Has this ever happened to you -"I would like to order some bulbs. I planted 50 of your bulbs last year and they all came up. But, before they had a chance to bloom something came along and ate the flowers. Do you have any suggestions for me? I'd like to plant more but don't want to just feed the critters."
I hate it when this happens and it has even happened to me. When we moved into our new house we planted a bunch of tulips and many of the early ones were eaten, most likely by dear. We noticed that the later blooming varieties remained untouched most likely because there was more of an abundance of food options by that time. Another time, I planted a bunch of crocus when we lived in Providence and the squirrels dug them all up! Sometimes the critter pressure is so fierce you can't plant certain things like tulips and have to stick to Daffodils and other bulbs that are critter resistant. Here are some tips and tricks we have found helpful:
1. Deer & Rabbits- Sprays like liquid fence or a DIY spray work well for both Deer and Rabbits but you have to reapply when it rains. Another option, recommended and used successfully by The Garden Lady of Cape Cod is The Wireless Deer fence - https://wirelessdeerfence.com/. A humane way to train deer to stay out of your garden. If all else fails you can plant in pots or window boxes or choose varieties that deer won't eat such as Daffodils.
2. Moles & Voles -Use mesh with half-inch holes to make a “bulb cage.” Place the bulbs inside the cage and plant it in the ground. Roots and stems will fit through the mesh, but rodents won't be able to squeeze through or chew access holes. They have options at Home depot and Amazon
3. Squirrels & Chipmunks -Sometimes it's just a matter of planting your bulbs deeper. Tulips can be planted between 6-8 ". With crocus and other smaller bulbs this is not an option. Use the same mesh on top of the bulbs once they have been planted. Cover with dirt and a little mulch and you can’t even see it. Squirrels & Chipmunks won’t be able to dig through the mesh to get to your bulbs.
These are just a few suggestions that we have found to work. What have you found that keeps the critters out of your garden?