Five ways to rid your garden of squirrels

Photo: istockphoto.com/Peter Clark
While we are busy getting our gardens ready for the fall, squirrels are busy stocking up for winter. That usually means digging up the garden to bury nuts and also eating anything they find. Are these cute, furry devils eating your bulbs? The kind folks at Gardenimport have shared their list of effective solutions for squirrels. Dugald Cameron and his wife have been selling their selection of bulbs and plants from the best growers and hybridizers from around the world since 1983. They've had their fair share of squirrels to deal with. 1. Plant bulbs squirrels don't like Although crocuses are often considered a favourite food of squirrels, they tend to ignore Crocus tomasinianus like Barr's Purple or Ruby Giant. Winter aconite (eranthis) is an early-flowering treasure that works well in the lawn. Squirrels don't like the taste of foxtail lilies (eremurus) that grow from scary, spider-like roots to 1.5-3 m (5-9') giants, making them one of the most spectacular spring flowers. Fritillaria are famous for their "skunky" smell that squirrels hate in spite of the beautiful flowers these bulbs produce. The little pests will also completely ignore snowdrops (galanthis), harbingers of spring are the first bulbs. Squirrels have been known to move but not eat daffodils (narcissus) and they never seem to touch tulips. 2. Plant your bulbs DEEPLY Tulips actually grow better if planted deeply. This would be 25-30 cm (10 -12") deep for the regular 10-12 cm bulbs. Fortunately squirrels are a little lazy and won't be keen to dig this deep. 3. Bar the gates Once your bulbs are planted, you can put wire mesh, boards, even lawn furniture over the area to keep the squirrels out until the ground freezes. 4. Acti-sol hen manure European technology has taken an environmental problem and turned it into a useful garden food. Acti-sol is hen manure that also repels squirrels! Simply scatter Acti-sol on top of the soil after you've planted your bulbs and again in the spring. Humans can't smell anything from it but the squirrels hate the scent. Acti-sol is made in Quebec and rigorously tested to meet both the Canadian and Quebec regulations. 5. Invite a Jack Russell Terrier over Provided you don't mind a little wear and tear in your garden, a Jack Russell is one of the best solutions around. These dogs absolutely LOVE to chase squirrels and are more than a match for these furry devils. While Jack Russell ownership is only for energetic folk, you may be able to borrow a neighbour's. Editor's note: We've also had luck with black labs who like chasing these critters. Editor's note: We've also had luck with Black Labs who like chasing these critters.