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Cat digs up my lily bulbs.

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by Dennis on October 19, 2006 08:28 AM
Hi,
I just recently planted lily bulbs but there is a cat or cats in the area that comes and digs up my bulbs. I put some garlic power on the dirt but was wondering if there was some other smell that cats really hate.
Thanks,
Dennis

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Dennis
by ND farm girl on October 19, 2006 08:39 AM
moth balls?

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PattyM
by Jiffymouse on October 19, 2006 10:08 AM
and orange peels.
by julie10008 on October 19, 2006 11:42 AM
Will those work for squirrels too? (My cats, of course, wouldn't dig up my bulbs... [Roll Eyes] )

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by Triss on October 19, 2006 11:45 AM
I know that cats do not like foil, if you can put some of that around your bulbs it will keep them away. Mom used to use foil to keep the cats from using her houseplants as a litter box.

Also for most bulbs, after you plant them you can cover them with wire fencing, then a layer of soil. Keeps the critters away and the bulbs can grow up through the wire.

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by Patty S on October 19, 2006 01:31 PM
Cats will always dig in freshly turned dirt, so until that all settles down with the damp weather, Triss's suggestion is a good one. I have to put chicken wire down in order to keep the critters out of freshly worked garden beds. You can also use discarded refrigerator racks... go to appliance stores & ask if they have refrigerator or stoves that they're going to take to the dump, & ask if you can have the racks out of them. (They usually haul the old appliances away when they deliver new ones.)

I'd never thought about orange peels, Jiffy! [thumb] I'd rather see those in a garden, than mothballs...
Patty M, I was reading ingredients on mothball packages at the store the other day. They contain either 'naphthalene' or 'paradichlorobenzene', & I came home & looked them up - Naphthalene is said to be a possible human carcinogen, & both of those chemicals can be harmful to central nervous systems, livers & kidneys, as well as causing skin & eye irritation. While they probably would be successful in repelling animals, the critters still might walk through an area where moth balls/moth crystals are, & wind up ingesting the chemicals when they groom themselves. (I don't know what a plant might absorb from those chemicals after they've leached into the soil, but I wouldn't like to think about using them around food plants, in particular.) [scaredy]

Julie, I don't think there is ANY cure for squirrels, short of doing "bad things" to them... or moving away! I don't have a squirrel problem here (just because I happen to live on the lucky side of this town), but I know that Seattle is overrun with them... (& that they quite often serve as biodegradable Speed Bumps!) [Frown]

Dennis, you just planted Lilly bulbs... in Maine? [shocked] I thought that people there were digging them up for the winter, about now! [dunno]

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by Jiffymouse on October 20, 2006 08:06 AM
you can use the chicken wire, or rose thorn canes (or any thorny canes) to deter the cats and the squirrels both if you want. just be careful when you go to dig yourself.
by chermoni on October 20, 2006 09:34 AM
I was going to put chicken wire down after I plant my bulbs but does the chicken wire have to stay there every year or just the first year that you plant? [thinker]
My boyfriend thinks I should by a big bag of peanuts and acorns and put them on the opposite side of the house from where my garden is going to be to give the squirrels some "fast" food. [Big Grin] Don't know if it would work but it's definately an enviromentally friendly idea. [grin]

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by Patty S on October 20, 2006 10:42 AM
Cheryl, by the time the ground settles back down & isn't a "fresh dig" any longer, the critters will have long-since given up trying to dig there, so the fencing can come up. That's the way it has worked for me with cats, anyway. (The only established plant I've ever had them try to dig up is catnip... but it's more like they waller it to death!)

Squirrels might be a different story though... If they're smarter than they look & DO come back & start digging there again because the wire was removed, I'd put it back! [nutz] As Triss mentioned, the flowers will grow through the fencing, just fine.

Your BF's idea about the peanuts and acorns is an interesting approach, but when it comes to squirrels, I think they ARE smarter than they look, so they'd probably figure that the pile of "fast food" was placed at the other side of the house in order to detract them from the "good stuff"... & they'd head straight back to where your bulbs are!  -

Heck, I think I'd put the fast food pile right smack where I planted the bulbs! That way, the squirrels would either just feast on the stuff above-ground & not bother digging ...or they'd be suspicious & go hang out around the opposite side of the house!  -

Whoever comes up with a fool-proof method of staying ahead of squirrels will be one happy (RICH) person!! [grin]

Another great idea, Jiffy! Rose canes would also provide a darned good reason for not gardening in bare feet!

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by weezie13 on October 20, 2006 10:19 PM
quote:
Originally posted by Patty S:
Dennis, you just planted Lilly bulbs... in Maine? [shocked] I thought that people there were digging them up for the winter, about now! [dunno]
**Patty,
We can plant pretty much any lily bulb here,
like a day lily, Asiatic lily, Stargazer lily,
Tiger lily, Oriental Lilies and even
Easter Lily bulbs, at this time of year... [Wink]

***Dennis,
You can also *besides the chicken wire*
take two of those green baskets you get cherry tomatoes or strawberries in, and wire them together, and use those, to "cage~in" the bulbs..

Great suggestions from all that posted though!

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Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

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by gailo on October 22, 2006 08:05 AM
For the squirrels you could try planting Fritillaria imperialis. It smell like a skunk and the rodents don't like it.

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gailo
by xanders_girl on October 22, 2006 12:56 PM
You know... we had a problem with the cats getting on the cars at my place so we found some stuff (I'm pretty sure at walmart) that you simply sprayed on a napkin and put next to whatever you didn't want the cat around. It worked pretty well and I didn't think it even smelled that bad.. It's definantly a better alternative to a plant that smells like a skunk. [Smile]

I don't know how effective it would be on squirrels... but it's worth a shot.

-<3 Ginny
by gailo on October 22, 2006 08:13 PM
I wasn't too clear about that, the bulb smells like a skunk but I don't think the plant does.

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gailo
by Deborah L. on October 25, 2006 01:43 AM
I know it's expensive, and I know that squirrels are a royal pain in the arse, but I have been feeding mine and supplying fresh water for years and years.
It's the only way we can all live in peace. They never bother my plants at all.
I look at it this way-it's not their fault that they're squirrels, just as it's not my fault (to them) that I'm a human being.
They are doing what they were created to do-to clean up the earth. Because we crowd them out of their earth (animals were created before humans) they do not know the difference between acceptable foraging and destroying our plants.
I loved you all for your non-violent posts here regarding cats as well as squirrels.
No one mentioned poisoning squirrels or violence against cats and for that and I am proud to know all of you !

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by PartyGirl on October 26, 2006 03:50 PM
Dennis,

The chicken wire is a great idea over the lilies, but the strawberry baskets won't work for lilies, daffodils, tulips or hyacinths because the holes in them aren't big enough for the lily (and other)stems. They work great for crocuses, though, and maybe species tulips? Squirrels love crocuses & tulips! So do other little furry animals, but I was never sure which ones -- moles, voles, woodchucks & chipmunks?

No one likes to eat daffodils - they are poisonous and they probably don't taste good anyhow.

I was going to ask if you used bonemeal...the animals around here really like bone meal and I have had to give it up. (Possibly temporarily, though. I have a line on a combination of Iron, epsom salts, bone meal and sugar to put beneath bulbs that I'm going to try. I think the iron scent might disguise the bone meal scent.)

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PG

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