Friday, July 2nd, 2010...12:00 am

How To Deal With Squirrels In The Garden

Squirrel eating my tomatoes…by CaitieBeth

TheGardenLady received this question from Jim.

After all the work of setting up a garden and caring for it, the squirrels get to the tomatoes before we can enjoy them.  They just nibble on part of the tomato as it begins to ripen but enough to prevent us from eating it. It is very discouraging. Do you have any ideas that could help me?

As cute as some people think they are, squirrels are a big nuisance in the garden.

There are both dry and liquid products on the market that are supposed to stop squirrels from eating your tomatoes and they are organic so they should be safe to use. These products are supposed to be effective because the squirrel has a good sense of smell. It is recommended that the product should be reapplied after a heavy rain. Check your hardware store to see what they sell.

Two brand names are: Squirrel Stopper (see here) and the other is Shake Away (see here). This GardenLady has not used these products. If you use these products, take care when applying because they may have hot pepper as part of the ingredients so you have to be sure it doesn’t get into your eyes or on your skin- gloves and goggles are recommended when applying.

Next year, if possible, make a raised bed with screening that squirrels cannot enter. TheGardenLady’s husband had made a raised bed surrounded by screening to prevent animals from getting her tomatoes. On the ground, under the soil where the plants were we put screens – we used old window screens – so that no animal could burrow in through the bottom but rain could go through. The sides and the top also had screening made of the smallest holed chicken wire that was available in the hardware store. If you get screening that has too large holes, rabbits and squirrels can get in. The screens were attached to frames that had hooks so that the frames could be removed in order to plant, weed and harvest. Watering is easy through the chicken wire.

My Tomato Garden covered with chicken netting to protect from squirrels by k2marsh

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