5 Ways to Keep Squirrels Out of Your Garden

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squirrel on garden fence

S Q U I R R E L S. These creatures will make you nuts if you allow them to. Know how you can get rid of them before they can get rid of your whole garden!

  1. Let’s start with something easy. Mulch with bare soil. Squirrels will undoubtedly be disheartened to dig if you cover your seed beds with bare soil and even spread them around the newly planted seedlings. It’s like tricking them! However, you have to use more soil than you think. Remember that squirrels can dig deep and they’re not most likely to give up after four inches!

  1. Use small pieces of bird netting. You can use these as protection for your harvest. Wrap each fruit or vegetable plant in small pieces of bird netting. Squirrels love ripe tomatoes. They’re more interested in fruits that just ripened, so prioritize wrapping the mature ones and you can just pretty much neglect the green ones.

  1. If covering with bare soil and wrapping individual fruits or plants don’t work, try to get rid of whatever lures them. Squirrels also get seduced by fallen nuts, seeds, and fruits. They think they’re leftovers. What you can do is to clean them up and place them beneath bird feeders or trees. And if you’re going to throw these items away in the trash, be certain that the lids are secured. Otherwise, the squirrels might find out your secret and steal these treats inside your garbage can.

  1. Spice up your garden. Okay, we’re getting a little serious now. So this time, spice up your garden to make sure it’ll get what it deserves and never come back! For this method, you can use hot, red pepper tea or fresh and dried chili peppers. Use them as a spray and distribute them around the border of your garden. You can also spray it on the plants’ leaves. But this effective method comes with a warning. Don’t sniff it and never let it get to your eyes, mouth, or skin. You wouldn’t want Capsaicin, that hot component of pepper, to cause brutal irritation. It’s safe to wear goggles, a long sleeve shirt, and rubber gloves during spray time. Also, make sure the container is marked and placed somewhere the children can’t reach. Here’s a recipe you can follow for this method:

  1. Cut four fresh cayenne peppers in half lengthwise and remove the green stems. Chop coarsely.

  2. Place them in a container. Add 1 ½ cups of hot water and ½ cup of white vinegar to the container. Seal it tightly and let it sit for four days. Shake it gently 2-3 times every day.

  3. Using a funnel, transfer that pepper mix from the container to a spray bottle (properly marked). You can disregard the chopped peppers and seeds gathered by the strainer.

  4. Add 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil and 1 teaspoon of dishwashing liquid to the bottle. Secure the lid of the spray bottle and shake it gently to allow the ingredients to mix. Spray away! Spraying time should be in the morning. But it can be whenever the wind is still.

  1. If the first four ways still don’t work, you’re probably dealing with a genius, extremely resourceful criminal stuck in a squirrel’s body! So what will you do? Relax and cage your plants. Yep, this is absolutely serious now. You can create a chicken wire framed cage for this but a simple wire cage with a bird netting will do. The cages will rely on your garden’s setup. It will also depend on how many tomato plants you’re growing. You can create single cages for individual plants or build a bigger one that can cover a small bed. Just be reminded that tomatoes grown in a roofed cage should be determinate or bush tomatoes which can only grow less than 4 feet. These tomatoes also ripen at or almost the same time. If you want to cage individual plants, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Buy a wire hardware cloth that’s 6ft. long. Use it to form a circle and use pliers to curl the fibers on the cut end into the wire squares on the other end.

  2. Ensure that the strands are bent and secured so that the fence will retain its circular shape.

  3.  Position the fence on the ground around your tomato seedling or plant (that again, should only grow until 4ft. or less).

  4. Set a tiny stake into the ground beside your fence to hold it in place.

  5. Put a piece of bird netting over the hardware cloth and fasten it to the cage using garden twist ties.

And these are the five ways to keep squirrels where they belong! Happy gardening!