Tortilla Planting

roxbury_garden(Z7 Boston)July 5, 2005


I have a variety of container plants on my 3rd floor deck in Boston, most of which are herbs or vegetables. The other day, I went outside to water my plants and found the top of my eggplant knocked off and the side of the container dug up. On closer inspection, I found a big piece of flour tortilla nestled in the dirt, as if someone had planted it. I took it out and threw it away, and the next day, I found another tortilla piece in my strawberry plant (possibly from the same day - not sure). This clearly struck me as quite odd, and I've been trying to figure out the culprit. I have no pets, live only with my boyfriend (who doesn't like tortillas anyway), and have the porch to myself. There are a couple of jr. high kids who live downstairs that could have gotten onto the deck if they really wanted to, but they're nice kids, so I doubt it. My guess is squirrels found a tortilla in the trash and tried to bury it for safe keeping in my container garden. My porch is high up enough so that the only animals who could reach it are squirrels and birds.

Has anyone had a similar surreal experience? Any ideas for keeping them away?


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jenny_in_se_pa(USDA7 Sunset 32)

Squirrels. Definitely.

It's funny but sometime last week, my sister and I were on the way out from my place and we saw a squirrel running across the parking lot with a big wad of what looked like toilet paper in its mouth, with a long piece of the paper dragging behind it. The squirrel stopped briefly and then headed over towards one of the lot's chainlink fences. As it started moving again, we watched stunned as a pile of "bite size" style chocolate chip cookies suddenly began to fall out of the back of the wad that the squirrel was carrying, leaving a trail of now-lost loot!! LOL I have seen the city squirrels here munching on discarded bagels and chicken bones, etc.

Nuts? Who needs nuts? :-p

Only thing you can maybe do is try to net your containers or put some mesh or chickenwire, etc., just under the soil (allowing the plants to grow through it and covering it with soil or mulch to hide it), in order to try to deter the squirrels from digging. Some might recommend trying products like Liquid Fence (which is an all-natural blend of various things like garlic, cinnamon, citrus oil, etc) to spray on the plants... Alternately some might recommend hot pepper spray on the plants, although nature lovers don't seem to like that recommendation as it can cause them to burn their eyes.

Squirrels can be a royal pain for container growers and ground gardeners alike and there have been many many threads on GW over the years with suggestions for deterring them (including the oft-mentioned pellet gun... ;-)).

    Bookmark   July 5, 2005 at 6:22PM
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