We have had our irises almost completely dig up. Can you tell from the below photos if it is possible to save and transplant them? Also how can I prevent this from happening again? We have lives here 6 years and never had a problem.
Thank you for contacting Master Gardeners. It is certainly frustrating when wild animals dig up plants in the garden. The culprits could be skunks, raccoons, voles, rabbits, ground squirrels, or even birds. The irises can be transplanted most successfully between July and September when summer conditions are dry. Protect newly planted bulbs with1-inch mesh poultry wire. Dig a trench slightly deeper than the desired depth of planting and fit the poultry wire in the bottom. Add dirt and plant the bulbs. Place another strip of poultry wire over the plantings so that the bulbs are completely encased, and finish covering them with a small amount of dirt. Once the irises are established you might consider putting up barriers such as tomato cages or other supports around them. As well, your local nursery might suggest organic products that will deter small animals while leaving plants and beneficial insects unharmed.
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