Squirrel Damage in a Vegetable Garden.

I am an animal lover.  I don’t like to see any creature being hurt in any way.  I remember sitting at my computer desk last year and watching a squirrel run along my fence line with a whole corn cob that he had retrieved from my compost pile, and thinking “how cute!” It didn’t take long before I changed my mind because of the squirrel damage in my vegetable garden – all caused in a couple of days.Squirrel damage in a vegetable garden can be devastating. My garden went from lush and ready to produce, to totally destroyed in just two days.

Squirrel Damage in a Vegetable Garden can really make a mess.

We recently had visitors from the UK and they actually watched as the squirrels discovered and destroyed my corn.  They were sitting on my deck and watching it sway, got up and discovered it was squirrels having an “all you can eat buffet.”

This was my corn pre-squirrel – only a part of it….the bit that was almost ready to eat.  I had three more areas with gradually growing corn not ready.

Corn before the squirrels, almost ready

Corn before the squirrels, almost ready to harvest.  And this is how it looked after the squirrels got a crack at it.

Corn after

There was not a single ear left!

Corn after

More squirrel damage:  they went down the whole row and took off every single cob. But they didn’t stop there!

Corn after

This patch was just planted and had only started to grow and they demolished it too.  They were looking for any possible corn they could find.

Discouraged, but not unduly so, I just figured I would have no corn.  I did not get much anyway last year.   Little did I know what was waiting for me.

The Squirrel Damage didn’t stop at my corn.

The next day I went out in the morning with my basket to get my harvest and almost passed out when I found dozen and dozens of fully grown tomatoes on the ground, each with a small bite out of them.  All over the garden.  I looked at the 18 tomato plants and they were all in horrible condition.  Squirrels had climbed up them to get to the best of the tomatoes and most were broken off at the top or in some other way damaged. 

This was the state of my tomato plants yesterday:

My tomato plants before the squirrels found them.

These were my tomato plants before the squirrels decided to start investigating them for food.

close up of tomatoes before the squirrels.

They had dozens of large green tomatoes just starting to ripen. But that was before the nightmare cased by the squirrels.

This was part of my harvest the day of my disaster:

Harvest of squirrel eaten tomatoes

This is only a tiny part of of the damaged cased by the squirrels. I brought in dozens and dozens of tomatoes damaged in some way. They were obviously looking for moisture.  The tomatoes had a bite out of them and then were just discarded.

In order not to lose my mind, and all my tomatoes, I went out and brought in EVERY tomato left on the vines. Big ones, small ones, anything I thought they might eat.  I put them all in platters to ripen and hoped for the best. 

This is the state of my tomato plants now.  Most look similar to this.  None are producing any longer, all have broken tops to the stems:

Tomato plants after the squirrels

This was the state of my tomato plants after the squirrel fiasco.  I was heartbroken for days.

Have I mentioned that when I see a squirrel now, my first thought is not “oh how cute?”

Check out this article to see my DIY Squirrel repellents. And also see these natural squirrel repellent ideas.

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  8 comments for “Squirrel Damage in a Vegetable Garden.

  1. bobbynature
    07/30/2013 at 7:11 pm

    I feel your pain. Fortunately, I have a mulberry tree, and a walnut tree for those critters to feast upon. They mostly keep away from the rest of my garden. They are nothing more than rodents living in trees.

    • admin
      08/01/2013 at 6:49 pm

      I had no problem at all with them last year. I think it was my corn. (grew so well until they found it) Once they were done with that, they just went on a feast until they were done.

      Carol

      • CAPERNIUS
        05/09/2015 at 12:34 pm

        another thing you can do is plant mint….
        A LOT of mint….as in, surround your garden with it.
        Peppermint works best…
        but word of caution:
        mint, ANY mint, spreads like a fire in a hay barn…if you have some way to control it (like have 10 thousand pots of it surrounding your garden…figuratively speaking) then it will not become a problem.
        Squirrels, chipmunks (ground squirrels), rats,mice, & numerous bugs, will do everything they can to avoid the smell of mint.

  2. Diane
    08/24/2014 at 1:39 am

    Sadly, I too feel your pain. I walked out onto my deck one morning this past spring with a cup of coffee, to enjoy the garden overlook. I looked down on my tomato plant, the one that I’d started from a sprouting seed in my last ripe tomato of the fall, the one I nurtured under grow lights all winter. I saw a squirrel sitting on the side of its pot, and before I could finish the thought “how cu…” That squirrel grabbed the main stem on the plant, bent it at a 90 degree angle, and BIT THE PLANT OFF a foot from the ground! Its no longer a love relationship, or a love-hate relationship. Those little furry rats are my arch nemesis!

    • admin
      08/24/2014 at 11:49 am

      Hi Diane. It’s heartbreaking isn’t it? The bunnies got me this year. They ate my bean plants right down to the ground. The whole group. I am picking my tomatoes green this year. No way will I let the varmints have them again. Carol

      • CAPERNIUS
        05/09/2015 at 12:43 pm

        if you plant garlic around your garden for the rabbits, and potted mint for the squirrels, that eliminates about 90% of your troubles….now for slugs & snails, you can either lay a path of egg shells all around the garden or a copper tape all around the garden (copper tape or strips of copper, either one will work, but both are expensive).

        With using the aforementioned items, your problems in the garden should be somewhere between slim & none.

  3. CAPERNIUS
    05/09/2015 at 12:26 pm

    In a case like yours, where the squirrels got to the garden before you could, the easiest way to beat the squirrels is either:
    #1) shoot them dead(not my favored way)
    or
    #2) feed them.

    that is the ONLY two ways I know of to deal with them critters.
    Just for the record, I’d rather feed them than hurt them in any way.

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