How to Keep Squirrels Out of Your Garden

Why Squirrels?

Several months ago I found some odd occurrences happening in my garden. Several of my pots had what looked like holes in the dirt. There was also evidence of what looked like an animal had dug through some of my plants. My new lavender was also flattened, as if something had fallen in it.

I live in an area surrounded by trees, so I figured all of this was caused by falling branches or small animals. It shouldn’t have surprised me when I heard some noises outside and saw a squirrel laying on one of my planters.


The squirrel glared at me, then jumped from the planter to my hanging strawberry plant, where he began digging in the dirt to bury what looked like a large seed or rock. He patted his burial place neatly before scurrying off into the nearest tree.

This didn’t alarm me, since seeing the squirrel made all the other oddities make sense. I wonder if he is also the reason why some of my plants are not growing.

Why Keep Squirrels Out of Your Garden

Squirrels are small, cute and furry creatures that I enjoy watching while walking around my complex, as well as having staring contests with them. Why bother keeping them away from your garden?


There are many reasons to keep squirrels out of your garden. They can destroy flowers, fruit and vegetables that you worked hard to grow. Squirrels will steal and smash your prized plants as well.

My husband began researching how to keep squirrels out of your garden, hence this blog post. He showed me some videos of how to do this with homemade items. I will be discussing these as well as other methods below.

How to Keep Squirrels Out of Your Garden

There are many ways to keep squirrels out of your garden, but I will be only discussing several.

Cayenne Pepper

The videos my husband showed me talked about placing cayenne pepper in the garden to keep the squirrels away. Apparently they do not like the smell. I figure this would be a free way to keep the critter out.

Luckily, we had a jar of cayenne pepper. The pepper does not harm plants, so I sprinkled some in all my planters that had evidence of the squirrel. Its been a few days and so far I have seen no proof that the squirrel has been back. As far as I’m concerned, the cayenne pepper worked!

Peppers in General

Squirrels don’t like peppers for the same reasons many people don’t, their strong taste and smell. Other red peppers or a combination of peppers, such as paprika and pepper flakes can also keep these critters away from your garden.


Just like squirrels don’t like the smell of peppers, they are also repelled by the smell of mint. I haven’t tried this method yet but will definitely consider planting mint in the future. Plus, I like the smell of mint.


Squirrels do not like to dig up certain bulbs. As I stated earlier, my best friend’s in laws gave me an amaryllis bulb that bloomed beautifully vibrant flowers for me to enjoy several weeks ago. Thankfully, the squirrel left this alone. Hyacinth, allium and daffodils are some bulbs that squirrels do not like, so if you prefer these bulbs, plant them in your garden!


If your plants can thrive in mulch, add these to your garden. I have several planters with dirt that are also topped with several inches of mulch. I’ve noticed that the squirrel has not touched these areas of my garden. The heavier the mulch is, the better.


Keep your garden neat. I love being surrounded by so many trees, but some of them in particular love leaving scraps of bark and other debris on my balcony. Make sure there is nothing on the ground that may attract squirrels. I try to sweep the garden area about once a week.

Put Your Pets to Good Use.

Have a cat or dog, or both? Your pet(s) can also keep away squirrels from your garden. If allowed, let them roam around your garden. Our cats are not allowed to walk around our complex, but squirrels are not around when the cats are near the window to my garden.

Do you have any other suggestions for keeping squirrels out of your garden? Let me know!

Until next time,


5 Replies to “How to Keep Squirrels Out of Your Garden”

    1. Thank you. That’s great that you are choosing mint. I love the smell of it so I can’t wait to add mint to my garden, especially since it can keep squirrels away.


  1. when I plant bulbs in the fall I put a few pieces of banana peel in each hole of my groups of 5 bulbs, right on top of the bulbs. For some reason the squirrels wont dig these up!


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