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Hello all. I am new to the Gardeners World website and to the forums so I hope that my question is in the right place. For the last couple of years I have planted seed mixes attempted to grow a small wildflower meadow in my wooden planter to attract bees and butterflies into the garden and each time after a month or two's growth the whole lot keeps getting dug up by squirrels and my attempts are completely ruined. I really want to make a success of it this year and wondered if there was anyway of keeping the squirrels from digging them up?. Would getting a peanut feeder in the garden give them something else to concentrate on and keep them off of my growing wildflower meadow?. Any help and advice would be gratefully received as i am desperate!.

Hiya Stoney and welcome. 

there are "humane" traps which you can use. They catch them alive and then you , erm, do what you want with them. Relocate them to the countryside for example.


Sprinkle holly leaves on you planter


Hostafan, strictly speaking it is illegal to release vermin (assuming grey squirrels) back into the wild after they have been trapped.  Kind of limits the choice of what to do with them! 

And also some one else will have a problem later


Thanks for the replies so far guys.
I bumped into somebody in my local homebase a few months ago who said that she caught them in humane traps and released them into her local park. But like BobTheGardener says, I have since found it to be illegal.

Will the bird feeder idea work do you think?.
Singing Gardener

My mother had terrible problems with squirrels digging up her tulip bulbs in containers and solved this by putting mesh just below the surface of the compost. The mesh she used was specially sold for this purpose and had spiky bits sticking up and pegs to keep it down but it should be pretty easy to improvise something similar. Because the mesh is below the soil level it isn't visible at all.


Holly twigs, pyracantha cuttings and so forth - without these I would have no bulbs at all in the garden or in pots, the b***** squirrels would have them all.  They don't like prickles in their paddy paws any more than we do, it really does help.



I have, over many years, spent a great deal of money on 'squirrel proof' bird feeders and not one has ever  worked, until this year!!  Go to the web site for 'Squirrel Buster' feeders - ours has been up for several months and the darned things have not got into it - Hooray!!  I'm about to order a second one, and sing their praises!


I want them to eat from the feeder though lol. I'm hoping if they have a distraction and fill up on peanuts they won't want to bother with my seeds and seedlings!. Well that's what i'm hoping anyway.
I think it will be a case of just plant the seeds and pray they are left alone.

And some people scream when they suggest a grey squirrel cull!


Squirrel buster plus is excellent. I just bought a new one after a ten year onslaught.  One of them learnt how to unscrew the top. We had to make a  modification fastening the top down.

We have odd crocus coming up in the lawn. We never planted any. A neighbour planted a 1000 and he didnt get one. The squirrels either ate them or relocated them.


Hi Stoney and welcome

My guess is that if you don't have bulbs in your planter, then the squirrels  are digging to bury their nuts, either from bird feeders or nuts they've harvested from trees - acorns, chestnuts etc.

I used to watch this happen from my desk at work - we fixed smallish gauge chicken wire over the planters and the trouble was fixed - the plants grew through the wire and it was soon hidden.

The squirrels started burying their nuts in the lawn after that - it was great fun to watch and amazing how they frequently returned to the right spot to dig up their hidden treasure.


I wonder if someone might have the legal position on the removal of vermin ( squirrels) withing the law

Here is the European Squirrel Initiative shedding some light on the matter.

I would have thought that squirels had enough initiative of their own without needing any help from the EU, but there you go.

I have no toolbar this morning (again) and as a result all links are inactive (again). Sorry, it is a case of copy and paste.

No smilies either.



Thank you, Dove. My toolbar is back.


interesting reading. Thanks both.

So if i have a peanut feeder they will probably just bury them in the planter anyway and dug up anything that's in there anyway lol.
The chicken wire sounds like the best option to try. This year i am going to try a bee mat and a butterfly mat but these lay on the surface with a light covering of soil over the top. So will the chicken wire still work?.

It'll work fine - just put the mats under the chicken wire and stretch the chicken wire across the top and fix it to the edges of the planter.  I found that using a stapler worked - by the time the staples rusted through it was usually time to replenish the compost and put some more plants in - and if they'd not rusted through they weren't difficult to remove and re-do.