mikeingeorgia
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How to Keep SQUIRRELS & Crows Out of Corn?

Ok, this is two questions in one sort of. A coworker told me that when his corn got to be about a foot tall, crows were pulling the plants out of the ground presumably to pick the kernel off of the bottom of the plant. My neighbor told me that when his corn started having ears on it, the squirrels cleaned him out of corn. What preventative measures do you suggest. So far I haven't had anything in there but the plants are just getting around 5" tall. Thanks, Mike
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pete28
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My best advice as this has worked for me in Florida is to buy one of those wooden owls and stick it up on a pole near the garden. This works wonders for me. If there is a few stragglers I just shoot em. Gotta love the south.
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rootsy
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22lr

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applestar
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I live in a NJ suburb so those solutions won't be feasible. :shock: My kids might like the wooden owl idea though... 8)

mike, I'm planning to try this:
If larger critters like birds and raccoons are getting to your corn, try wrapping duct tape around the ear an inch above the stalk and an inch below the tip
https://www.organicgardening.com/feature/0,7518,s-5-16-1572,00.html
I also read somewhere that you could put a brown paper bag over the ears and tie it closed. Timing is "just as the silk begins to wilt". I'm going to try these methods if the squirrels or birds try to get at my corn. This is my first time growing corn so I don't know if these methods will work, however.

Also when I sowed my corn seeds (in May), I used floating row cover over fencing that's too small for blackbirds and grackles to get through in one area and covered row tunnels in another area until the corn outgrew them (about 18' tall). I'm not sure if doing this would make it too hot inside in your area at this time of the year. For me, it provided extra warmth for the corn so it worked out well.

mikeingeorgia
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I do have a plastic owl, quite realistic looking. I think I'll try putting that outside. Already have the 22 option also :D Break barrel pellet rifles pack quite a punch also. They aren't Red Ryders. I have seen them put a pellet through a city pigeon. I'll try the owl option first though.
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cheshirekat
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Kids would like a slingshot. Every kid should love practicing a slingshot on squirrels. I had a slingshot as a kid and it was one of the greatest outdoor toys I remember having. However, I never shot at anything live or moving.

When we first moved into this house and learned of the problem with the cats constantly in our yard, I found a slingshot gun somewhere. It was wood shaped and painted black like a gun, but with slight modifications so you could attach the really big rubber bands. I learned to load it quickly, open the door and fire under the bushes when the cats were mating and yowling like crazy in the middle of the night. Never did hit any of the cats, but the noise was enough to see blurry cat fur shoot by.
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mbaker410
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Not sure how hard it would be or feasible but I work for a wine distribution company and was recently sent to Argentina/Chile to visit a few vineyards and wineries. In that area of the world they have a ton of pests that range from rodents to mountain lions.

The main problem child though is birds and they love the sweet grapes so they use a speaker and the recorded sound of other predatory birds from the area. But they said that you could do this with any animal sound that you like as all animals react to sound and if it is something that is foreign to them they will stay away.

Not sure what the cost would be for an outdoor speaker and something to play the sounds but it is a cool method and if you pick something that's a little more peaceful than a grizzly bear might even be relaxing to people.

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I use a good electric fence around my garden to discourage the squirrels, raccoons, groundhogs and deer, however, I don't hesitate to crank out the ole 22 given the chance. My only experience of birds pulling up corn to eat the seed is with blackbirds and only rarely then. I do use treated seed - looks like a red dust - and I think this discourages their pulling the plant up. I havn't heard of them pulling up a 5-6" plant though. Good Luck and keep us posted. Don

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I am using a motion-sensing "scarecrow" sprinkler.
It scares the devil out of me every time I set it off by accident. I have had no mischief since I put it in.

ChapelThrill
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Pepper plants dropping fragile buds

2 of my peper plants are very healthy looking. They are the ones that drop their buds. What should I do?

My scrawny ones get less sun and they have scrawny peppers. Ok, that makes sense.

