Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Cakes 0- Squirrels 1

Ok guys. I am looking for some advice and resources as I plan my garden for this spring. We have only been in my neighborhood for 3 summers and have learned very quickly that unlike the other parts of the city and even Northwoods Minnesota, the squirrels in this neighborhood are particularly...shall we say, persistent.

Our pots of strawberries last year yielded nothing but small green nibbles before the squirrels carried them off. And yes, I saw they were squirrels and not the usual rabbits I've had to deal with. So, I'm wondering how my fellow gardeners fight off these...persistent...beasts and still end up with a basketful of tomatoes. I mainly plant in containers, a couple barrels of lettuce, some tomatoes, peppers, the usual, but would like to try a couple of small fruit trees. I have used bird netting and bamboo in the past but don't feel like that would be enough to protect the plants from the creatures who have chewed enormous holes in my heavy duty plastic city trash cart.

What do you use and where do you get it?


gem said...

I have no idea how useful any advice I have will be since I am right on the other side of the atlantic but here goes. My mother lives next door to us and has a beautiful garden. She is constantly at war with rabbits. We also have a nice garden, not as nice as my mothers but anyway, and we have no rabbits. I'm certain it's because of our cats, she has none. Do your cats go outside? Ours go in and out all the time. Maybe it will be better this summer if your cats are outside.

Mel said...

Sorry, suck at gardening but I would also let the cats out so they can do their squirrel hunting job.

valerie said...

They could be right about the cats. We had to fence the garden because of the groundhogs, but something was still eating the zucchini - until the cat left us two dead chipmunks on the deck. For some reason, the squirrels (and we have huge ones) have not gone for the garden, but the cats did catch one - once. They're more wary now, I guess.

That being said, your cats are still pretty young and the lifespan of outdoor cats is MUCH shorter than indoor (though ours somehow lived 13+ years). Once you let them out, it's SO hard not to do it again.

Marlee said...

Unfortunately, I doubt the cats will help. I have had TWO rodent-hunting dogs (terriers-- they were historically bred for that) in my yard for YEARS and the squirrels just learn to watch out for them, and eat my tomatoes when the dogs aren't around.

Sadly, I've given up on my city-grown container tomatoes for this reason! :(

Maybe you could call the MN Landscape Arboretum for ideas???

Cakes said...

Yeah Marlee~ These squirrels would kick my kitties' asses. They are nearly as big as them and do not run when they are sitting on the porch railing and you open the door. They just stare you down until you actually knock them off the railing with the broom.

I'm thinking about some sort of cage to put around them, but then that's not real perty.

valerie said...

I've read that you can take dog hair (ask a neighbour or shelter) and spread it around the perimeter of your yard. But you have to refresh each time it rains.

Could you grow them in your laundry room? I seem to recall you have a wonderful window there.

I was bad and poisoned the squirrels that got into our roof. :( (it worked, though)

morinn said...

Squirrels! awww! there's nothing more horrible than rodents in a fruit garden. I wish I had a solution for that.

gem said...

I was thinking, what about those battery operated things that emit a high pitched noise that apparently can't be heard by humans but will deter rodents?

Melanie said...

Totally OT, but the other day I saw a little boy in an ad, and the boy looked just like Meatball!