WFMW-Backwards Edition

Spring has sprung in Texas! I'm cleaning out my flower beds and getting ready to plant some blooms.

It's also the time of year for the squirrels to drive me insane. They are either very good at their job or it's not a long trip for me. 

Last year, I struggled with their attack on my flower beds. I didn't even mention what they did to my tiny container garden my kids and I planted. I think we salvaged one small cucumber plant that yielded one plump vegetable.

It was a beautiful pickle. 

I'm gearing up to plant a small vegetable garden this year and a container garden with herbs.

So, here's my question: How do I keep the squirrels from destroying them?

Besides the BB gun my hubby has been eyeing.

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Kirsty said...

Ohhh I have the same dilemma. Sneaky Squirrels! I will be watching for solutions! Thanks :)

Kris said...

Woo hoo!! Look at me being in the Top 10. A new record!

And, unfortunately, I have no advice on the squirrels. I kill everything that I attempt to grow, so squirrels are just cute, furry critters to us, not a garden nuisance. I guess you could pack 'em up and send 'em to our house. ;-)

Kirby3131 said...

In Michigan, which is the only place I've ever had a garden, we always planted marigolds. Those really did seem to do the trick! Toss a little fertilizer on them (the marigolds) and they will be a giant hedge to protect your plants -- OK, so a 12" tall hedge - but a hedge lol

Amy@ MomsToolbox said...

Wish I could help but I am CLUELESS when it comes to gardening. Sorry!!

Smockity Frocks said...

Squirrels used to get ALL of our pecans before they were even ripe! Grrr...

I researched online and found that you can order fox urine to spray around. (WHO KNEW!) This is supposed to be a natural predator and supposedly the squirrels will stay away from that smell.

We solved our problem the old fashioned way. We moved.

Wifeof1Momof4 said...


What fun! Please delete my #21. I forgot to enter the subject. Thanks for hosting!

punkinmama said...

How about sprinkling red pepper (or something else very hot) around the plants? I've heard that helps with rabbits, I think.

I also heard someone mention they kept rabbits away from flowers by spreading their hair remains after a haircut amongst the flowers - the weirdest thing I think I've ever heard. Maybe it will work for squirrels too! Ha.

~~tonya~~ said...

Maybe one of those faux owls on a stick--I think I've seen them at Wal-mart. It scares me, so maybe it will intimidate your squirrels.

Bridget said...

We did put a rubber snake in our veggie patch. :) Can't wait to read all of the comments you get!

Amy @ Experience Imagination said...

We used marigolds when I was a kid, too, and those seemed to work. Just make a border around the garden.

I've also read that covering a newly planted garden with mesh (I'm thinking like window screen) with 2"-3" holes for the plants to pop up helps.

You can also try sprinkling ground hot chili peppers around the base of the plants.

Finally, I understand if you set up a "squirrel feeding station" across the yard, they're less likely to get into your food.

Rachel said...

I've heard putting human hair around the perimeter of the garden can help, though I don't know if that was for squirrels. We have deer as our garden pests... It's hard to get mad at such beautiful creatures.

I'd say get a dog. And let it out often. ;)

Brianna @ Heart(h) Management said...

Well, I wish I could help with this one! Our squirrels haven't proven to be problematic--maybe I should hold my tongue on that, though. Tomorrow they'll show up in droves.

Sarah said...

Get a cat?

Check out He does a radio show and has some great homemade remedies for animals.

Robin ~ PENSIEVE said...

I've heard (but never tried) to sprinkle red pepper around the edges; not toxic but might not be too pleasant (anyone else hear this??).

Thanks for posting early :). NOW I can head to bed! Oooo, hope it's okay, I had several questions, but I only linked two of 'em here...(if not, slap my hand privately, k? :) ).

Colleen - Mommy Always Wins said...

Get a big dog?

;-) Sorry dear - just not a gardener or I might just have a suggestion for you!

Maybe you can help me with my bill organization issues this week!

Natalie said...

cats! but then they will probably cause problems.

i read an article a while back about the gardens in inner city Mexico where they use watered down urine to fertilize and they have healthier plants and less pests than anyone. ah, now the problem becomes talking the husband into peeing into a bucket, watering it down and watering the garden. bet the toddlers would love this job! gosh, and i'm not even a member of THAT family society yet...

Kaycee said...

Ok, so I got a little excited and posted a link before I realized it's backwards day. You can delete it if you want.

As far as the squirrels go, I have no advice. I know a family who swears by squirrel stew, but I don't know if you are that desperate. Let me know if you want me to get the recipe for you.

momstheword said...

Could you please delete #49 as I forgot to put in my subject. Thank you and sorry for making extra work for you!

I also forgot it was backwards day and so I posted a regular post. If you need to delete it I totally understand.

As for the squirrels, what if you put your garden and then put something around it that you greased so the squirrels couldn't climb up it. Lot of work, I know.

