Spring bulbs burst forth with bright blooms while most of the garden is still dormant. This much appreciated blossoming may be stunted if squirrels decimated your tulip bed over the winter. Tulip bulbs suffer the most from squirrels and other pests. Other than not planting them at all, protecting them so they can still grow and bloom but the squirrels can't get to them is the only way to save them. Fortunately, all the supplies needed to stop the squirrels are available at any hardware store.
Remove the top 3 inches of soil from your garden bed and place on a tarp. Mix in the same amount of fresh compost as there is soil.
Place bulbs on top of the soil in the garden bed. Space them 4 to 6 inches apart and set them so the pointed end is facing up.
Fill in around the bulbs with the soil on the tarp. Fill the bed with soil until it is at the same level as the top of the bulbs.
Cut a length of wire mesh from its spool with wire snips. Use mesh with 1/2-inch openings. Cut it to the length and width of the garden bed.
Lay the mesh on top of the bed, covering the tulip bulbs. Place the rest of the soil from the tarp on top of the mesh. Level the garden bed. Add additional compost, if needed, so the tip of the bulbs is sitting 6 inches beneath the top of the soil.
Apply a 2-inch layer of organic mulch on top of the bed. Water as usual until the first frost in fall. The mesh stops the squirrels from digging into the bed but the tulips will still grow through it.
Things You Will Need
- Wire mesh
- Wire snips
- Organic mulch
- Squirrels don't eat daffodil bulbs. Combining both daffodils and tulips in the garden may dissuade the squirrels from digging up your beds.
- Squirrel deterrent sprays and powders available at garden centers only work until rain washes them away.
- Wire mesh over the top of the bulbs won't stop field mice or moles that come up from underneath them. Instead, purchase wire bulb boxes from garden centers. These surround the bulbs on all sides.