Garden Clippings for August 11.

Leroy, the friendly retired guy who lives at the end of Peony Lane loves the outdoors.  Every night, unless the weather is nasty, he’ll spend an hour or so in the backyard, slowly swinging on his settee that long ago he shared with his dear wife.

Leroy loves peanuts.  Not the kind that come in jars or fancy packaging, but the original ones with shells.  Leroy snaps the peanut shells open and pops most of them in his mouth.  He’ll often toss a few peanuts in the lawn where squirrels will compete for Leroy’s gifts.  Watching squirrels is a source of entertainment.

What does Leroy do with the peanut shells?  Rather than put them in a bowl, he just tosses them over his shoulder and flings them up against the vinyl siding of his bungalow.  Once a month or so he shovels up the heap of shells and puts them in the compost heap

As luck wouldn’t have it, Leroy once tossed a full peanut behind his back and somehow the peanut lodged itself behind the siding.  Leroy had no idea that he tossed a peanut behind him, but the persistent squirrels with their keen sense of smell were bound, bent and determined to retrieve it.

Squirrels can do a lot of damage.  We’ve all heard stories of squirrels stuck in attics, chimneys and other unfortunate places.  The moral of the story is that we would be wise to ignore the squirrels rather than feed them which attracts them to our dwellings.

Getting rid of nuisance squirrels is not easy.  My old friend Bernie used to live trap the squirrels and relocate them about 5 miles away with the hopes that they would not find their way back.  Relocating squirrels is a questionable practice because there is a danger that you would remove a female from her babies.

Some folks have suggested to me that sprinkling pepper or hot sauce around the plants will repel squirrels.  The nasty taste will encourage them to go elsewhere.

I have also heard that human hair will repel squirrels.  At the next trip to the barber or beauty salon, ask for a bag of hair and sprinkle it in the garden.  Squirrels are not keen on the smell of humans so hopefully they will go elsewhere.

To protect squirrels from creating havoc in the vegetable plot it may be necessary to put up a wire mesh fence around the garden.  It will need to be dug partially in the ground to prevent squirrels from digging underneath.

Bloodmeal, an organic granular fertilizer made from natural sources provides effective control for mice, rabbits and small animals, and will likely give some control for squirrels.  Hen manure, available in pellet form will also cause squirrels to take a hike.