Two gardeners lament about squirrels eating their peaches and tomatoes
Q: I am at a loss to stop the squirrels that gobble up our peaches from our two trees every year.
I know your advice is mostly trapping and relocating but that just allows new squirrels to come in. Late into the season when it was too late I starting putting cat fur around the base of the trees as well as stringing it from the lower branches where I could. This seemed to help a bit, but I was not vigilant enough after rains to brush the cats and get fresh scents there. Have you heard of individuals having much luck doing this with cat hair (I have two large dogs but they apparently do not frighten the squirrels)?
What about any other strong scents? Or perhaps wrapping base of tree with something that I can embed with strong smells? Then it got me wondering how the large farmers deal with squirrels in their orchards. How do they keep quarrels out of their trees and off their orchards? I’ve also herd of providing alternative food to the squirrels in order to direct them away from the trees to an area where there is ample seed and feed. I would think that would be counterproductive and attract even more animals.
Can you give me some guidance please?
A: Join the club!
Squirrels have been my nemesis for the last several years. I have not gotten a single tomato for the last three years. I live trapped a dozen of them the first year but there were always more coming in.
The second year I put a fence around the bed using 1” chicken wire. I discovered that chipmunks like tomatoes as well and can squeeze through chicken wire fence. They got the ones the squirrels couldn’t get.
Last year I replaced the chicken wire with 1/2” hardware cloth. The squirrels jumped into the enclosure from a nearby tree limb, ate my tomatoes and climbed out.
This year I’m going to put hardware cloth over the top. I have spent $50 so far.
I’m sure I could get better tasting and less expensive tomatoes from the local farmers market.