Briarheart
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Keeping squirrels out!

Don't get me wrong, I like squirrels. They're cute, and more importantly are a critical part of the ecosystem.

However, I most certainly do NOT like them digging in the garden and eating my seeds, or otherwise messing with my little plant babies (and yes I know it is the squirrels, I have seen them digging around in the flowerbed). :(

Does anyone know, if there is an effective way to deter squirrels without harming them, or the plants?

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Keeping squirrels out!

Yup. Deer netting. It is cheap and easy to use. Since I grow veggies in raised beds, it is easy for me to put stakes in the edges and wrap each bed individually in deer netting. Since it is not rigid, squirrels can't climb it the way they would a regular fence.

Short of some kind of fencing like that, nothing deters them too much. I've read that putting cayenne in bird seed makes it so the squirrels won't eat it, but it doesn't seem to stop our squirrels (or maybe you need a LOT of cayenne).
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JohnInDaGarden
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Re: Keeping squirrels out!

rainbowgardener wrote:Yup. Deer netting. It is cheap and easy to use. Since I grow veggies in raised beds, it is easy for me to put stakes in the edges and wrap each bed individually in deer netting. Since it is not rigid, squirrels can't climb it the way they would a regular fence.
But don't you need that deer netting all around the garden if you want to keep the squirrels out? Where do you suggest to apply it?

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applestar
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Re: Keeping squirrels out!

Haha that's a kind of a funny image --- to net the entire garden to keep out squirrels.

Actually I think the deer netting suggestion was for a smaller scale protection of container planting and flower beds?

My observation of squirrels in my garden is that they either dig to unearth treasures -- acorns and other tree nuts -- they buried or to bury them. And they do think windowboxes and gallon size and larger containers are good places to bury them. I have found dug up pots and have also uncovered buried hickory nuts, have had volunteer tree seedlings grow, etc.

Squirrels will dig in garden beds that you have thoroughly turned over and removed those buried nuts if they suddenly remember that they happened to bury treasures there. I remember yelling at them that the nuts aren't there anymore and to look for them along the back fence where I tossed them. :roll:

In larger garden beds, squirrels sized holes dug here and there are not all that significant.

It's best to individually protect new seedbeds or young seedlings -- birds, chipmunks, mice are the ones that tend to dig them up and eat the seeds, and rabbits and occasionally groundHOGS eat the little seedlings in my garden (no deer here). Garden fence to keep out the seedling eaters and low tunnel with netting or floating cover seems to help under most circumstances. Mice will get inside tunnels, though.
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Keeping squirrels out!

Like I said, I garden in raised beds, so I wrap beds individually. I do this more against deer, raccoons, and groundhogs. I agree with applestar that squirrels don't usually cause much damage in the garden, though they will take bites out of tomatoes now and then for the juice.
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A Happy Seedling
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Re: Keeping squirrels out!

Squirrels ENJOY killing seedlings for no reason whatsoever; I left my seed starter on the deck outside, the next day my mammoth dill seedling, along with my apple tree seedling, were both broken from the stem, and there was squirrel poop on the rail. The tops of the plants were lying broken on the surface of the soil with the roots still in the ground.
When I wait 3 months for my mango seedling to sprout, and then it damps off.
:evil:

pepperhead212
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Re: Keeping squirrels out!

I declared war on those fuzzy tailed rats when I found out that they were the ones taking one bite out of my tomatoes, dropping them on the ground, and getting another to do the same thing with, over and over! I really have no way to keep them out, I just make sure they can't come back. :twisted:
Dave

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