In the Garden: Coping with daffodil and tulip critters

BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) It's exciting when daffodils and tulips finally begin to bloom in the spring. It's not so exciting when something eats them as soon as they break through. Charlie Nardozzi shows us how to cope with the critters.

Sharon Meyer: Charlie, you have flowers blooming again.

Charlie Nardozzi: Yes, It's tulip season.

Sharon Meyer: But it looks like someone has been eating at your stuff.

Charlie Nardozzi: Not just for us, tulips for everybody. So yes, if you are growing daffodils or scilla, those kinds of bulbs that deer, rabbits and woodchucks don't like, no problem. They're not going to bother them. But if you are growing tulips, oh they love to munch on those. So there are a couple of things you can do though. If you have rabbits and woodchucks, the simple thing is to put up a low fence.

Sharon Meyer: But deer?

Charlie Nardozzi: But deer. Deer will get over that. So there are two things you can do. One, you can put down some bird netting that you would normally use for blueberries and cherries. Put it on the ground and just kind of lay it floppy on the ground around where the deer will come into your bed. They don't like stepping on the netting because it gets caught in their hooves and they'll stay away from it and just move onto something else. And of course the other thing for any animal are repellent sprays.

Sharon Meyer: They usually repel me too.

Charlie Nardozzi: And one of my favorites is, is plantskydd. This one is basically slaughter house waste.

Sharon Meyer: Yuck.

Charlie Nardozzi: It's not a pleasant smell, but it dissipates quickly, and it works really well. But the key is to spray it on the foliage and the buds before they open. If you spray it on the flowers like those beautiful yellow tulips it will discolor them and it really won't help that much.

Sharon Meyer: So if you didn't want to use that, is there anything else you can use?

Charlie Nardozzi: Certainly yes, there are a lot of different ones. Other nice smells like putrescent eggs, garlic, cayenne pepper based, there are a number of different repellents, they key is, to spray it early and often so that you cover the foliage and as the plant grows, it's going to continue to be covered. So spray it early, spray it often too, because as they grow they'll have spots on them that aren't covered, so you want to do it every few days or so, and after they start blooming, then just enjoy your tulips and don't worry anymore about them.