Q. If I plant tulips or daffodils in
a garden in a wooded area what would I have
to do to make sure animals do not eat them?
What animals would try to eat them?
A. Your problem animals will be rabbits
mice and groundhogs. Here is some info on them and a website to read more.
Rabbits can do a lot of damage in the garden. If you have something they really like they will eat every plant in the garden down to the ground. However it is more typical for them to nibble on seemingly every plant in sight
just enough to make it ugly. They also like to nibble on tree bark in the winter.
Fences are reasonably effective against rabbits. You need to bury the bottom of the fences into the soil a few inches and the fence should be at least two feet tall above the ground. When putting fences around trees make sure the fence extends about two feet above the snow line. The fencing should also be several inches away from the tree.
Thiram a bitter tasting spray
is rather effective as a sprayed repellent. However Thiram is not a great solution - it is poisonous; it may damage your plants; and it has to be reapplied after rain. If it were my plants and the deterrent I was applying to protect them from animals was going to damage them
I?d rather let the animals eat them!
Rats mice and voles are everywhere outdoors! They are the most serious garden pest of commercial farmers. Although a mouse only weighs about an ounce
it eats its weight in plants every day. Multiply that by dozens maybe even hundreds of rodents and that equals a lot of plants! Forget about deterrents and fences. They just don?t work on these critters.
If you are so inclined
you can put out traps and poison. However if you choose this route chances are your garden will turn into a poisoned land mine before you totally eradicate the rodents! You could also get an outdoor cat. However
do you really want your pet eating mice and bringing them home to you? The first thing I would recommend is to survey your yard for conditions these critters find desirable and then change them. They love raised beds such as terraces made from railroad ties or rock walls. They scoot in and out of the railroad ties and/or rocks. Up and down between the elevations they go. Flat ground
even though it may be on slope is nowhere near as fun as terraces and planting boxes!
They are also very partial to grass. They like to hide in tall grass. Grass also contains a chemical that makes them sexually active
resulting in even more rodents! Consequently keep your grass short. You may even want to consider replacing some of your grass with new planting beds (just don't make them raised beds).
Mother Nature's methods of controlling rodents are birds
owls and bats. Turn your garden into a bird sanctuary
including many of their favorite plants. Many garden centers now sell bat houses which like birdhouses provide a safe haven for the little critters. You can even put out food for your bats in their houses! Most rodents also prefer clay soil to sandy soil. However
don?t mix sand into your clay soil as this will create concrete.
A better method is to amend your clay soil
with lots of organic matter gradually turning
it into rich loam. Realistically though
I doubt this will make a serious impact
on your rodent problem. Don?t expect to
eradicate every rodent from your garden.
Remember the outdoors is the home of animals
and nature not a sanitized flower shop.
While you certainly don?t want your garden
over run with rodents and destroyed.