How to Keeps Squirrels off Your New Seedlings
I used to hate squirrels. Then my daughter raised and released some orphans and I began to recognize their charms and place in the ecosystem. They’re native and gardeners too — of forests. I can share my garden with them.
But I still shake my fist in anguish when they forage through my newly planted beds, uprooting seeds and plants all over the place. I can understand why they are attracted to the fresh, loose earth. Still, I need an alternative to having a 9′ x 3′ section of bed only produce 8 carrots.
This year I’ve skipped the heartache of all pits and no plants by placing segments of hardware cloth and chicken fencing over areas where I’ve direct-seeded. It’s working! The squirrels have dug next to the wire covers but the seedlings remain unmolested.
You can leave the mesh in place all season but I am choosing to remove mine once the plants are dense enough to handle mulching. Mulching protects the plants from digging, conserves water, and reduces my labor by allowing me to compost in place.
This technique has some success protecting roots from the tillage of chickens, too. However, anything green that pokes up through the mesh will get snacked on.