Did you know that I am pretty much anti-squirrel? Oh, you already knew that? Yeah, I might have mentioned it before…
But just in case, let’s do a little recap on why I don’t like squirrels, represented by this one picture:
Yes, that is a squirrel *casually* chowing down on a cherry tomato on my back porch last year. Enough said!
Last year in all my squirrel desperation, I shared six ideas to help keep those pesky critters out of your garden. Most of these ideas I tried…with minimal success.
However, this year has been a little different. True, some squirrels did enjoy a few tomatoes from my garden, but for the most part me, myself, and I harvested all the tomatoes. (Well, and my dog Mabel who likes to sneak some off the lower braches when I’m not looking…but I let that slide.)
I take that as a win!
I think a few things helped this year: 1) My brother came over earlier in the spring and helped me repair any weak parts in my “squirrel fortress” (check out Part 1 for details), and 2) I tried a few new tricks. I think it might have been the combination of these things that discouraged these rodents from even thinking about stepping foot in my garden.
Or maybe they found a better garden to feast on…?
Regardless, I thought I would share a few more ideas that I tried, some friends tried, and other ideas that have been recommended to me over the past year. Anything to keep those pesky squirrels out of your garden…am I right?!1 Fake Owl. I am starting with my favorite idea, well, because who doesn’t want a large fake bird hanging out in your garden? Even my husband got on board with this idea and helped me set it up in the middle of my garden. The idea is that birds and rodents will see the predatory bird statue and think it is real and get out of dodge, leaving your tomatoes in one piece.
Here is the bottom line, I don’t know if it really helps. Although he might have scared me a few times when he first settled in, so there’s that. Either way, I love my new friend, Mr. Owl, and I am pretty sure he will be a staple in my garden for years to come.
In all honesty, I think it was a combination of birds and squirrels attacking my growing citrus…but still, squirrels. I think the mesh is definitely discouraging damage. What would be even better though is building a little enclosure using this material so the mesh isn’t resting directly on the fruit making it pretty accessible to pests, but it is a good, cheap option.
I would love, love to try this option. But Austin has pretty tight water restrictions and a sprinkler that goes off any day but Saturday after 7:00pm is not allowed. But, if you live in a place where drought isn’t a common word and people don’t jump for joy every time they see water falling out of the sky, then I highly recommend this option.
So now I make sure the bowl is empty unless my dog is hanging outside for a little while and it seems like the little animal party has set up shop somewhere other than my back porch. Think about dog bowls or birdbaths you might have and keep them drained when your tomatoes and other fruit are at their peak.6 Sneak Up On Them. Okay, this might be the most ridiculous idea (and photo), but I can’t deny that I haven’t used this method. For example, earlier this year I was innocently looking out the window and I spot a little gray pest in my garden. My adrenaline started pumping and I ran out there and successfully surprised the crap out of him. He then proceeded to panic because I was by his escape hatch (a.k.a. newly chewed hole) so he started violently throwing himself into the netting around my garden. It was somewhat hilarious and I thought maybe I should keep him in there until my husband came home. But then I realized he was about to do some real damage so I opened the gate and let him free. I think this scare tactic worked though, because I didn’t see too many squirrel “tracks” after that.
Again, I hope this gives you even more inspiration to keeping those pesky squirrels (or birds) out of your garden. I got such great feedback from the last post that I thought you could benefit from even more ideas. You’re not alone, folks, you’re not alone.
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