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Enjoying the Fruits of Our Labor

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Darn Varmints!

If you’re having issues with city squirrels (amongst other invincible critters) take a look at the following helpful hints on how you can protect your tomatoes. 

How Can I Keep Squirrels From Eating My Tomatoes? ©

By Arlene Wright Correll

Walt Disney and other cartoonists may have thought squirrels, chipmunks and rabbits are cute by giving them adorable names and big eyes. However, a rodent by any other name is still a rodent as far as I am concerned.

I have never encouraged these types of critters into my world with peanuts, peanut butter or whatever other ilk is recommended to feed these rodents.

Yet they do come uninvited, sneaking in and destroying gardens, attics, garages or wherever they decide to take over. One would not invite mice and rats, so why these guys?

Basically squirrels really do not like tomatoes, but have a tendency to try a bite of them especially during droughts. Come to think of it, squirrels will chew just about anything! They also take just about anything and go and bury it while most of us are thinking they are storing up for the winter. No way! They just do it and forget where they put it!

Here are some remedies for discouraging squirrels from eating your tomatoes.

1.Put mothballs down around your plants. Matter of fact we have some tool and garden sheds that are about 1 foot of the ground and every year I buy a trunk load of it (or so it seems). This discourages them from the git-go and even keeps out stray cats and other critters.

2.Hang rags soaked in vinegar and stapled onto small wooden stakes or dowels near you plants. Most rodents hate the smell even when dry. Re-soak each rag in about a week.

3.Should you be a coffee drinker who brews it up using coffee grounds then empty your coffee filter around the base of your tomato plants and that should help you. Should you be fortunate enough to live by a Starbucks go and ask for their used coffee grounds as they have been known to give away 5 and 10 pound bags to anyone who asks for it.

4.You can also mix up some regular cheap liquid soap with some ground red hot chili pepper powder and pour that around the base of your tomato plants. I would do some out about 2 inches and then another ring out about the same distance as your widest leaves on your plant. You may want to keep your eye out for those big jars of chili powder that go on sale once or twice a year in discount markets and stock up to use at the base of your plants by just sprinkling it on the ground. It is supposed to work also.

5.Then there is the old chicken wire with the smallest mesh. You can wire or staple it to stakes and drive them deep into the ground. You can use 36” or wider chicken wire and bend them over your tomato plants or they will use the wire as monkey bars to get in.

6.For those of you who live in the country and do not mind guns then you can fire at them or up in the air and they should take off into your neighbor’s garden. (Please do not send me an email about this suggestion.)

7.For those of you who have a squirrel problem and who happen to have big spendable income budgets and also love these long tail rats then buy lots of squirrel feeders, put them away from your vegetable garden or tomato patch and keep those feeders full. The squirrels might appreciate your largess enough to keep out of your tomatoes.

8.Get some blood bone meal and sprinkle it around the base of your tomato plants and this will also work.

9.Got a dog? Then when you sweep up their dog hairs or you brush them, do not throw the dog hair in the garbage. Simply sprinkle it around your tomato plants and that will also work.