top of page
  • nishamaxwell

Effective Natural Strategies to Protect Your Vegetable Garden from Squirrels

Desert critters are hungry and thirsty and they will eat just about anything given the chance. My squirrels even eat spiky cacti during drought years. Last weekend I did a popup and almost everyone I talked to (especially those without hunting cats) asked me about squirrels. So, I thought I would sit down and list the non-toxic approaches that have worked for me in the desert. I hope this helps as you plant and defend your spring garden!

Physical Barriers

  • Cloches and Row Covers: Use cloches or row covers to protect individual plants or rows from squirrel damage. These protective covers can be made of metal hardware cloth, plastic, or mesh and should be securely anchored to the ground to prevent squirrels from lifting or moving them. Sometimes it may make sense to put hardware cloth under your garden as well.


  • Natural Repellents:

  • Companion Planting: Interplanting tender greens with allium plants and herbs. I have had great luck with green onions, garlic, cilantro, alyssum, lavender, basil, sage and rosemary.

  • Spicy Sprays: Squirrels dislike the taste and smell of spicy substances. Create a homemade repellent by mixing water with hot pepper flakes or hot sauce and spray it on your plants.

  • Predator Urine: Commercial repellents made from the urine of predators like foxes or coyotes can deter squirrels by mimicking the presence of a natural predator.

  • Visual and Auditory Deterrents:

  • Shiny Objects: Hang shiny objects like CDs, aluminum foil strips, or old pie tins around your garden to scare away squirrels with the reflected light and movement.

  • Ultrasonic Devices: Use ultrasonic devices that emit high-frequency sound waves to deter squirrels without harming them. I have never tried this, but am very curious.

Garden Maintenance

  • Clean Up Fallen Fruits and Vegetables: Squirrels are attracted to easy food sources like fallen fruits and vegetables. Regularly clean up any fallen produce to discourage squirrels from visiting your garden.

  • Trim Overhanging Tree Branches: Squirrels are agile climbers and can easily access your garden from nearby trees. Trim overhanging tree branches to limit their access to your garden.

Squirrel-Proof Bird Feeders

  • If you have bird feeders in your yard, consider using squirrel-proof bird feeders designed to prevent squirrels from accessing the bird seed. This can help reduce the squirrel population in your yard and, in turn, decrease the likelihood of them visiting your vegetable garden.

Note: Always handle and apply repellents according to the manufacturer's instructions, and be mindful of the safety and well-being of other wildlife in your garden.

46 views0 comments


bottom of page