02 April 2017

protector of the garden?

The squirrels irritate me. I admit I like watching their antics, and I really admire their tenacity. However we have quit putting up home-made birdfeeders because they destroy them all. I don't mind that they dig in the mulch around my yard plants, I can even ignore the holes in the sorry lawn. But I hate it when they dig in my garden beds, and they do it constantly. I have tried spreading cayenne powder, the hottest red pepper flakes I can find, and coffee grounds. It works for a day or two- then if I forget to spread deterrents again they are right back. Rain washes it away, too. And pepper flakes in the garden make me sneeze (although I do love the smell of spread coffee grounds).

Later in the season it's just an annoyance to find holes where everything was tidy the night before, but in the springtime it's actually destructive as the squirrels will tear up my little seedlings and scatter them.
I may have found a real solution.
Noticing how the only plot they didn't dig in was where this oldest borage plant survived the winter, I carefully spaced out all the young ones when I planted them a few days ago, two or three to each plot. Most on the corners but when I ran out, the last one dead center. I kept an eye out. Funniest thing, the first place I saw new holes dug was right next to two of the young plants- it almost looked as if the squirrel was trying to remove them. There were a few small shallow holes in the plot with one central borage plant (far away from it). As if the squirrel tried and gave up. I think they don't like the scent of it!
I looked again this morning- not a single new hole, and I'm counting six garden plots plus the frontyard space around the mailbox- I put two borage plants there as well. No new squirrel holes. I almost can't believe it. Even though my garden is rather small and these plants get rather large and take up space, I'd much rather have them doing the job than a constant reapplication of substances. If that's really what's going on here. I'll keep this updated!
They are growing quickly by the way- I swear I see a significant increase in size in just two days.

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