Any thoughts on why the healthy looking plants are so fragile?

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hendi_alex
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Interesting, I grow corn, and have crows. The yard is over run with squirrels. Neither have ever bothered anything in the garden. Now I have massive oak trees and the squirrels have more food than they can eat. Their only destructive behavior is related to digging holes to bury acorns. They will often inadvertently dig up small seedlings as they bury acorns in my garden and in various planters. Also the sprouting acorns are a bit of a problem as the squirrels plant so many oak trees throughout my planters and gardening spaces. I have unlimited space, so if big critters do cause a problem, I will build a 12 x 24 foot enclosed planting frame. Will be built with treated 4 x 4's and other treated lumber, the enclosure can look neat and is extremely effective in keeping any larger critters from vegetables of interest. Will provide photos if you wish, of such a structure that I built for a friend.

Alex
Last edited by hendi_alex on Thu Jul 17, 2008 1:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
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JennyC
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Alex, my guess is that you aren't likely to have problems. I've had deer sleeping inside my fenced garden all season and have yet to lose anything I planted to them. My garden is in the middle of 120 acres of pasture (more, if you count the neighbors), and I guess they're full by nightfall. The garden is safe from coyotes, though, so it's a good place to sleep. I'm also not using the bulk of the enclosed space; about an acre of it is a big blackberry bramble, so they have places to sleep.

I do plan to raise the fence higher when I can; we're discussing bushhogging the berries and cultivating most of the area next year. I think then I might well have a problem with the deer. I asked my husband to hold off with the bushhog until after the fall harvest.
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Re: How to Keep SQUIRRELS & Crows Out of Corn?

Hi guys!

I see I'm a leetle late to the comment party. The last comment by my watch was nearly ten years ago.... but if you're reading this...maybe in 2035, my info is still relevant even though I'll be working in the proverbial heavenly garden by then...

I can't comment about crows. We have a few but they aren't pesky. But I will tell you what to do about squirrels:

1. Trap or kill them. (If you use the lethality method I can assure you that your corn fed squirrels will be tasty!)

2. Hire a garden cat. They work cheap for kitty food. Assuming there are cats in your locale, simply keep el cheapo dry food near the garden in a protected place. You know but not tooo much kitty food. Just enough to keep the kitties wanting more. When you visit in the morning and see the food gone you'll know you're in biz.

What I'm sharing is from actual experience. Both methods work and only these two methods work. I don't care how clever you are...the squirrel is smarter than you are...up to a point. They WILL work hard to get into a trap. They will submit to a lead projectile. They won't gnaw your corn when hungry cats are patrolling your plant palace.

Other than that they will defeat EVERY other clever solution you try.

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Gary350
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Re: How to Keep SQUIRRELS & Crows Out of Corn?

I have never had a problem with squirrels in the garden any place I ever lived. I have 2 squirrel families where I live now with a total of 11 squirrels and they never bother anything in my garden not even ripe corn. Lots of people complain about squirrels in the garden but never actually see squirrels eat anything in the garden. I sometimes see squirrels take a short cut through my garden to get to another tree but they never eat anything in the garden. I have lots of birds that eat bugs. I have moles that live in the soil they eat grubs and cut worms. I have 2 cats and 1 small dog that never bother the garden plants but that dog likes to dig holes. There are crows in the trees at sun rise every morning they never bother my garden. What do crows eat? I see squirrels walking around the yard and garden all day eating something off the ground but they never eat garden plants. I plant, corn, tomatoes, beans, onions, potatoes, garlic, melons, peppers, squash, kale, chard, greens, bok choy, squirrels eat none of that. I see deer in the field out back they never come into the garden either. Before I had a cat I had problems with Robins they use to peck young plants off at the soil surface.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: How to Keep SQUIRRELS & Crows Out of Corn?

