Plants You Can Add To Your Garden To Repel Squirrels

Gardening is an enriching hobby and, for many, a lifestyle. Harvesting the fresh crops you've nurtured for months and using them in a nice home-cooked meal is unmatched. Gardening is also hard work and great care must taken to protect a successful crop. No matter where we live, we have plenty of critters roaming around looking to feast on our fruits and vegetables just as much as we are. Horticulturists at Fafard list squirrels amongst the top six worst garden animal pests, and no doubt they are one of the most common.

Squirrels tend to be most destructive to gardens as fall approaches and they begin preparing for winter. We won't deny that squirrels, chipmunks, and even raccoons are quite cute, but we still don't want them having dinner in our gardens. Garden Guides notes that some of this rodent's favorite foods to snack on include carrots, beans, squash, watermelon, and tomatoes. But let's face it, our cucumbers, eggplants, and lettuce aren't safe either. Luckily, we can surround our goods with a series of other vegetables, flowers, and herbs that will actually keep the squirrels away.

Deterring vegetables

Allium is the flowering part of vegetables such as garlic, onions, leeks, and scallions that release a potent odor when injured. The Old Farmer's Almanac explains that these powerful smells may be savory for our sinuses but they are not appealing to squirrels; neither is the taste. Planting these allium vegetable varieties around your beloved carrots and tomatoes may drastically improve a squirrel situation. If for some reason you cannot grow pungent plants like garlic and onions, you can buy fresh produce and use them to create a spray or paste along with water and vinegar. These DIY deterrents can be easily applied to your plants and won't contain any of the harsh chemicals that are often found in store-bought pesticides.

Squirrels also dislike anything with a fiery flavor. Growing spicy peppers like Carolina reapers, ghost peppers, and habaneros will naturally repel small critters. Homemade powders or sprays using peppers can be applied to the soil around your plants to keep the squirrels away, and certain spices, such as cayenne pepper, can be applied directly to your plant's leaves.

Preventative flowers and herbs

Planting flowers and herbs that squirrels find distasteful doubles as a great way to dress up your garden beds. There are many beautiful flowers that will keep the creatures away, and you won't sacrifice any visual pleasantries as you would with physical barriers like chicken wire or aluminum foil. Terminix ranks daffodils, fritillaries, hyacinths, lily of the valley, and geraniums among the most repugnant flowers for squirrels. Many of them contain toxins that are potent enough to convince rodents not to eat them, yet they should not cause any real harm. Fritillaries specifically are very interesting as the snake-like patterns of their petals are often sufficient to keep predators away.

Herbs such as mint, catnip, and peppermint are among the best for repelling squirrels. It's even beneficial to set up bird feeders and snacks away from your garden so that the little creatures will naturally gravitate towards them and enjoy. Lastly, there's no need to worry about deterring the wrong critters. Even if you plant every squirrel-repelling plant possible, your honey bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, and frogs will still come around.