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Location: Toronto, ON, zone 5a

Coffee grinds keep squirrels from digging in planters?

My 'garden' consists of a balcony. I like to grow some veggies, shrubs and trees etc. in containers, because I refuse to admit I don't have a garden.
Last year I lost all my chestnuts and lavenders to squirrels, this year at least 5 tomato plants. It got to the point where you walk onto the balcony and the squirrel is sitting there with a nut in one hand, and a decapitated tomato plant in the other. Oh, and the mess they leave is outrageous.

Tried leaving the dog on the balcony. He says I don't pay him enough.
Tried moth balls. They stink, don't do anything, and I worry about poisoning 'innocent' critters.
Tried planting 'groundcover' lettuce and herbs - apparently very tasty for blue jays.
Tried cayenne pepper. No difference.
Will try dog hair next.

The main problem is my neighbours feeding them. I can throw rocks and the squirrels just go to check if its edible.

Anyhow, I've noticed they don't seem to dig in planters I emptied the coffee grinds into. It could be the extra watering compacted the soil, or it actually is the coffee.
Anyone notice that too? Or have other suggestions?

Getting a mean balcony cat is looking better and better.... But with my luck, the cat would probably end up fraternizing with the little pests...

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Location: Pennsylvania USA

Re: Coffee grinds keep squirrels from digging in planters?

Squirrels like lavender?
That's something I have to look into further because I'd read that lavender was not liked by the usual garden pest mammals. :/

Is it a full season long problem, or mainly in the spring?

When I lived in an apartment building I was a balcony gardener, but never did vegetables. Just flowers & plants, and some herbs at one time.
The squirrels were more interested in my garbage can. I went through 2 animal proof garbage cans on the porch because the squirrels would actually chew on the plastic... it was like a winter-long project. But I would see them poking at it in the summer. I usually only put stuff in it like overnight or just for a day or so, mostly just so I could get it out of the kitchen can but not have to walk it down to the dumpster at night.
I remember at some point I started spraying the inside with ammonia. :/

I have some kind of stuff that's stinky stinky that repels woodchucks, rabbits, and deer. Don't know about squirrels since they dig in garbage I don't know how much something stinky would actually put them off! lol

In another area of the forum, someone was mentioning cinnamon for various pest deterrent purposes. When I looked it up, I think I did see something about squirrels.

The only other kind of solution is a diversion solution.
But with your neighbors feeding them... you would think that would be that.
So I don't think that's the right way about it.

I think caging the vegetables & plants that the squirrel wants would be the only sure-fire solution. :/

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