I have heard that cayenne pepper will keep cats out of a garden and keep dogs from digging (it gets in their eyes). As you can see, I have no clue hear. So sorry! The only thing I can think of is cats or dogs.

Anonymous said...

I have no help for you. I planted over 100 bulbs one year and moles ate over 80% of them.

It was not a good year for me.

Amber @ Classic Housewife said...

I haven't had problems with squirrels but I'm going to pay attention to your comments any way since I'm trying to get a small garden started this year, too. :)

Tammy said...

*snort* You dared me and I did!

ginger said...

I had a major squirrel problem when were at Ft. Campbell, KY. Never minded those creatures 'til they dug up & ate my flower bulbs & my potato vines. I tried spraying hot pepper oil (from the farm store) on the plants they liked & put down mesh over the bulbs. (The farm store also sold coyote urine. I didn't try it.) It helped if I kept it up by spraying after it rained.
I also yelled at the little guys a lot. Not sure that helped much, though. Hope you figure out a solution for you!

Milehimama said...

Marigolds, onions, and chili pepper powder border should work.

Orange peels will deter cats - they might work on squirrels, too! It's how my mom always kept the cats out of the houseplants!

se7en said...

Get yourself an ancient sleepy dog... to lie and sleep in the garden... you know one that is no longer frisky as a squirrel and into digging!

Leanne said...

Here's a good eHow which might help.

Leanne said...

If they are making their way into your garden via trees you could paint the lower branches with anti-theft paint. It won't harm them but it'll make it a hell of a lot more difficult to use those branches.

Raising Olives said...

LOL I nearly posted this today. It was our runner up problem.

They are eating our deck, no joke. We are sitting around the table eating and look out the glass door and there he is sitting on the deck taking chunks out of our hand rail, chomping happily.

The Real Me! said...

Okay I admit I haven't read every comment to see if I'm repeating someone but we have the same problem you do with squirrels.
Sprinkling red pepper around the surrounding dirt will help ward off squirrels but you have to remember to do it after it rains. For our veggies, my husband ended up building us a green house! LOL. We would have tomatoes ready to pick and the day we would go to pick them a squirrel would have taken one bite out of it the night before. So frustrating. Also try having a squirrel feeder with peanuts in it. I know it sounds counter productive but if you "feed" them they may leave your veggies alone.
I hope this helps.

Stephanie said...

I have done the cayenne pepper thing,but when you water or it rains you have to keep re applying it. That can become a burden and costly. I found this info here that may help you:

I am also beginning a gardening series on my blog for anyone interested! First one starts tomorrow!

Sharon said...

Let me know if I posted correctly this week....if there is a permalink in it. Still trying to figure it out! Thanks for letting me participate!

Sharon said...

I reposted a second time---maybe this one is correct? Sorry for the confusion!

Lori said...

We have the same problem with our garden. Someone told us to put a bowl of water out and the squirrels would be distracted by that and skip the seeds. It doesn't sound very effective to me, but we're giving it a try.

Summer said...

This is going to sound coo coo for cocoa puffs but it actually works! We plant a big garden each year and have all kind of critters that try to invaid us!

We went to a garden store and bought an inflatable snake!(Yes, sister you heard me right!)Because its inflatable, it moves when the wind blows but is heavy enough not to blow away. We move it every couple days for good measure.

Just don't be like me and forget its out there .... the screaming woke up a few good neighbors!

The Happy Housewife said...

Well my family would vote for the bb gun. I really don't have any idea what to do, we don't seem to have that problem...
Sorry I can't be more help!

heather said...

we use Bloodmeal (you can buy it at any gardening store, Lowes, Home Depot, etc)(and it's good for the plants) around flowers and plants for bunnies around here. it absolutely works!... they don't come within a mile of it :)
maybe it would work for squirrels too??

One Crafty Momma said...

I have no clue about squirrels our problem is deer and I put up a raido in our garden that keeps them away. Mom keeps a squirrel feeder on her back porch and they have become her pets, they also seem to leave her flower beds alone. I guess cant beat them join the as the saying goes.

Jenny Lynn said...

I love the backwards idea!

Emily B said...

Love this! Thanks for hosting!

P.S.He loves you.. said...

I don't have this problem but I really should post a hilourios tribute about those crazy critters.

Good luck!

Kim H. said...

Maybe a squirrel feeder on the opposite side of your yard? And a scary looking owl in the bed?

Beth S. said...

I just read in Hints from Heloise that you should sprinkle Cayenne pepper on the plants to keep the squirrels away. They hate the taste and it's harmless for your plants. Hopefully your children don't make a habit of chewing on them...if not, you should be safe! However, this process would probably need repeated after it rains until the squirrels just give up!

kristi_runwatch said...

We had squirrels digging up our potted flowers last year. My husband started sweeping up the hair on the bathroom floor after I gave him a hair cut and putting it around the base of the plants. The human smell kept them away! My mom used to do this to keep rabbits out of her flowers, too - she would have the girl who cut her hair sweep the trimmings into a bag and she took it home with her! :)

Ellen said...

