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SQUIRRELS VS. TOMATOES

Got my container garden underway this year thanks to FOOD52 and my tomatoes are looking promising. Too promising - at least to the neighborhood squirrels! Aside from wrapping the plants with chicken wire, any suggestions for keeping the furry-tailed little varmints away?

asked by wssmom about 2 years ago
22 answers 1153 views
Face
added about 2 years ago

Try placing many mouse traps around (the old fashioned type) shouldn't hurt them, and after a bit they'll realize the fright isn't worth the effort. Works for cats, too

Me
added about 2 years ago

Mousetraps purchased!

3-bizcard
sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added about 2 years ago

I have found the only way to keep the little buggers away is to enclose the item. Spray's don't work, I have tried that. They decimated my garden only leaving what they didn't like. My neighbor lost all of their tomatoes and other vegetables. We have raccoons also so between the squirrels and raccoons I have given up growing anything. Chicken wire would be what I would use.

Default-small
added about 2 years ago

I would opt for the chicken wire, too--and a chicken wire fortress at that. Squirrels are very smart when it comes to getting choice tidbits and often outsmart humans who try to deter them!

Dscn3274
added about 2 years ago

We have problems with rabbits and deer and I've heard the scent of human or pet hair helps to deter them. My dog, Jake, is shedding like crazy now so little bundles of fur are strewn all over the garden. We have a lot of squirrels also and they're not bothering anything yet!

Melissa_mitchell
added about 2 years ago

That's what we do with our container garden -- the dog gets a serious brushing every week or so and we put her fur near the pots. So far it's definitely keeping the squirrels and birds at bay. We'll see how long that lasts....

Me
added about 2 years ago

Heading to barbershop for some today ...

Waffle3
added about 2 years ago


Joy of Cooking advises following your favorite recipes for chicken.

Default-small
added about 2 years ago

Haha!!

Me_in_munich_with_fish
added about 2 years ago

And we still think this is a viable solution, fyi ;)

Food52
added about 2 years ago

take empty soda cans and put coins or small pebbles in them. then hang them around your chicken wire, or whatever enclosure. when the animals try to get by the enclosure, the cans shake and produce a noise which scares some animals away.

5.15.11_coconut_macaroons_best_sm
added about 2 years ago

You could also add some misdirection. In addition to deterrents, put a bird feeder of sunflower seeds (a squirrel's favorite!) in the far corner of your yard away from your garden. They'll probably go for the easy meal over the challenging tomatoes.

Default-small
added about 2 years ago

I agree with the dog advice and since I don't have one of my own, I borrow my neighbor's dog every week or so and walk him around the inside of my garden. So far, it seems to be keeping cats and other small animals away. Maybe someone you know would loan you their dog so you could do the same, especially if you repaid them in tomatoes!

08270410avatar_messbrasil
added about 2 years ago

LOL!!!

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Pegeen

Pegeen is a trusted home cook.

added about 2 years ago

I'm guessing you're container gardening on a patio or some non-dirt surface? Therefore this won't work but in case you do have a yard, human urine around the perimeter, not too far from the vegetable plants, will function the same type of deterrent as letting a dog mark its territory around your yard.

I highly recommend chicken wire so you don't sacrifice your tomatoes. If you haven't wrangled with squirrels before, they're very devilish varmints. I wouldn't waste time "playing nice" with them. Believe me, they'll quickly find something else to eat besides your nice tomatoes.

Not long ago, having tested just about every other model, found what truly looked like a "squirrel proof" birdfeeder that had only a skinny little wire ring about 6 inches from the food - not something a squirrel could sit on. I watched a squirrel figure out how to game it: he jumped off a tree limb and managed to barely grab onto the little wire rim. Then used only his back feet to hang upside-down off the wire rim and did SIT UPS to hoist his face up to the food tray, shove seed into his cheeks, then dropped back to hang upside down while he munched.Then did another sit-up, got more food, etc. A fine candidate for the Squirrel Olympics.

Me
added about 2 years ago

Got the neighborhood kids to mark the perimeter after their nightly game of beer pong ....

Default-small
added about 2 years ago

I once had a hot pepper spray bought at a garden center to spray on plants to keep the squirrels from eating them. It worked. In the fall, I put pumpkins on the steps, the squirrels liked them--I remembered the spray. One particular squirrel began screeching and howling. When I went to see what was going on, I am still certain he/she was glaring at me! It washed right off the produce after picking.

08270410avatar_messbrasil
added about 2 years ago

ahahahahahaha!

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Pegeen

Pegeen is a trusted home cook.

added about 2 years ago

@wssmom... I can't swear as to whether beer dilutes the effect or not, but don't laugh, it really does work. Plus it's very neighborly of you and a good example of "sustainable" gardening. :-)

@ellenl... Laughing at your story... I bet that squirrel read you the riot act, for interfering with the all-you-can-eat buffet. I think there are squirrels vacationing somewhere, sitting in teeny lawn chairs and popping open miniature cold ones, laughing about us.

08270410avatar_messbrasil
added about 2 years ago

Get a dog...just to scare them off;not an angry one,poor squirrels!

08270410avatar_messbrasil
added about 2 years ago

Just be shure your dog isn't as much a glutton as the squirrels...As a little girl,I had a boxer named Scott who ate the green bell peppers our maid planted at the orchard we had behind our house...She was maaaad!

Scan0004
added about 2 years ago

I remember reading about a home made version of the pepper spray, in Organic Gardening Magazine in the 70's(!). Basically, put lots of the hottest peppers you can get your hands on (or off) in a blender with water and puree.. Probably it was left to steep, strained and put in a spray bottle. With container plants, that (plus all the other suggestions) should be manageable. Anyone done this?
Pegeen, your squirrel doing sit-ups gave me a good laugh -- we had enough of the little thieves and gave up on feeders entirely.

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