Greenwalks

Gardening where the sidewalk ends

Protecting the Bulbs from Dr. Destructo November 13, 2008

Filed under: fauna,my garden — greenwalks @ 12:53 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

One of my (many) excuses for not getting my bulbs into the ground right away was that I had seen my un-favorite critter around a lot, Dr. Destructo the evil squirrel. Last year, he (or one of his buddies/relatives) systematically dug up and either made off with or at least gnawed upon and discarded pretty much every one of my bulbs. I had meant to research humane yet effective anti-pest methods but of course didn’t think of it again until the new bulbs were purchased and ready to be planted, and I didn’t want to let another year’s plantings go to waste if I could help it.

In a previous post, I implored my fellow gardeners to share their squirrel stories and suggest any useful remedies. Several, including fellow Seattelites the Shibaguyz, proposed chili pepper spray to keep the pesky varmints at bay. Lucky for me, a quick perusal of a few helpful gardening blogs produced several recipes for delightfully dastardly yet all-natural brews that I could make at home from stuff I already had lying around. I adapted this one from Green Gardenista.

Didn’t have any hot peppers handy, so I cobbled together a rather unusual array of ingredients and got the water boiling.

Bulb anti-squirrel potion ingredients

Apologies to Rick Bayless, I do love your salsas and hot sauces but some of these had gotten lost at the back of the fridge and may be a little past their prime. You don’t need any more publicity anyway, now that everyone knows that the new President and First Lady love going to your restaurants in Chicago…

So, I chopped up the onion, tossed it into the water, dumped in some hot sauce, salsa, and red pepper flakes. OK, it has to be said: “Boil, boil, toil and trouble, fire burn and cauldron bubble.” I definitely felt very witchy doing this! Sorry, no eye of newt.

Double, double toil and trouble, fire burn and cauldron bubble

Boiled it for 20 minutes as the recipe called for, then strained the bits out, very steamy kitchen at that point:

Steaming evil potion

Then came the part that I must have skimmed over: “let cool.” Oops, poured it in too soon and semi-melted the spray bottle:

Semi-melted spray bottle

It’s deformed but it still works. Duh! Probably released all sorts of evil chemicals that way, sorry bulbs. I ended up with kind of a lot. It’s supposed to be applied every five days – not sure I’m up for that amount of effort or even how long it will keep before it gets too nasty. Might have to try it a few times and then hope for the best. To be continued…

Evil potion extras

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11 Responses to “Protecting the Bulbs from Dr. Destructo”

  1. Racquel Says:

    Let me know if it works. I’ve used moth balls in the past & they seemed to work pretty well.

  2. easygardener Says:

    Oh that’s clever of you. I’ll be interested to see if it works. Good luck!

  3. Um, good luck, I think. Let us know how it smells…;-)

  4. AnnA Says:

    My husband is mad at me because I’m laughing so hard he can’t hear that show Office–which he loves and I dislike but laugh at it a lot.

    Your concoction will melt the paint off a dumpster. You better set your alarm and check on it about 3am. The glass might not hold. Don’t under any circumstance pour it down a public drain…we have laws against that kind of illegal dumping. And lastly, you need little wire cages made of pliable wire for your bulbs. You have to make them but it looks like you are up to it.

  5. Amy Says:

    I hope it works! We have a lot of squirrels here but they only ever bother the bird feeders – must be a different type of squirrel with a different diet.

  6. Cynthia Says:

    Thanks for the laugh Karen! The picture of the spray bottle is great! 🙂 I hope your concoction works- I’ll be curious to read about how it goes. Sorry you are dealing with such a pest- been there done that & it is no fun!!

  7. Curmudgeon Says:

    ROTFL! You know, just add some beer to the onion broth and throw in some brats (as in bratwurst, not your neighbors poorly behaved kids) and I’m inviting myself over for dinner! Uhm, really, the chicken wire is way easier and won’t give you heartburn!

  8. Gardenlife Says:

    I have a similar problem in Sweden… but it comes from a badger
    Maybee I should try your recipee.. ; )
    /Martin-Janne

  9. […] planting, planting strip, rodent, Seattle, spring, squirrel, squirrels, urban gardening, varmint Yesterday’s post probably had some of you calling my sanity into question. I won’t argue with you there, I did […]

  10. kristi Says:

    I hope that does the trick. I found the biggest lure to the squirrels was the crocus bulbs. All my pots were foraged through last year repeatedly once an evil squirrel discovered crocus bulbs in the garden.

  11. Aerie-el Says:

    Ditto on what Curmudgeon said! Smells like dinner.

    After all that work, and the Munch-inspired (scream!) spray bottle, hopefully your concoction won’t smell like dinner to Dr D.!


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