My grandma used to have the same problems with her flowers out on the deck. One thing she did was create a small chicken-wire fence around whatever she planted. It has to go deep enough into the ground so that the squirrels can't dig under it, and also high enough so they can't climb over. I remember it being fairly succesful for her.

Amy said...

I had a problem at our old house with squirrels and chipmunks digging up my flower beds. A neighbor told us to liberally sprinkle ground red pepper around the flower beds, and guess what- it worked! I always wondered if there was a furry critter racing around the neighborhood somewhere with a mouth full of fire.... ;)

MB said...

I was just about to say red pepper and I read the above comment. That is what I use and it does work.

Good luck! said...

I've heard the hair clippings work (also for deer and other rodents), and so does the urine sprinkling. Have your husband pee around the perimeter of the garden, maybe? (you could aways water it afterwards to dilute it if needed...)

Holly said...

well..i don't have any advice, but i need the same solution myself! i wrote my post last night and came on to link it this morning...only to find yours was almost the same situation. ironic! hope someone can help us!

ReAnnon said...

My parents had the same problem except with deer. My mom asked the local florist what to do, and she told her to cut up pieces of Irish Spring soap and sprinkle it in the garden. It wont harm the flowers and the smell keeps the critters away. I have to tell you as funny as it sounds, my mom's garden is the most beautiful in the neighborhood. It has done the trick 6 years running.

Miche said...

I completely forgot this was supposed to be backwards week...sor sorry!! I put mine up anyway though because I made a video and got it all on my blog before realizing this week was backwards and not next week...anyways, sorry!

Amy @ Living Locurto said...

My advice... seriously... is to have your son pee near your garden! ha! No joke... that is the ONLY way I have been able to keep bunnies and squirrels from eating my flowers. If we are outside and my son has to go, I say "Hurry! Run to the garden!" I'm so bad:-)

That or I just buy native plants. Nothing like pansies. The bunnies will eat them like it's chocolate. Marigolds are good, they are hardy, will take the heat and nobody likes to eat them.

Anonymous said...

The only way we have been sucessful at keeping the squirrels away from our garden is to fence it in with chicken wire and mesh. My hubby also bought a fake owl, and we've been lucky so far now and in the past, good luck.

ilovemy5kids said...

We don't have squirrels, because of all the birds. I've seen maybe 2 since we moved to this part of Texas.

But, it seems I have heard moth balls work. However, they stink if accidently ran over by lawn mower. So, this probably hasn't helped you in the least bit.

I love today's theme, though! I don't have time to post all the problems or questions I seem to have. ;)

Gennaro said...

Try providing feed for the squirrels near-by. That will distract them. Or bring in more :)

Curiosity Killer said...

I love vegetable gardens but don't have that kind of luxury/space/land to work with... I'm so green with envy. ;)

sandwichinwi said...

We moved to a less-wooded area. Totally took care of our squirrel problem! LOL


Frugal Homemaker said...

Thanks for hosting Works for me Wednesday. We'll see if my April Fool's Day trick works for me tonight. Good luck with the squirrels.

Diana (Ladybug Limited) said...

Here in Corvallis, our problem is deer, not squirrels, so I was just reading all your comments and saw that the Irish Spring slivers are supposed to repel deer. I'll have to try that one!

UnfinishedMom said...

If you're using a container garden or raised bed garden, my suggestion is to build a cage with chicken wire. There's a really good DIY one in "The New Sqaure Foot Garden". I found it at my local library.

Anonymous said...

For us it is squirrels, raccoons and deer. I seem to remember the Irish Spring soap thing, but I don't know if it works.

We actually feed these little visitors to keep them from messing with our bird feeders. A 50 pound bag of cracked corn is $6.50. I've got photos on my blog of what the raccoons have done. They drag the bird feeders up into the tree (out of my reach) and empty them. I have to go get a ladder to get them down. Cracked corn is a cheap, easy fix for us. As long as we remember to put it out.

Wani said...

A day late... but I thought I'd share it anyway.

Mom2fur said...

I love my squirrels! We feed them peanuts, and they'll wait on the deck for us each morning and afternoon. (We keep the dog and cats inside at that time.) There is a mama squirrel and four that must be from the same litter (probably hers from early last year) because they all have the same tufts of white hair behind their ears. They are sweet and friendly and come when I call them. Not once have I had any of them eat from my garden. (I'm not much of a gardener, but I'm glad to keep what I do get.)
Peanuts can be expensive, so we get them at the dollar store. But I like the idea of cracked corn, too. I'll have to look into that!
BTW, we now have chipmunks, and we love them, too. Hey, my screen name is "Mom 2 FUR" after all!!!

Clean and Classic Interiors said...

I know you have received almost 300 posts - which is amazing!! But I just wanted to let you know what fun it was to reverse it and how much wonderful help, even just from a few people about my dilemma. I have already found a quick solution and made some new friends at the same time! I plan on posting my, "now", works for me solution next wednesday! Thanks again for hosting!

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