Squirrels

(Question)

Every year I have a terrible problem with squirrels. The eat just about everything that I grow including hot peppers. I grew ghost peppers last year thinking that surely they won’t touch those. They would pull them off, put them in the bird bath and eat them in the water.
I’m looking for any suggestions to squirrel proof my garden or if you know of anything to plant that they won’t eat.
Thanks

(Answer)

We’ve had many previous questions about dealing with squirrels.  One of our Master Gardeners notes in an earlier post that in Toronto, getting rid of squirrels may not be a reasonable expectation.  However, the Canadian Wildlife Federation does have the following suggestions for deterring squirrels:

Place chicken wire over newly planted seeds and bulbs to prevent squirrels from digging them out.  Rocks can be place at the four corners to keep the squirrels from getting under.  I’ve had good success with this approach and have also made ‘collars’ of chicken wire for small plants by cutting a small hole in the centre to place over the plant. The squirrels seem most interested in newly planted areas so will eventually lose interest as the plant becomes established and the collar can be removed.

Place dog hair in small bags made of the netting from bags of onions.  Attach these bags to small sticks and place around your garden.  This approach keeps a predator scent in your garden to scare off squirrels.

Squirrels don’t like daffodils, fritillarias or alliums.  So planting these bulbs among your ornamental beds or some chives or green onions with your vegetables should help to keep squirrels away.