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General information and discussion about cultivating beans, peas, peanuts, clover and vetch.

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Old January 29, 2016   #1
habitat_gardener
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Default do squirrels bother your pole beans?

I have a south-facing fence that might be a good place to install some bean trellises, but the fence also happens to be the neighborhood squirrel highway.

Last year the squirrels enjoyed my 6 ft. perennial kale so much that nothing is left. They'd hang down from the fence to get the last bit of greens. They also munched down whatever they could reach on the cuttings I took from that plant. I've given up on growing my favorite kale here, and I'm hoping that whatever I plant near the fence this year won't derail them on their journeys from a neighbor's olive tree to our plum tree.

If the pole beans (beans or plants) are within easy reach, will the squirrels be likely to demolish them?
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Old April 1, 2016   #2
rhines81
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Once squirrels develop a taste for anything, they will relentlessly pursue it. On the other hand, I've developed a taste for slow cooked crockpot squirrel meat, so they leave my garden alone


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I have a south-facing fence that might be a good place to install some bean trellises, but the fence also happens to be the neighborhood squirrel highway.

Last year the squirrels enjoyed my 6 ft. perennial kale so much that nothing is left. They'd hang down from the fence to get the last bit of greens. They also munched down whatever they could reach on the cuttings I took from that plant. I've given up on growing my favorite kale here, and I'm hoping that whatever I plant near the fence this year won't derail them on their journeys from a neighbor's olive tree to our plum tree.

If the pole beans (beans or plants) are within easy reach, will the squirrels be likely to demolish them?
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Old April 1, 2016   #3
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This years winter off spring are out now and would make for some tender fried squirrel.

Worth
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Old April 1, 2016   #4
greenthumbomaha
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Perhaps someone else can answer about beans, but yesterday a squirrel was digging in my empty 4X4 raised bed and wasn't interested in the adjacent bed that had one inch pea sprouts growing.

- Lisa

Last edited by greenthumbomaha; April 1, 2016 at 10:01 PM. Reason: Corrected vegetable referenced.
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Old April 1, 2016   #5
Scooty
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It's going to be a roll of the dice. As rhines81 said, once they develop a taste.... In some places, they don't care for tomatoes, but other places they voraciously like taking a single bite from every fruit. Other places, they won't touch a single tomato, but they tear apart corn. And as you experienced, they tear apart your kale in SF, but not in other places.
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Old April 2, 2016   #6
habitat_gardener
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenthumbomaha View Post
Perhaps someone else can answer about beans, but yesterday a squirrel was digging in my empty 4X4 raised bed and wasn't interested in the adjacent bed that had one inch pea sprouts growing.

- Lisa
Maybe they were looking for worms or bugs?

I learned to put compost down a day or so before planting seeds or seedlings, and then protect the area after planting. The first time I planted seeds without sufficiently protecting them, critters rummaged around and very few plants came up.
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Old April 2, 2016   #7
Zeedman
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If the pole beans (beans or plants) are within easy reach, will the squirrels be likely to demolish them?
Probably... and it might not be squirrels. When I lived in San Jose, I had a fence covered with ivy on one side - and it was a nest for "roof rats", a.k.a black rats. They would forage out from there, and nibble/eat anything near the fence. When I cut down the ivy, they moved elsewhere. The problem becomes more pronounced as conditions get drier, and they crave the higher moisture content of irrigated vegetables.

Where I live now, tree squirrels climb my trellises; but generally only eat the beans on the top, opening them to eat the developing seeds.
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Old April 2, 2016   #8
whistech
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Squirrels don't bother my pole beans but they love my strawberries and tomatoes.
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Old April 12, 2016   #9
b54red
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Once the squirrels found my garden they have been relentless in returning for the buffet but they have never bothered my beans, onions, squash, hot peppers or cucumbers but everything else seems to be fair game for them. My recommendation is to see if you can kill enough of them to slow them down for a while. Even if you do they will be back in a year or two. It is almost like they tell every other squirrel in the area about the nice free salad bar and once the message gets out you can't stop it from happening over and over again. Good luck.

Bill
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