squirrels stealing tomatoes

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On 5/4/2013 5:46 PM, Todd wrote:

HAHAHAHAHAAA!!!!
--
Natural Girl


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On 05/04/2013 07:28 PM, Natural Girl wrote:

Had fun writing it. Part of me worried someone would take me seriously, but I couldn't imagine -- there were too many hints. And, it was way too corny to be taken seriously.
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On 5/4/2013 9:53 PM, Todd wrote:

A few years ago I was visiting some friends out of state and we were enjoying their patio in the early evening shortly after dark. We were chatting when a skunk decided to take a walk across their back yard and it didn't seem to have a care in the world! My friend said to not make any sudden moves! LOL
--
Natural Girl


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On 05/04/2013 08:24 PM, Natural Girl wrote:

Oh my!
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Hopefully, this year I will not have: lions and tigers and bears... Squirrels are bad enough.
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On 05/04/2013 10:27 PM, Gus wrote:

I would love to know what finally works
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wrote in message

I did have some good luck with vinegar last year and will try that again when the plants start to produce. Soaked some old socks every few days. No one had mentioned vinegar, but accidently noticed on the bottle: "protect garden from unwanted pests... soak rags every 7 to 10 days" on the back of a Kroger bottle. I think it did work. I assume if it rains, soak the rags more often. Not sure, but maybe the vinegar smells close to predator urine to a squirrel, or just unpleasant?
Building a cage around the plants is probably the only sure fire thing to do, but I went to do that at Home Depot last year and it started to get kinda expensive to do it right. Last year, I did get quite a decent crop of tomatoes; but the year before literally 2-3 puny tomatoes and then gave up as the squirrels ruined all the rest. Ended up uprooting the plants... Hopefully, vinegar will deter them this year at least so I get some fresh tomatoes. Nothing better than fresh tomatoes. The ones in store here are so bland, but garden ones full of flavor.
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On 5/5/2013 1:44 AM, Gus wrote:

What kind of vinegar?
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Natural Girl


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White vinegar, gallon jug from Kroger.
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On 5/5/2013 2:14 PM, Gus wrote:

I just may try that! thanks.
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On 05/05/2013 12:35 PM, Natural Girl wrote:

The animal supply stores have some really strong stuff
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Frank wrote: ...

they often are smelling the fertilizer (that usually has fish parts or ...) in the potting mix.
songbird
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On 5/4/2013 3:21 AM, songbird wrote:

Encounter last year was a half dozen hydrangeas in small pots. Racoons, I assume, tore everything apart. May have smelled but there was no fertilizer.
It is not possible to rid the area of wildlife but I do think it is a few individuals that start coming around and keep repeating and if you can get rid of those maybe it will keep damage down.
One of the squirrels that was hitting my bird feeder put away a couple of months ago was searching around the deck this morning and used a pot full of dirt as his bathroom. Wife thought he was cute.
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On 05/03/2013 05:25 AM, Gus wrote:

Hi Gus,
I have a customer/friend with a greenhouse. The resident squirrels would dig under the walls and steal all his tomatoes. He lives out in the boon docks and would shoot at them when they ran away with a tomato in their mouths.
Nothing worked until he removed all his boxes, lined the floor with pavers, and replaced his boxes. Now he brags that he has to give away tomatoes. He chuckles about all the head aches he is giving the squirrels when they hit their heads on the pavers.
-T
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On 05/03/2013 05:25 AM, Gus wrote:

Dogs?
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Gus said:

1) Provide a source of drinking water for the squirrels, birds, etc. They may be going after the tomatoes mainly for the water content.
2) My daughter ran an experiment as an assignment for one of her zoology classes. She offered various 'flavors' of peanuts to hungry winter squirrels, including smoked, two levels of hot pepper seasoned and wasabi flavored peanuts.
Their obvious preference was for plain or salted peanuts. They would eat the hot pepper and smoked peanuts. They mainly ignored the wasabi flavored. Which suggests that wasabi (similarly, horse radish or mustard oil) could be worth looking into as a squirrel deterent.
3) When all else fails, a cage of 1" hex wire netting ("chicken wire") will exclude squirrels. You need to bend the wire out at the bottom (to prevent them going under) and either let the top flop outward or put a cap on the cage (to prevent them going over). I've used panels of 48" chicken wire stapled to 1" x 2" strapping. The panels can be moved around as needed. Tie them using temporary stakes. You can make circles, triangles, etc. They should be rolled up and stashed out of the weather when not needed .
4) A sturdy 4' fence which is lined with chicken wire (bent out or buried several inches deep at the bottom) and topped with a shock wire or two will keep out a whole lot of potential pests.
--
Pat in Plymouth MI

"Yes, swooping is bad."
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Thanks Pat in Plymouth. Good suggestions. I had read they bite the tomatoes for the water content, that they not intentionally trying to piss off the gardener by only taking one bite... Not sure about water source. There is a major problem with mosquitoes in the summer around here, so not supposed to leave standing water around. I suppose I could use put something out though and dump the water every 2-3 days. But I don't think it's water that is a problem around here, but maybe they just prefer water from tomatoes or are just lazy squirrels. They will bite even green ones that aren't that watery. I think I will try leaving water out.
Are you suggesting leaving peanuts out, but away from the tomatoes? I don't have a big yard, but could maybe put some at the other end. Or in the front yard. How do you know if the squirrels have a peanut allergy. (Actually, that might be a good thing!)
I didn't mess with chicken wire too much because to do it right was getting kinda involved. I had read that cheap chicken wire with larger hole they can still get through. Though I did have some lying around and I did kinda lay it around the plants. I think it did dissuade them a bit but not too much. I didn't stake it thinking maybe if it was flimsy and gave way some when they stepped on it maybe they would be skittish?
My SMIL suggested plastic snakes. But those are worthless. I've seen the squirrels step right over a couple on the deck railing. I tried to tie a couple with string so they should move a bit but that didn't have any effect either. Not on the squirrels. I also put out some tinfoil. That may have kept away some birds, but not squirrels.
I don't like wasabi, so afraid that would get into the tomatoes, but maybe I can try spreading some around one of the plants and experiment. Maybe in conjunction with the white vinegar.... What do you mean by mustard oil? I like mustard so would try that. Spicy mustard??
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Gus said:

deterent than the commonly recommended hot pepper.

Yes, you need the wire netting with small (1") openings. But it's not so hard to make panels by stapling the wire netting to wood strips. Then you can put several panels together so that they stand up. Just untie them to get to the tomatoes.
(I used to use chicken wire panels 8' tall and 4' wide to protect my block plantings of sweet corn, before we put in the fence with the shock wire.)

Pure mustard oil is the hot, eye-watering agent in mustard seeds and other pungeant cruciferous vegetables (like radishes, horseradish and wasabi).
I've some experience with it being used in Korean cuisine. A little goes a long, long way when you are dining.
--
Pat in Plymouth MI

"Yes, swooping is bad."
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Where does one procure it? If I ask at Kroger will they look at me askance?
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On 5/9/2013 7:56 AM, Pat Kiewicz wrote:

Someone sent me this this morning:
http://tinyurl.com/cgprqsp
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