In this article, we will discuss 10 effective solutions on How to Keep Squirrels Out of the Garden. Gardening is a wonderful hobby that brings beauty and joy to any backyard. However, pesky squirrels can quickly ruin all your hard work. They dig up flower beds, damage vegetables, trample plants, eat birdseed, and even feast on fruits. But don’t worry, there are ways to protect your garden from these furry intruders.
Here I have given the top 10 Ways to keep squirrels out of the garden are:
1. Grow Unappealing Food.
Squirrels love eating many of the same things we do, like fruits, vegetables, nuts, and berries. They also like to dig up and eat tulip bulbs and even tulip flowers. But there are some plants that squirrels don’t like. These plants have strong smells or flavors that squirrels don’t enjoy.
You can try planting things like garlic, lily-of-the-valley, fritillary flowers, onion, and bleeding hearts in your garden. Squirrels usually don’t bother these plants.
2. Use Unsavory Seed and Squirrel-Proof Bird Feeders.
Squirrels are clever and always on the lookout for easy food sources, including the fruits in your garden. One of the biggest reasons squirrels come around is bird feeders. Even if you have a feeder designed to keep squirrels away, some bird seed will still end up on the ground, attracting squirrels.
You don’t have to stop feeding birds altogether, though. You can try using birdseed that squirrels don’t like as much, such as safflower seed or seed treated with cayenne pepper. These types of seeds will make squirrels think twice about eating them, but they won’t bother the birds.
3. Keep Your Garden and Yard Tidy.
To prevent squirrels from gathering in your garden, it’s important to keep it clean. After you’ve finished harvesting fruits or vegetables, pick up any that have fallen to the ground.
Also, remember to remove other things that can attract squirrels, such as leftover food for pets or any acorns or black walnuts that have fallen in your yard. Cleaning up these food sources will help discourage squirrels from hanging around.
4. Employ a Watch Dog-Or Cat.
Having cats or dogs frequently visit your yard and garden can make squirrels feel uncomfortable and less likely to stick around. Cats and dogs are natural predators of squirrels, so the clever little rodents will try their best to stay away and not come too close.
5. Try Repellents.
You can find various squirrel repellents in stores, but they often contain ingredients like predator urine or hot pepper. Some homemade recipes also use garlic, onion, vinegar, or peppermint oil.
Using these repellents might help to some extent when combined with other methods, but it’s important to reapply them regularly. Wind, water, and sunlight can break down the repellents quickly, so gardeners need to stay vigilant and reapply them as needed.
6. Fence Squirrels Out.
To keep squirrels out of a small area, you can use a type of fencing called chicken wire. It works well as a barrier but can be costly and may not look nice if you have a large area to cover.
Another effective method is to use a floating row cover in your vegetable garden. This is a lightweight cover that creates a barrier. Squirrels don’t like the feeling of being enclosed, so they won’t enter a covered row. This method can surprisingly keep them away from your plants.
7. Protect Your Plants.
In areas with lots of trees or near parks, it can be challenging to keep squirrels out entirely. In these situations, it’s better to protect individual plants from squirrel damage. This may require some effort, but it also prevents damage from other animals like mice, voles, groundhogs, birds, rabbits, and deer.
You can use metal mesh cloches to protect young vegetable plants, especially leafy greens. You can buy nice-looking antique replicas or create simple DIY cloches using chicken wire. For newly planted bulbs, you can also place additional chicken wire over them to prevent squirrels from digging them up.
8. Scaring Them.
Having a pet can not only provide you with entertainment but also help keep squirrels away from your yard. If you don’t have a dog, it might be worth considering getting one. Most dogs and cats are naturally curious about small critters, and their presence alone can scare away squirrels and prevent any damage they might cause.
If you don’t have a pet, another option is to buy predator urine, like from a tiger or wolf and spread it in your garden soil. It may sound strange, but the smell of larger predators can deter smaller animals, including squirrels, rabbits, deer, and rodents.
You can also try other scare tactics to protect your plant bulbs. Installing motion-activated sprinklers, hanging old CDs, or placing pinwheels in your garden can help discourage squirrels from digging and keep your bulbs safe.
9. Protecting Your Garden.
To safeguard your harvest, you can wrap individual vegetables and fruits. Particularly, crops like eggplants and tomatoes can be protected by placing small pieces of bird netting around the mature fruits. You don’t need to worry about covering the green, unripe ones, as squirrels usually don’t bother them. This way, you can keep your prized vegetables and fruits safe from squirrel interference.
10. Covering Soil.
If you want to prevent squirrels from digging in your seedbeds, you can use mulch to cover the soil. This method is also helpful for protecting newly planted seedlings and bulbs, giving them a better chance of growing successfully. By adding a layer of mulch, you create a barrier that deters squirrels from disturbing the soil and damaging your plants.
These methods help safeguard your plants from squirrel damage and other unwanted animal intrusions. Having pets on your property can naturally and kindly discourage squirrels from coming in. Not only will pets keep them away, but they also provide companionship and entertainment for you and your family.
Dogs, especially, have a natural urge to chase small creatures like squirrels. They can be effective in keeping them out of your garden. Additionally, you can place your pet’s litter box near the bird feeder, as the scent can act as a deterrent for squirrels.