Squirrels giving you gardening woes? Try these tricks to keep squirrels out of your plants.
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I often lose, but I’m getting more savvy every year and learn new tricks to beat back these little pests that like to dig up my flowers, eat my plants, root through my flower pots, and make general chaos of our patio area.
Today I’m going to share 5 tricks to keep squirrels out of your plants that I have picked up in the last few years of gardening. These work best with container gardening, which is what I mostly do on our back patio, but several of these can be applied directly to your bed gardens.
It can’t really get more basic than that. To really make sure the squirrels leave your garden alone simply plant flowers they don’t like because of either their taste or their smell.
These flowers include alliums, crocus (tomasinianus variety), lilies, marigolds, hyacinth, daffodils and, from personal experience, impatiens, geraniums, columbine, and the squirrels seem to leave my begonias alone though I have heard that they are not against eating them also.
If you have flowers that you love to plant that the squirrels love, too, try one of these other tricks to keep them at bay.
The idea with laying chicken wire or garden stakes, upside down, in your containers is that it prevents squirrels from being able to dig. Thus no holes in your pots where they have tried to bury food plus they can’t get to your flowers to dig them up. You can also bury plastic forks tine side up. None of these will do any good if what they are after is the plants themselves though.
Chicken wire over flower pots containing bulbs or covering your flower beds containing bulbs can also prevent squirrels from digging them up.
This is one trick I’m itching to try out. I just get so excited when I get new flowers that I forget to put the chicken wire into the pot first.
It may sound a little gross, but putting your hair clippings or your dog’s hair into your flower pots will keep the squirrels away. Squirrels have an acute sense of smell and will stay away from the scent of predators. I trim my own bangs and have sprinkled the cut-off hair on top of the soil of my potted plants. Worked like a charm! But only for so long. Eventually the smell will fade away, and you will have to add more.
Also, if you’re thinking this will look visually displeasing, you’re not adding huge clumps of hair to the pots. Adding scattered clippings to the soil will not be visible to guests admiring your flowers.
You can also sprinkle used coffee grinds to deter squirrels from your pots.
Sprinkle cayenne pepper on your soil and even on your plants to keep the squirrels away. One lick of their paws and your flowers are safe. At least until it rains. Then you will need to reapply.
This is my current favorite method of deterring squirrels from my flowers. I think of them getting cayenne pepper on their little paws and it burning their poor greedy little mouths. I’m mean like that.
I have also read that you can make a spray mixture of cayenne pepper + dishwashing liquid + water to safely spray on your plants to keep the squirrels away. I have not tried this myself. Simply sprinkling the pepper around is good with me.
Also use caution with this method if you have pets that can access the cayenne pepper. My dogs stay out of my potted plants, but I’m less likely to use this method in my flower beds where they sometimes wander into.
5. Add bone meal to your soil.
Again with the scent thing. Squirrels don’t like the smell of bone meal and will stay out of your containers and garden beds if it is sprinkled on the soil. You will have to reapply periodically, especially after a hard rain, but it a great fertilizer for your plants so its really a double win. You can also try using blood meal.
You work hard on your garden! Make sure you can enjoy it.
Do you have any tips or tricks to keep squirrels out of your plants?
I would love to hear them! I’m always looking for new ideas to try.
See the enclosed garden we finally built to keep our vegetables away from the squirrels! The war with the flowers continues on…
>> See where I party! <<
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