Squirrels and chipmunks are fun to watch, but they are the most difficult to keep away from your corn and sunflowers. A fence wont keep them out, not even an electric one. They jump so well and scurry into the garden so fast that an electric shock doesn’t stop them. In the sweet corn or popcorn rows, squirrels climb right up the stalks and eat the ears. They’re so smart they often only work the inside rows so you don’t notice them. In a row of sunflowers and corn they can jump from one stalk to the next as if they were in a tree. In a small garden you may be able to use old stockings or cheesecloth on the sunflower heads and corn ears to foil the squirrels at harvest time, but often this only delays them for about 12 seconds. In a big Heirloom / Open Pollinated Vegetable Garden, an active, slightly hungry cat or dog may be your only option.
Signs of squirrel or chipmunk damage includes plants and bulbs dug up, especially just after they have been planted in the soil. Some feel they do this because they feel that there space has been invaded, I feel they do this because they are looking for food and fresh Heirloom / Open Pollinated Vegetable plants or freshly dug soil are full of possibilities. Traps are about the only effective control for chipmunks or squirrels. Use a 5″ x 5″ x 15″ box trap, baited with peanuts or other nut meats.