Now they are eating the lilies!

meldy_nva(z6b VA)June 19, 2012

I'm still holding a grudge against the squirrels for eating all my 'Big Mama' tomatoes last year. Well, all but enough for one pot of the best-tasting pizza sauce. This year's tomato plants have tomatoes about 3" long... they will be ripening soon.

Now fuel has been added to the simmering grudge. The squirrels have been climbing the stems of both the Oriental and the Asiatic lilies, tearing off the petals and eating the unformed seed. They have already eaten all the bubils (seeds formed on the stems of some varieties), as well as digging around the base of each stem to get at the new little bulbs. Lilies must taste awfully good to them.

However, I think it's time to relocate a few squirrels. Did you know that most squirrels can find their way back if within 5 miles of their original home? And some have been tagged and shown the ability to find their way back from a 10 mile relocation. However, I know of a park that is about 15 miles from here; several days of watching and I didn't see any squirrels...

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Do you have water out for them to drink? We had a problem with them digging up the bulbs that got much better after we accidently left a pot under the faucet that caught water.

Was it just a coincedence or do they dig bulbs just for the moisture? I don't know, but we leave water out for them now.

Deer are a problem for me. One family, a buck, his doe and two or three young ones. I haven't had a daylily bloom in three years. They LOVE daylily buds. And Hydrangeas???? The new growth is eaten down to the stem....over and over again. The only one that can bloom is one that's tucked in a corner of the house away from the others.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 1:32PM
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I have squirrel Grand Central and they leave the garden pretty much alone when it is much easier to get birdfood, peanuts and have a couple of birdbath to get water. I know, I am a pushover.

Get a roll of the plastic bird netting and spread it where you don't want them to digg or bunch some up around the lilies.
The same light netting draped over the tomato plants rescues the tomato sauce. It also keeps the starlings away which seem to be my culprits.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 4:42PM
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Just reading your post makes my blood boil, I detest squirrel!I still have not forgotton the year they dug up my Tulip bulbs,took one bite and moved on to the next and the next.I also have lilies in bloom.They have not shown an interest but who knows?It will break my heart should they chew on them. I'm really sorry for your loss.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 8:27PM
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gmatx zone 6

Don't you just love those Big Mama tomatoes for paste and hot sauce! Next best is the Health Kick tomato.

Our problem here are the skunks. They dig in flower beds and gardens to get to the white tender roots of plants. I have had to push soil back around the roots of my minature roses many times. Just saw where they were digging in the garden. I don't think it is the lack of water to drink as it is the roots are what they like to eat. Someone said they also dig for grubs, but I haven't seen any grubs in the flower beds or garden this year.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2012 at 12:20PM
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lindac(Iowa Z 5/4)

Aggie....right on. When conditions are dry the critters will do what ever it takes to get moisture.
Life is better if you provide water for them.
I have friends who have had them chew up hoses for the few drops in the bottom, chew all sorts of plants and chew on the siding....
Much easier to see that there is always fresh water available for the critter.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2012 at 10:05PM
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meldy_nva(z6b VA)

There are 2 birdbaths, one at ground level, filled every day; 3 bird feeders with sparrows, finches, blue jays and woodpeckers to knock seed onto the ground (so much so that it actually provides a mulch!); DH gives them peanuts twice a day; and the squirrels have never before gone after the lilies.

Tomatoes, yes: last year we managed to get enough tomatoes from 30+ plants for one small batch of pizza sauce and several for tomato sandwiches. We have netted (the black stuff and the green stuff and the white stuff; concealed (Remay, sheets); and put wire mesh around and over individual plants ~ the only method which worked was the wire and that only until they figured out how to tunnel under it. This year I plan to bury the wire about a foot deep. Sigh, there goes the garden budget - wire mesh is $$$.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 10:26AM
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Meldy, I don't know what to say. Did you insult them and they have a vendetta against you? Wish I had an answer for you.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 11:06AM
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One word gardeners....DOG.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 10:07PM
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Cats too. Although for some reason my cat likes rabbits. And the rabbits aren't the least bit afraid of the cat. The rabbits usually beat me to the blueberries but I'm hoping as the plants get taller I'll get part of the harvest.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2012 at 10:26AM
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