What Keeps Squirrels Out Of Tomato Plants

Pin by Peter Rumore on Gardening Garden, Squirrel, Tomato
Pin by Peter Rumore on Gardening Garden, Squirrel, Tomato from www.pinterest.com

Tomatoes are a popular choice for many home gardeners, but they can also be a favorite target for squirrels. Squirrels are notorious for digging up and eating seeds, as well as snacking on ripe tomatoes. However, there are several effective strategies you can use to keep squirrels away from your tomato plants.

Understanding Squirrel Behavior

Before we dive into the methods of keeping squirrels out of tomato plants, it’s important to understand why squirrels are attracted to them in the first place. Squirrels are omnivorous creatures, meaning they eat both plant and animal matter. Their diet consists of a wide range of foods, including nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables, and even insects.

Squirrels are particularly attracted to tomatoes because of their high sugar content. Ripe tomatoes provide a sweet and delicious treat for these critters. Additionally, squirrels are known for their ability to dig, so they may also be attracted to the soil around your tomato plants.

Physical Barriers

One of the most effective ways to keep squirrels away from your tomato plants is by using physical barriers. Here are a few options:

  • Wire Cages: Constructing wire cages around your tomato plants can help keep squirrels out. Use hardware cloth or chicken wire to create a sturdy cage that squirrels cannot penetrate. Make sure the cage is tall enough to prevent squirrels from jumping over it.
  • Netting: Another option is to cover your tomato plants with netting. This will prevent squirrels from accessing the tomatoes while still allowing sunlight and rain to reach the plants. Be sure to secure the netting tightly to prevent squirrels from squeezing through any gaps.

Repellents

There are various natural and commercial repellents that can be effective in deterring squirrels from your tomato plants. Here are a few examples:

  • Spicy Spray: Squirrels have a strong sense of smell, so spraying a homemade spicy spray on your tomato plants can help keep them away. Mix a solution of water and hot pepper flakes or hot sauce, and apply it to the leaves and stems of the plants. The spicy smell will deter squirrels from getting too close.
  • Ultrasonic Devices: Ultrasonic devices emit high-frequency sounds that are unpleasant to squirrels. These devices can be placed near your tomato plants to deter squirrels from approaching. However, keep in mind that these devices may also affect other wildlife and pets, so use them with caution.

Scare Tactics

Scare tactics can be an effective way to keep squirrels away from your tomato plants. Here are a few methods to try:

  • Visual Deterrents: Hang shiny objects, such as aluminum foil strips or CDs, near your tomato plants. The reflective surfaces will startle squirrels and discourage them from approaching.
  • Predator Decoys: Placing decoys of natural squirrel predators, such as owls or snakes, near your tomato plants can also deter squirrels. The presence of these predators will make squirrels think twice before venturing too close.

Creating Distractions

Another effective strategy is to create distractions for squirrels. By providing alternative food sources, you can redirect their attention away from your tomato plants. Here are a couple of options:

  • Feeding Stations: Set up a dedicated feeding station away from your tomato plants and fill it with squirrel-friendly foods, such as nuts or seeds. This will entice squirrels to visit the feeding station instead of your garden.
  • Planting Squirrel-Friendly Crops: Consider planting squirrel-friendly crops, such as sunflowers or corn, in a separate area of your garden. These crops will serve as a distraction, keeping squirrels away from your tomato plants.

Summary

Squirrels can be a nuisance when it comes to tomato plants, but with the right strategies, you can keep them at bay. Use physical barriers, such as wire cages or netting, to prevent squirrels from accessing your tomato plants. Experiment with natural or commercial repellents to deter squirrels with strong smells or ultrasonic sounds. Employ scare tactics, such as visual deterrents or predator decoys, to startle squirrels and discourage them from approaching. Finally, create distractions by setting up feeding stations or planting squirrel-friendly crops in a separate area of your garden.

By combining these methods and adapting them to your specific situation, you can enjoy a bountiful tomato harvest without the hassle of dealing with squirrels.

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