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Spring bulbs and chippies

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Spring bulbs and chippies

Postby 2chips » Feb 25, 2009 12:00 am

Seeing as how I am responsible for my pet chippies eating all my daughter's bulbs, I feel I should at least TRY to replace some of them this spring. Have heard about covering them with wire. Have also read of 'wire baskets' to stop the rascals from getting at them from underneath.

Anyone have any suggestions for me? Is chicken-coop wire laid on top sufficient? If I tried to make baskets, what kind of wire should I use?
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Re: Spring bulbs and chippies

Postby Smitty » Feb 25, 2009 1:56 am

I don't personally have a problem with critters eating my bulbs but mother swore by putting moth balls in the hole when she plante. said the chippies and squirrels didn't like the smell so would steer clear.
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Re: Spring bulbs and chippies

Postby 2chips » Feb 25, 2009 4:18 pm

Yup, Smitty, I found the mothballs worked very well when the chippies attacked my runner bean and morning glory seedlings - guess the plants are most succculent when they're just getting started and it was a virtual feeding frenzy out there.

Am thinking long-term here, tho - once I put the bulbs in, I want to forget about them forever. Wonder how long a mothball stays potent....?

They decimated the tulips for sure, and I'm figuring they will probably do the same with summer bulbs, should I decide to get my act together and make up something to thwart them.

Thanks for the reply.
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Re: Spring bulbs and chippies

Postby Countryboy » Feb 25, 2009 9:18 pm

I have a number of fencing 'patches'. Each of them between a foot and a foot and a half square and some of them are different types of fencing. Chicken wire works fine . . . tho most of mine are of slightly larger gauge fencing. I've accumulated them deliberately over the years 'coz I use them over new plantings of bulbs . . . simply arrange them to cover the freshly planted area.

Once the bulbs are established my squirrels have never bothered them . . . only when they're fresh. So after the bulbs have sprouted and flowered I pick up the fencing squares and save them for the next plantings.

I dunno 'bout chippies and squirrels . . . but I tend to avoid mothballs 'coz I don't like the smell. :wink:
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Re: Spring bulbs and chippies

Postby Trailblaze1 » Feb 27, 2009 2:15 pm

I have never had any luck keeping chipmunks away from any bulbs I plant, so I have given up on bulbs here.

but a warning about using moth balls, even outdoors: the smell is long-lasting and to me it 'poisons' the scent of nature. You'll smell it all the time when you're outside. I tried it one year, and after 2 days had to remove them all again, cuz it was ruining MY pleasure being outdoors.
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Re: Spring bulbs and chippies

Postby Grannygardener » Feb 27, 2009 9:03 pm

My experience with mothballs was much the same as TB's. I put them in my flower bed under my living room window to keep away the cats that were using the bed as their washroom. Kept the cats away, but I could smell the mothballs even though they were buried about 4" deep, and couldn't open the living room window because the smell came into the house.This was only about half a dozen mothballs.I put up with it for 2 years and then dug them up with a good amount of the surrounding soil and took it all to hazardous waste. Should have seen the looks I got when I told them what it was.I guess I'm just another wierd old lady in their eyes.
I do remember on one of the TV shows someone saying that squirrels and chipmunks don't like daffodils and since they are usually cheaper than your other bulbs, plant some of them amongst your bulbs. The other theory is that the animals usually only go after the bulbs when they're newly planted, so take a bunch of daffodil bulbs and dice them up and sprinkle on top of the soil over your bulbs and cover with a layer of soil or mulch.Haven't tested these because it's not been a problem for me but might be worth a try. Edie
I've spent most of my time in the garden,the rest I've wasted. Edie Zone4A, Ont.
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Re: Spring bulbs and chippies

Postby orchidguy » Mar 26, 2009 4:50 pm

Tried mothballs, urine, human hair, rodent repellent, cayenne, black pepper spray, mace, and were all as useful as a "poopy flavoured lollipop". The critters ran off with a lot of bulbs. I finally used wire mesh and basketed the bulb areas. This worked like a charm last fall, but I'm sure the little @*#%%$@'s will find a way to get at the bulbs this spring. I had even set up a seperate feeding station, hoping they would become satiated with the food, but they still loved the bulbs. This works in my vegetable garden. I plant a seperate garden with leftover seed not too far from the real vegetable garden, and not one thing has ever been touched in the "people" garden. The wildlife is much happier not coming near to the more inhabited vegetable garden. It doesnt work with chipmunks.
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Re: Spring bulbs and chippies

Postby everchnginggrden » Mar 28, 2009 6:40 pm

countryboy -- I like your idea if the fences are re-usable. Do you just set them on top or do you bury them an inch or so? Perhaps just under the mulch?

I have some extra fencing about 1/4 inch square holes from project a long time ago. Is this too fine?


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Re: Spring bulbs and chippies

Postby Blossom » Mar 29, 2009 9:37 am

I have daffodils planted among the tulips in one garden, and the squirrels don't bother them. Another garden with just tulips, and the little devils wreck havoc with the bulbs. Have tried Bloodmeal, and that worked, but the dog seemed to love the scent of that and started digging.
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Re: Spring bulbs and chippies

Postby joan w » Mar 30, 2009 9:07 am

I got a couple of wire 'put together yourself' storage boxes and used the individual squares as squirrel deterrents but not sure how that would work with chippies.

As soon as the leaves toughen up a bit the squares can be removed or angled as the leaves grow taller. Might look a little strange but it works.
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