Thwarting Squirrels: A Different Kind of Screensaver

Screened In

I headed to my local garden center this week in search of Floating Row Covers (I blogged about them here).  I got lazy, and drifted into the Home Depot parking lot instead since it’s closer.  After a frustrating search on my own, then with the help of an employee,  it was apparent the cupboards were bare.  Sure, I could have come home and called around town or simply ordered row covers online, but I really wanted to find a solution pronto for my sunflower seed challenge: keeping squirrels at bay till the seeds grow.

I wandered the store looking for inspiration, and found a role of screening used to repair screen windows and doors.  I still wasn’t sure what I would use to support the screening, but at least it would fit two of my requirements:  it would allow air to circulate and the seeds would be easy to water.  While kneeling in the aisles comparing materials and dimensions, I noticed adjustable window screens and had my ah-ha moment.  They were perfect in every way.  The light wood and aluminum frame offered the support I needed and the screen would deter the four-legged pests.  Hurray!

With a bit of trial and hardly any error, the plan worked.  I tied a pair of the adjustable screens together using garden twine.  I folded them tee-pee style over the planter boxes and determined the angle and width of the sides.  I made a template using the back side of one of last year’s calendar, then cut scraps of an old screen into the correct shape.  Mike helped me staple those in place along the ends.  I now have functional, reusable tents for my planters.  The last step was to figure out a way to secure the tents to the planter boxes.  I found my answer on my husband’s work bench: sliding window locks!

I will bravely plant more seeds this week.  Once they emerge I’ll report back.  Wish my luck.

Assembling the Squirrel Barrier

Squirrel Barriers


22 thoughts on “Thwarting Squirrels: A Different Kind of Screensaver

  1. Great idea, Alys! One of my favorite things is to come up with economical solutions using materials intended for other purposes. The employees at Home Depot are no help whatsoever, not for lack of trying but because they only think in terms of what’s in their department, when the solution might involve materials found in a very unlikely department. When they approach asking to help me find what I’m looking for, I usually tell them I don’t KNOW what I’m looking for, but I’ll know it when I see it!


    • Thank you!

      In the end, it was better that they didn’t have what I was looking for. My screensavers are working out so far (day 4). A few seedlings survived, untouched. I planted more seeds yesterday, and they too remain untouched.


  2. Read the “Right to Know” article about the struggles of Canadian Farmer Percy S. As a Canadian, I’m embarassed to say this is the first knowledge I have of this situation and GMO products. Thanks for opening my eyes.


    • I’m so glad you found the link informative. I only knew of it peripherally, and was also grateful to find the articles and links. I thought it was important to share, and the blog roll feature allows me to do that.

      Knowledge is power. Spread the word!

      Thanks for commenting.

      PS I’m originally from London, Ontario but now live in California


  3. Ingenious! I love your creative resourcefulness! Very professional-looking, too. Hooray for your seedlings… may they thrive under your gentle care!


  4. BTW, I meant to mention that I think “a different kind of screensaver” is sheer genius, and that I love the word “thwart.” It’s so much fun to say. Thwart. Thwart. Thwart. 🙂


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