Keeping Squirrels out of Your Garden

There are many creatures that can damage and interrupt the healthy growth of your garden, and that includes squirrels. You can tell if squirrels are around through some telltale signs, including:
 
- Golf ball-sized shallow holes in your garden beds or containers, particularly in freshly planted areas.
- Bite marks on fruits, vegetables and flowers ' especially keep a close eye on cucumbers, eggplant and squash.
- Missing plants or fruits.
 
In an ideal situation, it's best if you can physically see squirrels at their work, in case it is some other creature feasting on your plants. But in most cases, the above signs usually point to squirrel presence in your yard.
 
If you determine that squirrels are the source of the destruction, here are some ways you can help keep them away from your garden:

 

Remove the Attraction

Squirrels love nibbling on fruit, seeds and nuts that may have fallen into your yard from trees or birdfeeders. Cleaning up these snacks can help keep squirrels away. Also make sure the lids of your garbage cans are secured tightly so they don't start poking around trash and creating a larger mess.

Introduce a Repellent

Just like humans don't enjoy certain tastes, squirrels aren't fond of certain tastes either. You can find different repellent recipes online or at your local garden store. Look for mixtures that include vinegar, peppermint oil or capsaicin, which adds the heat in hot peppers. Apply your mixture after a rain, and don't apply to any parts of the plant you will harvest.

Create a Distraction

Knowing that squirrels love to eat certain treats, why not give it to them? That way, they may leave your plants alone. Create a squirrel feeder far away from your plants and fill it with sunflower seeds, corn and peanuts. You may want to plant one or two edible plants, such as tomatoes, in this area. Just watch that you don't attract other unwanted animals to your garden.
 

Protect Your Garden

Squirrels are wily creatures, but by protecting your plants, you might be able to prevent them from snacking on your harvest. To add a layer of protection, wrap each individual plant with bird netting. Focus on plants that have ripe or ripening fruit - those are especially tempting to squirrels.