A few years ago, my garden was inundated with squirrels. Since then, I've done and implemented research to keep them away. I also spoke with friends to come up with natural ways to keep squirrels out of my garden. Here are the best natural solutions suggested by friends and strangers alike.
Natural squirrel repellent was suggested most often.
Several sources suggested that sprinkling cayenne pepper liberally in the garden was one of the best ways to keep squirrels out. There were also several liquid natural homemade repellents that have been tried with much success.
One neighbor suggested making a spray.
This is done by soaking several cut up jalapeño peppers in water and vinegar in a spray bottle. This was used to spray the perimeter of the garden to keep squirrels out. Apparently this neighbor had quite a problem prior to this natural squirrel repellent treatment and now has no problem at all.
Garlic was suggested on a website I visited.
It was mentioned that garlic and pepper both had to be re-sprayed after a rain. A friend told me she has had much success with natural garlic garden spray repellent. This is made by soaking mashed garlic cloves in vinegar and water in a spray bottle.
Colorado gardeners have great success with natural squirrel repellent sprays.
This could be due to the minimal precipitation here. It is an absolute must to water gardens frequently here. Since we provide the water we can add the natural repellent right after each watering to keep squirrels out of the garden. Manual garden watering is at our convenience rather than that of mother nature.
Fences and barriers are another great way to keep squirrels out of the garden.
The problem with these is they have to completely enclose the garden in order to keep the pesky buggers out. We tried putting plastic fence around and over our veggies last year and it did keep the squirrels out. Unfortunately it also kept us out and made weeding, watering and harvesting a real chore.
At our old apartment, we decided to try one of two natural fencing options.
Natural fencing option #1 was to surround the entire garden with fence posts and chicken wire, including the top. We would have to build a tight closing fenced entry gate as well. The fence would have to be quite tall to accomplish this, so it may be expensive and labor intensive, but definitely long lasting. This should solve our problem for a couple years at least.
The other option we were considering was to make several long chicken wire covered natural wooden box frames to place over growing garden plants. These could be removed for watering and weeding. This option would work much better than just covering the plants to keep squirrels away like last year. Sun would have no problem getting in to the garden plants.
We chose option #1 used in combination with a natural squirrel repellent.
Although it was strange, gardening in a cage, I liked the idea that the wire is surrounding the whole garden. I had no need to remove it in order to care for the plants. It really worked out well for us and got us through two gardening seasons without any vegetables being lost to the squirrels. I miss our enclosed garden. So much so, that we're considering building another at our current home. I highly recommend it as a cruelty free solution for anyone with a squirrel problem.
Portions of this article were previously published by this author on a now closed Yahoo property.