Living with Squirrels

I tried to rest for 3 days. It was cold and rainy lately, so I did not go to my garden. When I woke up this morning, I was achy. I did not mind. I drag myself three floor down, open the glass door. I went out. The sky was pale blue, sunshine was glittering on wet green leaves. My bones were hurting, I could feel my sore muscles, old, worn out, swollen by expensive special, dangerous cocktail. It was OK, I knew it is going pass soon. It was still early. Clear cold morning, only a few birds chirping on trees in the silent street. My head was tired of persistent headache. I looked at my flower pots by my small green house. One had a deep hole, dirt was removed by the small feet again. I sighed, and said myself, “No negative thoughts”.

Life was irresistible good. Spring was coming. Sunshine was bright. I was going to be healthy again. I have to trust my instincts. Chemo days will be ending soon.

I stretched up a bit and unzip the green house’s plastic cover. There I kept my lovely green peppers and a few flowers. Pepper plants looked weird.
No, let me correct myself; they did not look weird. They looked chopped off. Leaves were eating and broken on the ground. I could feel tremendous anger coming from my veins, rushing up to my brain. My heart was pounding like a Taiko drum. I hate to see my plants eaten by squirrels in my garden. Now definitely my blood was boiling in me.
I started to yell “ f**k, f**k, f**k, f**k “.
My face was turning red. I was furious. I was transforming a monster every second. I collected piece by piece broken tiny brunches, half eaten pepper leaves while I was swearing like a mad woman. Regardless of my tired arms, I carried all my large pepper pots inside the house with unexpected strength.
What was I going to do with this damn animal? I hate all squirrels, chipmunks and mice! They are eating my plants! The only thing was good from this my headache was completely gone. I was busy with my anger.

I caught myself dreaming of barbecuing the vandal squirrel, throwing that fur ball into the river and so on.
Wait a minute. I am not that bad I said myself. I actually like animals. OK, perhaps not vegetarian squirrels who love to have snack at my garden!
Do not dare to tell me how cute they are. I tired every peaceful way to get rid of squirrels from my garden. Unfortunately I live in a very squirrelly neighborhood. People feed them also. So they eat their nuts and seeds around, then come to my garden for open buffet salad bar!
I have to admit it, I lived most of my life in high rise buildings, I am a city person. How can I battle with a squirrel who acts like Cirque du Soleil worker! It is indeed talented, clever animal. So far it seems like the squirrel is the winner.
I have not tried any squirrel repellent nor cage traps.

I am not quitting yet though. Does anyone has a good fighting method for this? I read all garden sites, follow Pinterest people, collect information about protecting plants from them.
I made a plastic fence around my garden to protect my peppers and lettuce from squirrels. It did not work. All lettuces are gone.
Then I bought green house, kept my peppers there. They still find a way to get inside.
I sprinkle crashed hot pepper & cayenne around my pepper plants. When the smell goes away, ( which is very quick in rainy Portand ) these are useless. A few garden websites also suggest aromatic spices to get rid off squirrels from the garden. Such as Cinnamon, Cayenne pepper, Garlic pepper, Ground black and white pepper, Cajun, Red hot chili pepper.
As if squirrels do not like these spice smells; not those who live in Sellwood, they do not care at all.

They also recommend putting coffee grounds all around the plants. I did. That did not have any effect on squirrels, but helped to get rid off snails and slugs. For slugs, spreading broken egg shells on the soil is effective. Again squirrels do not care a bit.
They love to dig up flower bulbs, eat pepper, lettuce, swiss chard, arugula, parsley, strawberry, even some flowers too.
As if they hate mint, I plant mint all over my garden. I can hear they laugh at me when they are sitting inside my mint pot, eating my parsleys from the next pot!
I got slingshot to Rob. He comes to garden once in while, throws tiny sugar cubes to them. He does not want to hurt them. It is only laughable action without providing any solution so far.

Then I planted suggested flowers supposed to have bad smell for their taste, that did not work either. I wonder, if their nose plugged up?
I cover small plants with plastic bottles. It only works certain amount time, When plants get bigger, I have to remove the bottles.
Do not bother suggesting to get a dog or a cat. I have seen many neighbors’ cats and dogs sitting around watching squirrels jumping around, eating and wiggling their large fury tails at them.

The problem it is not the peppers only. I am a human and losing the battle against a tiny creature. The quick brown squirrel is not even bigger than my hand much. The stubborn squirrel loves to eat my banana peppers! I cannot go and buy banana peppers in any store in Portland. Most stores sell either bell peppers or jalapeño chile peppers. Their skins are thick and meaty. Versus to banana peppers have thin skin, smell so fresh like earth! They remind me my home city Izmir. I just love growing from the seed to a plant pepper or a flower. It feels like it connects me to the world somehow.

I should go back and search more options to get rid of them, battle will continue this summer too. Should I try plastic mesh bags on my plants? I guess I can try that.

plant

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