Any flower gardener who has ever had to deal with hungry squirrels and inquisitive pets knows what a pain it is to keep them from digging up and gnawing on your bulbs, corms, and other plant tubers. The solution to this problem is less radical than you might think, and doesn’t involve chemicals at all.
Protect Bulbs with Steel Wool
Just wrap the bulb or corm in a thin layer of steel wool, which is easily acquired at almost any grocery or hardware store. Animals will leave it alone, and the plant roots won’t have any problem pushing through the wrapping.
5 Other Tips to Protect Bulbs from Pests
1. Chicken Wire or Hardware cloth: Just under the soil surface lay a small amount of chicken wire down so pests can’t dig up your bulbs.
2. Plant bulbs pests don’t like around the ones they do. For example, plant narcissus and daffodils around tulip bulbs.
3. Put jagged/sharp shells or stones in the holes with the bulbs.
4. Place fake snake by planted bulbs to scare away pests.
5. Use spray repellents.
How else can you use steel wool for the garden?
While you’re planting bulbs and have the steel wool out, go ahead and recondition your garden tools!
Here’s a PDF guide from Oregon State University Care and Maintenance of Garden Tools.
Want more information on pest control around bulbs?
Here’s a great resource from University of Vermont: Controlling Animal Pests In The Flower Garden