I tried to plant seeds and then actual plants in my porch flower boxes. The squirrels keep digging them up and destroying them. I live across the street from a park. I tried putting mesh on top of the soil, I tried moth crystals, no help. Anybody got an idea? Planting season is soon here in Milwaukee and I want some flowers.
Hardiness Zone: 5a
By Kathy from Milwaukee, WI
I understand your frustration, but since 2006, squirrels around the world have been going hungry because of weather disturbances/out of phase resulting in little or no nut crops. They are starving. In 2006 it happened in Poland, Russia, and I think it was last year or year before all along Eastern seaboard here as well as more westerly from there.They even attacked a dog, and here, were digging in garbage cans, etc.
Perhaps if you put out something for them to eat more to their taste, like peanut butter and oatmeal balls or nuts slightly away from where you want plants they might learn to look there. I realize that would be inviting
squirrel chaos, but I feel sorry for them.
I use Twirlers from Kmart, the kind kids use to play with. They go around when wind is blowing, like windmills. I also save the tops that come on large cans that look like foil. Hang it in the garden. Or just use foil you have in the kitchen. Also, hot pepper sauce will do the job.
I've used plastic forks to keep chipmunks out of my planters. Just push the fork in the soil, handle first, so the tines of the fork are just under the soil. You won't be able to see them, but the squirrels will get a poke as soon as they start to dig. It doesn't stop them from eating them, but it will keep them from uprooting them.
We have used cayenne pepper for most of the critters who visit us. It keeps the critters away and doesn't hurt the plants. Just sprinkle a generous amount around and see if that does it. Also works for deer.
There is a product called Ropel. As long as it in nothing you plan on eating you spray the plants. Various pepper sprays are suppose to also work but I have never had the same luck as I do with Ropel (I use it professionally).
I'm having similar issues this year with the sunflower plants and morning glories planted on my deck. Though I've only been at it a couple of days, the ground red pepper/water spray and sprinkling of red pepper flakes around the plants seems to be working so far. Also, in specific response to Pikka's solution of feeding them because they are starving, the squirrels that are destroying my little container garden are *not* starving, they are quite robust. They also aren't even eating what they are destroying. They pull things out by the root, bite them in half and then then discard them. They've also chewed through 2 strings of lights and a phone line.
Also if you put out ears of corn the squirrels may enjoy that as a treat. Think about it, if you were hungry and you saw free food growing fresh, would you not want to nibble?
Lolll Please... Do not attract the squirrels with luring them to your garden with other food. Unless you plan on feeding them every day and putting more and more food out for them as they start breeding and burrowing close to the food source.
The moment you don't feed them, guess what they will eat. I put (not chicken wire because if they can fit their head-they can fit their body) but galvanized mesh under the soil (about a foot or more deep) then put the weed blocker on top then the soil. I use wooden stakes around the garden with mesh stapled to cover the top and sides. If you want to get fancy-Make a frame with hinges on the top so it opens up.
Camphor tablets working magnificently well, and crushed cayenne pepper, crushed pepper, mint, all those herbs work great for me, I put them all over sprinkling it in my plant boxes, Google it!
My squirrels relish red pepper. I bought a large container from an Asian market and found it much hotter than cayenne to my taste but the squirrels seem to relish it. I finally tried a mixture of fresh coffee grounds mixed with bone meal in a 1 to 1 ratio and broadcast on top of the soil. So far that seems to be doing the trick as I've not found uprooted plants for a week now. We've just had a long rain. I will see if it will be necessary to apply a new dusting once it stops.
By Dennis from Lakewood, CO
One of the most effective remedies I found is to use gutter guard around the perimeter of the planter. Make sure to cut the top with a tin snip or sharp scissor so the edges are sharp. Also, since gutter guard contains small openings, you can place sticks and such through them. This seems to keep squirrels and chipmunks away
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