Ask a Question forum: Freshly planted bulbs, woke up to holes dug in the soil - who did it/next steps?

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Silver Spring, MD
TheUrbanGardener
Apr 16, 2018 8:01 AM CST
Hello, thanks for your help!

I live on the fourth floor of an apartment building and have a balcony. I planted four planters with bulbs three days ago. I woke up this morning to two planters looking as they did when I planted them, and the other two are mysteriously messy, one even has holes in the soil. We had pretty bad weather overnight, so my first thought was an animal came up for shelter, but I may be way off with my guess. I have two questions:

1) Who/what is doing this?
2) Should I be taking preventative action? Or can I just put more dirt back into the pot and hope it doesn't happen again? One of the holes exposed a bulb, but it doesn't look like any were taken.

Thank you!
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Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
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plantmanager
Apr 16, 2018 8:03 AM CST
I've had the same thing happen. I'm guessing it was birds or chipmunks. They will often dig in planters and uproot plants or bulbs. You could drape some bird netting over them.
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Name: Chris
Hermann, MO (Zone 6a)
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FoolOnTheHill
Apr 16, 2018 9:09 AM CST
Probably squirrels. Some chicken wire across the top of the soil should stop them. You could feed them dried corn on the cob to distract them, if you don't mind them being around, although they might dig anyway. They dig to hide or find caches of nuts or other food. However, they can seem a bit compulsive about it, so I think they just enjoy it.
[Last edited by FoolOnTheHill - Apr 16, 2018 9:17 AM (+)]
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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Apr 16, 2018 10:08 AM CST
It looks to me like the soil was washed out. What's above you? Leaky rain gutter? Weird upstairs neighbor throwing out the dish water? Smiling
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Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
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valleylynn
Apr 16, 2018 11:28 AM CST
I agree with Daisy. Look at the splash back on the railing boards. You must have had some rain storm going on.
Silver Spring, MD
TheUrbanGardener
Apr 17, 2018 2:26 PM CST
Thanks everyone for your help! Went to the store last night and purchased some bird netting. So far, so good. We did have some rough storms the night it happened, so I think a lot of the splash back can be attributed to that, too. Thanks again!
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level
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valleylynn
Apr 17, 2018 5:46 PM CST
Can't wait to see the bulbs come up and bloom for you.

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