Squirrels And Gardens

Discussion in 'Crops & Gardens' started by Ken Anderson, Feb 20, 2016.

  1. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    I've seen posts here and there, within the gardening part of the forum, about the harm that squirrels do to gardens, and I know that they can. But I have several Eastern Gray Squirrels here, yet I haven't seen any damage to our garden from them. Each year, we plant a garden, some thing from seeds, and others that have been started in the house, yet I haven't seen any indication that the squirrels are bothering any of it.

    Because we don't use insecticides, we have some losses from insects, particularly if I'm not paying close attention, but the squirrels seem to leave everything alone.

    Perhaps this is because I feed them. Maybe because there is always food out for the squirrels, they don't feel the need to work for it by digging in the garden. In fact, the few times that I've seen them digging in the garden, it has been to bury nuts that they have taken from the squirrel feeder, but that's in the fall after we've already harvested our crops.

    At one time, a few days ago, we counted twelve squirrels that we could see through one window, but that was because I had just put new food out for them. Only one eats at a time so it's kind of fun watching them chase one another around the trees and away from the bowl.
     
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  2. Mari North

    Mari North Very Well-Known Member
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    I'd say you're pretty lucky there, @Ken Anderson ! Lots of squirrels here, too, and we feed them as well... a lot. :) I saw one of them take off with a half ear of feeding corn in his mouth this afternoon... don't ask me how his mouth was big enough, but he hooked onto it somehow.

    When they're not stealing the ears whole, they "plant" the kernels all over the yard and the neighbors' yards as soon as the ground is thawed and corn stalks start coming up.

    And bulbs :( they take my tulip and daffodil bulbs and run across the street to "replant" them in my neighbor's yard. Maddening, those little rascals!

    I realize that's not destroying a garden, but I don't have a garden with veggies... just the flower bulbs. I have a feeling that if I'd have one, they'd find a way to ruin it for me. :rolleyes: The problem here with garden destruction back when we *did* have a few veggies out, was due to rabbits and deer and not so much the squirrels.
     
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  3. Ruby Begonia

    Ruby Begonia Very Well-Known Member
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    Yes, they go for the bulbs, especially tulips. Most varieties of daffodils are too bitter for them, so they tend to survive the squirrels.
     
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  4. Pat Baker

    Pat Baker Well-Known Member
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    I feed the squirrels and birds. I have not seen much damage from the squirrels if any to the plants in the yard.
     
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  5. Corie Henson

    Corie Henson Very Well-Known Member
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    I wonder when I will see real squirrels on the loose. When my husband was in London, one of his first letters said something about the squirrels in the park, climbing trees and probably picking the fruits (or nuts). And there was that letter that he saw a dead squirrel on the road, probably ran over by a vehicle.

    There are no squirrels here although our tarsier monkeys in the island of Bohol is considered a tame squirrel. But that's a different story altogether. With real squirrels, I guess I just have to be content with the articles that I read and the posts here.
     
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  6. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
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    We have not actually had problems with the squirrels damaging the garden once it is up and growing, but they sure did dig up the seeds and eat those.
    This year, I am starting everything in the house, and then setting it out after it is growing. We are also feeding the squirrels more, although I am not entirely sure that this was a good idea or not. Before, we had a few squirrels ; but now that we are feeding them, I think they have notified all of their aunts and cousins, and the Whole Squirrel Family !
    The birds have done that, too.
    For the last year or so, we had a cute pair of little mourning doves that would promenade through the yard and look for whatever goodies that I had set out for them.
    Now that we have the two bird feeders on the front deck, and the squirrel feeder on the cedar tree, we have at least 20 mourning doves that come in the yard and hunt for goodies .
    Of course, Bobby and I enjoy watching all of the birds and the squirrels ; so feeding them is a good thing.
     
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  7. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    Yeah, I've got way more squirrels now than before I started feeding them.
     
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  8. Sheldon Scott

    Sheldon Scott Very Well-Known Member
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    We feed the birds and our ducks. The squirrels eat most of the bird food and the geese help themselves to the duck food. I've never had a problem with squirrels in the vegetable garden but they do like the tulip bulbs.
    My big problem with squirrels is the fruit trees. They will eat everything, not waiting until the fruit is fully ripe.
     
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  9. Von Jones

    Von Jones Very Well-Known Member
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    I think I shared my squirrel stories already but I don't recall if I shared how I prevented the squirrels from digging up the bulbs in my yard. It's really simple just cover the area with a screen until the sprout appears. Not the nylon type because they chew through it. I do container gardening as well and found squirrels digging very deep to the roots and destroyed my flowers. So I cut smaller pieces and lay them at the base and then cover it with moss that is used in artificial flower arrangements. I don't see small piles of soil around my containers any more. Yea!
     
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