 – Want a gorgeous garden of spring blooms but concerned that squirrels, deer and other pests might ruin the plan? Follow these suggestions to keep prying paws and hooves at bay.

Offend their Senses

  • Smartest bulb choice – daffodils and other narcissi. Squirrels and deer generally don't like their taste. You can also plant them as a border surrounding other precious bulbs you'd like to protect.
  • Squirrels and deer can't stand the skunky gym socks smell of Fritillaria imperialis bulbs. Interplant these tall, dramatic flowers to ward them off and protect your other bulbs.
  • Other types of fall bulbs that are considered deer resistant are: alliums, camassia and chionodoxa. Most packages will identify if the bulb is deer resistant as well.
  • Deer don't like thorny things. They also don't eat anemones, astilbes, junipers, foxgloves, ferns and grasses, to name a few. So you could effectively cordon off your garden by planting some of these suggestions.

Clean-Up Duty

  • Once you are done planting, clean up the garden area. Remove any mulch, planting tools and bulb debris. Squirrels and other pests have a nose for those clues, which will lead them right to a meal. (If using mulch, do not apply too early, as this could attract them. Apply after the soil freezes hard in a thin layer.

Full Metal Jacket

  • Place mesh, wire or metal barriers at least 12 inches high around your flower bulb garden. This will keep them from entering the garden area from the top. Bury the bottom edge six to 10 inches to prevent them from digging beneath the barrier.

About Dig.Drop.Done.

Dig.Drop.Done™ is a three-year, North American educational campaign to introduce flowering bulbs to a new generation of potential gardeners and demystify the bulb-growing process. Through a website, digital and print advertising, social media and public relations, the campaign will show women just how simple, beautiful and rewarding flowering bulbs can be. For more information, visit www.DigDropDone.com.

Dig.Drop.Done is sponsored by the Dig.Drop.Done Foundation (a select group of major Dutch flower bulb exporters that are members of Anthos, Holland’s Royal trade association for nursery stock and flower bulbs) and iBulb, a foundation that was set up by Anthos in January 2012 to focus on the financing and implementation of three activities important to the Dutch flower bulb sector: promotion, technical research and market access. iBulb supports all major Dutch companies in the dry sales and forcing business, which together represent more than 90 percent of Holland’s worldwide flower bulb export business. Learn more at www.iBulb.org.