You’ve just spent a few hours digging and planting a few bags of spring bulbs, and up pops the bane of a gardener’s existence—the friendly neighbourhood squirrel—and treats your hard work like a cross between an Easter egg hunt and an all-you-can-eat buffet. Crocus bulbs are particularly at risk; to a squirrel they are extra tasty “Fun Size” bulbs. How do you combat this? Well, physical measures help. Covering your soil with stones, newspaper and mulch can be effective.
We recently tried an experiment with Acti-Sol Hen Manure, a product that purports to repel squirrels. We added it to the bulb planting hole and used a generous sprinkle of the granulated manure around the planting area. The squirrels don’t appear to like the scent, and have miraculously stayed away.
The hen manure is also an excellent organic plant food for the bulbs’ roots and eventual leaves in the spring. It’s balanced, with a 4-4-2 nutrient content, making it a garden helper that does double duty. Hen manure contains 7% calcium as well as other nutrients. Here’s how calcium helps plant growth:
Plants need calcium for cell wall development and growth. Pathogens attack weak cell walls to invade a plant, and stronger cell wall structure avoids this. Plants need calcium for enzyme activity, metabolism, and for nitrate (a useable form of nitrogen) uptake.
Acti-Sol Hen Manure is a sustainable Canadian product, certified organic, produced in Quebec.
Acti-Sol recycles a resource otherwise considered as waste. Layer hen manure is a sustainable material available in abundant quantities in Quebec. Producing and processing it does not require any chemical inputs or high energy consumption.