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Munching Critters
by Tom Mugridge

Q: What can I do to preserve my spring bulbs and early flowers from deer, squirrel and rabbit damage?

A: For keeping critters from munching, physical exclusion seems to be the best way.

Try using hardware cloth (it's actually made of metal, not cloth) to create barriers. You can make a tube out of it to place around tree trunks, or just lay it on the ground and secure it to keep squirrels from digging down or rabbits from chewing.

Deer can be excluded with fencing or deer netting. You can also try some of the repellents that you spray on the plants they like to browse on, but some of these need to be re-applied.

If necessary, you can replace plants that the deer like with ones they don't. This way, they'll go elsewhere for dinner.

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Tom Mugridge

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