Funny, how different people's experiences are. I am growing corn now and have ripe ears. We have squirrels in our yard, but they haven't bothered it. That may well be because we also have two dogs that are frequently in the yard. When the dogs are in the yard, squirrels would be risking their lives to try to get to the corn. But I also do have it fenced in with with wire fencing, mainly to keep the dogs from digging around it.:
IMG_1753.JPG
(if you click on the picture it will go right side up)

I also fence some of my beds with deer netting.
IMG_1724.JPG
Where I lived in the past we had deer, raccoons, woodchucks, etc and every one of them LOVED corn. But I grow in beds and it is very easy to fence individual beds with wire fencing or deer netting. The step in stakes with hooks for the fencing are not very expensive and deer netting is super cheap. If you have very persistent critters, you might have to throw a layer of deer netting across the top.

Fencing is what allows me to peaceably coexist with my animal neighbors.
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jal_ut
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Re: How to Keep SQUIRRELS & Crows Out of Corn?

I put a radio out in the corn patch tuned to the local station. It seems to frighten off a lot of the pests. Skunks, raccoons and deer.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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jal_ut
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Re: How to Keep SQUIRRELS & Crows Out of Corn?

Yes, deer, raccoons and skunks have gotten after my corn. I put a radio in the corn patch tuned to the local radio station. The noise seems to scare off the critters.
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ID jit
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Re: How to Keep SQUIRRELS & Crows Out of Corn?

I think the plastic owl, radio or motion sensing sprinkler and probably the least intrusive options, or even a motion sensor and a recording of cat or other predator sounds would no really alter anything. Bribing a stray cat with just enough food to keep them coming round is a good idea too.
CowchipALGardener wrote:1. Trap or kill them. (If you use the lethality method I can assure you that your corn fed squirrels will be tasty!)
I wish I had another squirrel problem - sort of sauteed with onions, carrots and potatoes!

RWS makes a number of very good options where a standard .22 lr isn't going to be so accepted. Go with the .22 option and the slightly lower feet/sec. My .17 with the gold plated ammo cracks like a .22 lr (pellet go supersonic coming out of the muzzle). The .22's have a slightly slower muzzle velocity (no super sonic crack), have more momentum (hitting punch) and a slightly deminished range.

I have the previous version of this: https://www.topairgun.com/22-rws-diana-3 ... ifle-combo Which is just as accurate as a good .22 lr inside its range. (Good for raccoons in the attic too.)

Radio still seems like the easiest, least intrusive method though.
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jal_ut
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Re: How to Keep SQUIRRELS & Crows Out of Corn?

If it is legal to shoot the critters there that is a good option. Just get rid of them! A shotgun would be better than a 22LR. Most city rules prohibit firearm shooting so that may not be an option? There is always a choice of a good break barrel pellet gun? Those things will take out a crow easy enough. The one I have is the Crosman Storm XT, .177 cal
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Gary350
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Re: How to Keep SQUIRRELS & Crows Out of Corn?

jal_ut wrote:Yes, deer, raccoons and skunks have gotten after my corn. I put a radio in the corn patch tuned to the local radio station. The noise seems to scare off the critters.
I put a radio in my garden 2 days ago it has been on a talk show 24 hours every day. Nothing comes to the garden or that part of the yard during the day, no birds, no squirrels. LOL. Funny. Squirrels and birds are usually every where in the yard all day. I sat in the yard several times every day all I see are butterflies. I can see nothing after dark I assume nothing is coming then either. LOL :)

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Re: How to Keep SQUIRRELS & Crows Out of Corn?

Let me guess.... talk radio where they are yelling at each other and the goal is to yell louder than the other guy and it doesn't matter if you stay on topic?

Going to try the radio thing next year. Have a short period of time where the local deer come out to sample the young strawberries, hostas and tulips.
I don't believe we can resist the things which make no sense - I believe.

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jal_ut
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Re: How to Keep SQUIRRELS & Crows Out of Corn?

