Squirrels in the Garden and Ways to Deter Them

There can be no other occupation like gardening in which, if you were to creep up behind someone at their work, you would find them smiling.  ~Mirabel Osler
Greetings Everyone,
I trust your weekend went well. I placed more of my transplants outside yesterday because the conditions were quite lovely (68 degrees and partly sunny).  They are happily adjusting to their new surroundings but I was reminded about a major problem I experienced last year (grey squirrels) and pondered about humane measures I should take this year to deter them.
Like most gardeners, I have to deal with a major problem in my garden (stray cats, moths and squirrels are the leading three for me).  This is the year of the squirrel…again.  They are nesting in nearby trees have numerous food sources (an abundance of walnut trees) and are getting a little too comfortable.  The problem: hoarding nuts in my potted plants by digging up my babies.
Watching one squirrel try to shove a huge nut underneath our back storm door for safe storage was funny and my husband finding another nut tucked behind the bend in a gutter downspout left us both scratching our heads and laughing about the things these little guys will do to hide their stash.
Yes, they are cute and their antics can be entertaining, but they can also be destructive. And although I love wildlife and will occasionally sacrifice plants to help supplement any animal’s diets or self preservation, NOT THIS YEAR.  There is so much space in the back of our property not being utilized because of the squirrels and I think it is high time to call in some reinforcements, including:
–  Heavily mulching the pots with screened straw
–  Planting natural deterrents such as nasturtiums, marigold and alliums as borders
–  Placing pieces of wire mesh or window screening around the base of the plants
–  Using some type of thorny plant material around the base of the plants
–  Creating small cages out of recycled wood and chicken wire fencing we have on hand
I think I may have some success with these methods, but only time will tell.  Until next time, happy gardening!
P.S.  The corn gluten meal is really working so far.  The grass is healthy and we only had three dandelions pop up.

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