Friday, September 21, 2012

10 Ways To Squirrel Proof Your Garden

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10 Ways to Squirrel Proof Your Garden

All herbivores can be pests in the garden but the one we probably deal with the most here in the GTA are squirrels. With fresh planted bulbs and the cold weather approaching these guys can’t help but be tempted to start digging, so here’s some tips on how to keep them out.

The Tips

1.    The first way is the most direct. Put a physical barrier of chicken wire over your planting area. Make sure that you secure it the ground using weights, clips or ties because dig under the edges and lift it.

2.    Next up are the repellants. Most straight forward would be to use a commercially available deer repellent. Simply spray in the areas that they seem to be attracted to or have already started digging.

3.    Try cayenne pepper. Buy bulk amounts of this ground red pepper and sprinkle it not only on top of the ground but also in and around the bulb as you are planting it. This one also works great for keeping raccoons out of the green bin.

4.    While your planting you can also use chicken manure or bone meal, not only will it help keep the squirrels away but also has the added measure of fertilizing your garden.

5.    For something a little more off the wall you can try planting your bulbs with human hair or even dog fur around it. Apparently the squirrels don’t like the texture and won’t dig through it.

6.    You can also try some distraction techniques. Put up a bird feeder in your back garden. Even the squirrel proof types will keep them guessing long enough that they won’t be going after your bulbs.

7.    When mosquito season is over, try leaving out water in birdbaths or buckets. Squirrels often go after bulbs because of their high moisture content. Quench their thirst and it may stop their digging.

8.    If the weather is still warm enough you might want to try laying a trap. Set up motion activated sprinklers around the garden, set to spray if the squirrels manage to get to the garden.

9.    You can discourage some activity just by simple changes in your gardening routine. Make sure you clean up after planting your bulbs; remove the debris, especially the flakey skins from the bulbs. Leaving these out in the garden can attract the squirrels, signaling dinner has arrived.

10.    Try to leave your bulb planting as late as you can in the fall, but before the ground freezes. I try to time my planting until the day before we get the first big snowstorm, generally in November. This technique may be for the diehards however because you may freeze some fingers off.

What not to do.

Despite urban myths, mothballs are not effective and are extremely toxic. Setting out poison for the squirrels is also very dangerous.

If all else fails?

Try planting bulbs that are more pest resistant, such as:

-    Daffodils
-    Fritillaria
-    Glory of the Snow
-    Ipheion
-    Ornamental Alliums
-    Scilla
-    Spanish Bluebells


  1. Mirta Lu said...

    I agree with these tips! I think the most effective way to get rid of these squirrels is to trap them. In our home, we created entry holes on areas they frequently visit. Just keep in mind to regularly monitor these holes to make sure that the squirrels are removed from the area.

    - Mirta Lu

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