Question From: N. Stelmaszek - Farmington, Michigan, United States
Q: Hello Nancy, Always enjoy your column in the Homestyle section of The Detroit News. My question is: Any suggestions for getting rid of/deterring squirrels who are eating my peaches before they ripen on the tree? I did skim all your articles. If this question has been posted, I missed it. Sorry. Thanks in advance for your reply. Keep up the good work!
A: Check out this week's column in the Detroit News. If you find your tomatoes on the ground with bites taken out of them you are dealing with small animals such as squirrels or chipmunks. During a period of high heat and drought, animals are in search of water and tomatoes, green or red, are a great source. Many gardeners have luck wrapping their plants in plastic netting such as Bird X, sold in garden centers. Sadly, when sourcing water becomes a matter of life and death animals will chew through the flimsy plastic. When the chippies start raiding my container tomatoes and I find half eaten green orbs sitting next to the pots, I use PlantSkydd animal repellant ( www.plantskydd.com). This blood-based product comes in a spray and granular forms. It's organic, OMRI listed and safe to use on edibles up to six weeks prior to harvest. Liquid Plant Skydd is effective for repelling deer and granular PlantSkydd scattered on the ground around plants repels small rodents such as chipmunks, voles and squirrels. In the summertime, when applied according to directions this repellant lasts for six weeks. However, fresh, new growth on trees, shrubs and tall flowering plants such as oriental lilies should be sprayed to be protected. In situations where using the spray or granular product may not be an option, such as a bird feeder, my friend Julia Hofley makes up PlantSkydd sachets by dumping a quarter cup of PlantSkydd in a knee high nylons and hanging them from the corners of her feeders. Not caring for the look of nylons, I swapped them out for those little gauze bags jewelry and other small treasures come packaged in. The colorful cotton Brighton bags also work. To activate the PlantSkydd, I spray the bag with water after hanging. I would also spray the tree trunk with liquid PlantSkydd. Best And Happy Yardening, Nancy