squirrel trouble - Knowledgebase Question

chicago, Il
Avatar for lynn_m_foley
Question by lynn_m_foley
June 30, 2010
I waited and worked sooo long for my first tomato and as soon as it started to ripen a squirrel devoured it! What will I do to protect my remaining tomatoes?

Answer from NGA
June 30, 2010
It's amazing how critters seem able to swoop in right when fruits ripen. It's like they sit in trees with binoculars. Here are some things to try: cover the soil surface with gravel, large mulch chunks, thorny branch trimmings, or chicken wire. I have the most success with chicken wire - the squirrels and chipmunks don't want to walk on it for fear of getting their legs caught. If you are growing in containers, crumple wire up and then spread it out a little and set containers on top. If you have about 12" of the crumpled wire carpet around each pot, the critters will stay away. Leave it in place for 4-5 weeks and the critters will hopefully stop visiting and you can remove it. Another option is to erect a wire barrier around the entire plant, but that can be difficult if it's a sprawling tomato vine. Good luck!

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