I put a radio in the corn patch tuned to the local talk station. It seems to frighten off the critters. I also keep some outdoor cats around. They have the run of the outbuildings and yard. I feed them some dry cat food, but they are free to forage. They will bring me some little furry trophies and leave them on the rug by the door.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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jal_ut
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Re: How to Keep SQUIRRELS & Crows Out of Corn?

When I lived on the lot our on the Little Bear River, the skunks and raccoons were awful. Also had deer at times. I ran a 1/4 inch cable on the ground the length of the garden on the river side and put a pulley on it then a short chain and tied a hound dog to the chain. The dog then had the run of the length of the garden. He pretty well kept the critters out. (You can't just let a hound dog run loose, as they tend to run all over the place and sometimes chase things they should not.)
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jal_ut
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Re: How to Keep SQUIRRELS & Crows Out of Corn?

Critters attacking your garden? Trap them, shoot them, sic the dogs on them. Maybe a free ranging cat or two would help?
Shotgun? Slingshot and a bag of marbles? A radio in the corn patch tuned to the local talk station will scare off a lot of critters. Don't know if it will scare crows? I am a beekeeper and the darned skunks like to come scratch on the hives till the bees come out to fight then they eat bees. I find that a #3 foot trap set in front of the hive is pretty effective.
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jal_ut
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Re: How to Keep SQUIRRELS & Crows Out of Corn?

Nice summer day here. Hope your gardens are doing well.
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gumbo2176
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Re: How to Keep SQUIRRELS & Crows Out of Corn?

jal_ut wrote:Nice summer day here. Hope your gardens are doing well.

All I've got in mine right now are 5 pepper plants some herbs. I got out in the garden this morning to once again turn over the soil after I put in the neighborhood of 45 large bags of grass clippings I got from the grass cutters at a local cemetery over the past couple weeks. I turned it under last week after it sat atop the soil for 4-5 days drying out and once again early this morning to further blend it into the soil.

I did manage to pull a couple rows under my trellises and planted pole bean and cucumber seeds to get an early go on the fall harvest. I just hope I haven't jumped the gun too soon as it is still miserably hot and humid here and will be for another several weeks.

By the time I finished about 2 hours garden work I was soaking wet from head to toe, and it still wasn't the hottest part of the day. I hate our summers.......................

2totango
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Re: How to Keep SQUIRRELS & Crows Out of Corn?

I have a problem with birds pulling out my new pea and bean shoots. I put some stakes in the garden and tie old cd's to them. The flashing movement is enough to keep the birds away!

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jal_ut
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Re: How to Keep SQUIRRELS & Crows Out of Corn?

I do keep a couple outdoor cats around, and put a radio in the corn patch tuned to the local talk station. Don't have much problem with garden marauders. What the cats don't catch the radio scares off.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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Gary350
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Re: How to Keep SQUIRRELS & Crows Out of Corn?

I had a cat for 15 years and never had a problem with squirrels until this year. Cat died in June i guess she kept the critters out of the garden all those years.

2totango
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Re: How to Keep SQUIRRELS & Crows Out of Corn?

my cats are the main deterrent - that and the neighbour's dog - lol!

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jal_ut
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Re: How to Keep SQUIRRELS & Crows Out of Corn?

A radio in the corn patch tuned to the local talk station helps scare off some critters.

Can't use a firearm? Perhaps one of those nice air rifles would work?
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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Re: How to Keep SQUIRRELS & Crows Out of Corn?

Owls don't work well unless you keep moving them around. The birds catch on and I have seen them sitting on the owl. cassette tape and reflective CD's work for a short time, again until the birds find out it doesn't hurt them.
I think this might have a chance if you also play a radio along with it.
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ID jit
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Re: How to Keep SQUIRRELS & Crows Out of Corn?

THAT IS THE TICKET!
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jal_ut
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Re: How to Keep SQUIRRELS & Crows Out of Corn?

O:)
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