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Carnage in my tulip beds

Ottawa, ON(Zone 5a)

I have a large new hosta garden in which I planted many bulbs. It's totally discouraging to witness the carnage of my tulip bulbs by my local squirrels.

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Ottawa, ON(Zone 5a)

Two more buds hit the dirt.

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Ottawa, ON(Zone 5a)

More buds nipped right off and STREWN across the garden to add insult to the injury.

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Ottawa, ON(Zone 5a)

A clump of tulips showing FOUR shorn stems. No, make that FIVE!

This message was edited May 4, 2009 8:38 AM

Thumbnail by ViolaAnn
Ottawa, ON(Zone 5a)

They got most of these too.

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Ottawa, ON(Zone 5a)

And these

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Ottawa, ON(Zone 5a)

A daffodil mourns its lost friend.

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Ottawa, ON(Zone 5a)

And this entire clump is gone.

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Ottawa, ON(Zone 5a)

I DID have a few lovely blooms yesterday. Wonder if they are still there today.

I'm about to mix up a potent solution of garlic and hot peppers and spray them all well, but it's too late for most of them. Would be tempted to start trapping the squirrels.

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Perth,, ON(Zone 5a)

dumb question, are you sure it's squirrels and not kids?

when we lived in the city years ago, the kid next door used to reach thru the fence and pull the flower heads off the plants in the garden.

I caught him at it one day, and told his grandmother....... he stayed away from the garden after that, lol.


Ottawa, ON(Zone 5a)

The kids on the street are pretty good and it happens each year.

Victoria Harbour, ON

Ann how horrible...you wait all winter long to enjoy and now this...

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

Ann - how terrible! Rotten squirrel; or as dahlianut calls them "Tree Rats."

I was wondering - have you thought about leaving them some food to see if they'll take that instead? I've noticed that my crocuses have not been touched again since the first round of carnage a few weeks ago because (I'm assuming) the squirrel discovered recently how to get at the sunflower birdfeeder I have hanging off the fence. This could be totally wrong of course, just a thought....

Joanne
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Rosemont, ON(Zone 4a)

Sunflower seeds are certainly the preferred food of squirrels here. I can confirm that squirrels and chipmunks fed on sunflower seeds show no inclination to touch crocuses or tulips or any other plant. In my garden it's deer and rabbits that do all the damage, and most of my tulips are browsed before they have a chance to bloom. Trapping and removing wildlife is useless, as more animals move in as soon as the original occupants are gone. I recommend planting poisonous bulbs, like daffodils and colchicum, or smelly ones, like fritillarias.

Ottawa, ON(Zone 5a)

I think more daffodils is the answer. But Ottawa is supposed to be a big tulip city. We DO have a large tulip festival, after all. However, the daffodils multiply better and last longer in the garden. And the varmints don't touch them.

I don't think the squirrels are really hungry. They never eat what they bite off.

Oostburg, WI(Zone 5b)

My damage was always rabbits also. Had a fantastic rabbit-hunting large orange cat and that helped tremendously for saving the tulips. They never touched the daffs, don't like them. The squirrels stayed in the front of hte house and the park across the street and never touched the tulips out front.

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

Ann how sad. Are those hybrid tulips? Maybe try species? I have no problems with squirrels ( maybe that has something to do with the dogs?) but I only have species tulips. And I have lots and lots of daffodils! Also I find the hybrids simply dont last very long and dont multiply - at least out here!
I remember the tulips displays in Ottawa every year but of course those bulbs are dug up every year too and new bulbs are sent from Netherlands.

Ottawa, ON(Zone 5a)

Fancy - I've got both hybrid and species. The squirrels in my yard don't seem to care.

Re the beds in Ottawa, apparently if you know when and don't care what colour tulips you get, you can visit the compost bins at the Experimental Farm and help yourself after the season. I find my hybrids don't last too long either - not unless I've decided I don't like them. But I put in new ones every few years.

Hawkesbury, ON(Zone 4b)

Viola have you tried spreading some human hair around your bulbs? I get clippings from my hair dresser and spread it around where I plant my bulbs. It seems to keep the mice from coming into the house in the fall as well. My hair dresser spreads it around her cedars to keep the deer from eating them. Now the one place I wish I could put the hair I can't. I would like to put it in my air intake to stop the squirrels from building a nest in my truck. The mec removed a nest of critters yesterday after II tried for days to figure out what was causing the bad smell.

(Susan) Calgary, AB(Zone 3b)

April4On - wonderful suggestion re: hair. I'd heard this works terribly well, and I'm going to mention this to our UCW ladies to help get rid of the rabbits in the flower bed, and mice in the church lol
Thanks for the heads-up/reminder!!!

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