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Squirrel holes! Toplef10Squirrel holes! 1zd3ho10

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

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Squirrel holes!

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Post  Doel 6/10/2015, 12:57 pm

This is my first year using a raised bed and I have discovered that gray squirrels love to dig in this loose soil, uproot plants, bury plants, and break stems. 

I've tried hanging cds (worked for 4 days), coyote urine (didn't work), blood meal fertilizer (didn't work), chili powder and pepper spray (didn't work), rubber snakes (didn't work), and trapping (didn't work, they wouldn't touch anything on the pressure plate??).

Does anyone have any suggestions aside from physically fencing off each bed?  They seem to love to kill my pepper plants, I had 12 and they killed 7.  I grow from seeds and half my peppers are wayy behind now, I need to protect them if I can.
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Post  Razed Bed 6/10/2015, 1:27 pm

We had a little success taking broken and sharp pieces of former clay pots and setting them in the squares in spikes.  You have to frequently reset them when they are knocked over, and you have to take care that you don't stab yourself with them when you are working.

Last year, I successfully caught more than a dozen in my havahart traps, and I moved them to the park, but all that did was bring in a new batch of squirrels.

You might try feeding them with as much fattening food as they can handle and serve it as far away from your garden as possible. 


Good luck; squirrels are worthy competitors.
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Post  camprn 6/10/2015, 1:29 pm

I have laid boards across the bed between the plants to discourage the behavior. For the most part it worked. It was a temporary measure and I took the boards up after about a week or so: the squirrels changed the behavior and found someplace else to bury things.

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Post  llama momma 6/10/2015, 2:29 pm

@Doel wrote:Does anyone have any suggestions aside from physically fencing off each bed?
I'm not sure in the long term how well the animal water spray sensors work. That's the only other method I know of. 

Lets talk about fencing anyway... I've been square foot gardening for 5 years and use critter covers every year, every bed. 
No critter damage, no poo or urine smells in the beds.  This area has skunks, bunnies, raccoons, my barn cats, other visiting cats, coyote, deer, squirrels, and a ground hog that lives under the nearby shed.  
I can claim 100% protection from critters so far.  I would love to walk up to a bed and not stop to first lift off a cover, do my thing, then have to put it back on for all ten beds.  But I enjoy damage free results even more.  Side note, many cats shed the parasite for toxoplasmosis in their poo and that would make me pause to eat food from that bed....
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Post  walshevak 6/10/2015, 6:22 pm

And squirrels love to pick ripening tomatoes and take a bite then throw on the ground.  Also they break the vines jumping in and out of the trellis.

Kay

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Post  GloriaG 6/10/2015, 9:48 pm

I put some of this plastic safety fence flat on the ground around the plants.  Squirrels didn't like it. Only had to use it for one season so far. 

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Post  sanderson 6/11/2015, 12:49 am

Doel, Welcome to the Forum from California! glad you\'re here

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Post  AtlantaMarie 6/11/2015, 8:07 am

@GloriaG wrote:I put some of this plastic safety fence flat on the ground around the plants.  Squirrels didn't like it. Only had to use it for one season so far. 

Squirrel holes! 41MYhQazq9L


We use that for the rabbits too.  Haven't had any problems so far...
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Post  Kelejan 6/11/2015, 8:16 am

glad you\'re here   Doel  happy hi 
from Kelejan :canada: 

Already you are getting lots of feedback about your squirrels.  Just a taste of things to come. hungry
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Post  Marc Iverson 6/12/2015, 1:59 am

Gardening without a fence is very difficult if you want to keep anything. Failing that, you have to protect each bed individually, which isn't easy and can be cumbersome, and sometimes results in restricting light. Good luck. Around here, if you don't fence it, it gets eaten by anyone and everyone but you.
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Post  jimmy cee 6/12/2015, 5:38 pm

@Marc Iverson wrote:Gardening without a fence is very difficult if you want to keep anything.  Failing that, you have to protect each bed individually, which isn't easy and can be cumbersome, and sometimes results in restricting light.  Good luck.  Around here, if you don't fence it, it gets eaten by anyone and everyone but you.
Your right on Marc, I am working on this idea. Right now this bed is loaded with potato plants.
Squirrel holes! Spring10
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Post  sanderson 3/29/2020, 5:15 pm

Why didn't I think of this before.  Provide the squirrels with their own dining. Squirrel holes! Squirr12

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Post  MrBooker 3/31/2020, 10:22 am

@AtlantaMarie wrote:
@GloriaG wrote:I put some of this plastic safety fence flat on the ground around the plants.  Squirrels didn't like it. Only had to use it for one season so far. 

Squirrel holes! 41MYhQazq9L


We use that for the rabbits too.  Haven't had any problems so far...
I used it last year on one of my "hooped" beds and my peppers grew tall and lanky and no peppers.  I guess it blocked to much light.
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Post  MrBooker 3/31/2020, 11:01 am

@walshevak wrote:And squirrels love to pick ripening tomatoes and take a bite then throw on the ground.  Also they break the vines jumping in and out of the trellis.

Kay
That is so true. I've sat on my porch and watched them pick a large tomato, drag it across the alley and take a few bites then come back and get another one. So, I figure, the tomato's fatten them up for Squirrel season which opens in August.  There's nothing like Squirrel fried in my cast iron skillet.

 My wife calls Squirrels, "tree rats". For those of you who has never skinned a Squirrel, there is virtually NO fat on them. They're almost 100% pure lean fresh meat and have a delicious flavor  all their own. They're not scavengers and eat mainly fruits and nuts. Also, they are really easy to skin and clean. Google... "How to skin a Squirrel". Might be good to know in case the meat supply goes south.
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Post  OhioGardener 3/31/2020, 11:51 am

Interesting, Mr B! When we lived in Georgia there was essentially a never-ending squirrel season.  The official squirrel hunting season was from somewhere around mid-August until Mid-February, with a daily bag limit of 12.  But, Squirrels were considered a nuisance, and anyone could shoot one if it was bothering anything on their property. So, fried squirrel was pretty much daily fare.

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Post  sanderson 4/3/2020, 5:44 pm

March 27 - my new bed and guess who visits.  His name is Scat.
Squirrel holes! Squirr13

Scat with a big bundle of hanging basket coir!  Maybe Scat is a girl and is building her nest?
Squirrel holes! Squirr14

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Post  Yardslave 4/5/2020, 7:37 pm

Scat by any other name, is a rat!  Evil or Very Mad Evil or Very Mad Evil or Very Mad This device comes in handy when Scat returns  :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fuWkMkaUxV8
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Post  sanderson 4/6/2020, 6:41 pm

Awesome trap. Reduces the number of trips to another area by allowing one to trap more than one at a time. Add some sunflower seeds and a water source and check it once a day!

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