Creative (and perhaps strange!) ways to protect your plants from squirrels

With the temperature warming up and the days getting longer (thank goodness!) a lot of people are now paying more attention to their gardens and preparing to get it ready for the spring and summer seasons. I’ve seen quite a lot of social media posts of people beginning to plant and sow seeds, so now might be a good idea for a blog like this.

How do I stop squirrels digging up spring bulbs in my garden?

I think it’s safe to say even the most casual of gardeners would have had problems in the past with pests and wildlife interfering with their garden in some way or another. While attracting wildlife to your garden is a beautiful, important thing and what they do bring is almost always beneficial and positive, it can also be incredibly frustrating when the effort you go to improve and beautify your garden can be quashed and ruined before you even get the chance to enjoy it.

Thankfully, there are more often than not many things you can do to protect your plants from pests or animals. While some of these are quite conventional and well known, there are some that appear a little out there and strange at first, but perhaps worth the try anyway if all other options haven’t worked?

Squirrels tend to be one of the more problematic ‘pests’ for gardeners in this country, and while they’re always interesting to watch, they really can cause havoc in a garden if allowed to do so. So, for this first blog post about keeping away pests, here are various ways you can protect your garden against squirrels especially:

— Laying down some chicken wire or garden stakes in pots and flower beds can prevent squirrels from digging, and if they can’t dig, they can’t get to your precious seeds or bulbs! You have to make sure to do a thorough job though as if they can find a way they in, they will.

How to Keep Animals from Eating Your Bulbs | George Weigel

— Used coffee grinds can also be effective, as can spraying cayenne pepper on your soil. Squirrels won’t like this at all and will definitely keep away! The only downside to this, is you will have to keep on top of this regularly as rain will wash it away. It’s also worth noting that if you have pets you let out into your garden, the cayenne pepper could affect them too, so it might be wise to try and avoid that on any flower beds they might decide to walk on.

— This next idea is something I myself have done this year and while I can’t say for certain its worked, none of my tulip bulbs have been dug up this year while previously they had been in: dog hair! If you have a dog in your household that requires regular grooming, save the hair you brush from your dog and add them to your pots and flower beds. You don’t need to add entire clumps (as that could look unattractive!) but little strands will be enough for the squirrels to smell a potential predator and they’ll probably keep away for a period of time. You would also need to keep adding dog hair to your garden as the smell will fade away over time. Like I said, I’ve used my dog’s hair to protect tulip bulbs this year and none of them have been touched.

— Adding bone meal fertilizer might be one of the more innovative, beneficial ways to protect your plants as not only does it really help your plants, but the squirrels will find the odour with the bone meal sprinkled on top of the soil really off-putting and will keep away. However, like with hair and pepper spray, this is something you will have to keep on top of.

— If your garden is visited by a lot of squirrels and nothing seems to be working, perhaps do some research into plants that squirrels themselves do not like and won’t bother digging out of the ground to eat. For instance, alliums, marigolds, and daffodils. They’re more than likely to be left alone.

So there are some ways to protect your beloved plants from the pesky squirrels! Hopefully they will work for you if you try them. Do you know any other ways to protect your garden from pests? If so, feel free to let us know and they might be included in future blog posts!

Have a great weekend, everyone! Spring is almost here!