The Raccoons that visit my garden tend to talk to me.
As you can see, this one informed me that he was getting tired of his diet of cat food and is longing for another summertime feast of my sweet corn! To that I say NOT THIS YEAR MR. RACCOON!
Every year I attempt to grow a small patch of corn, and every year I get to watch the stalks grow healthy and strong. I also get to watch many wonderful ears develop, but when its just about time to pick those succulent sweet ears ... the local raccoons have a night corn eating garden party! They take every last ear and scatter the cobs all around the yard!
This year the only corn they will get is the few kernels left on the cobs that they find on top of the compost pile! The corn I plan to grow is Bicolor Mirai 301BC which I wrote about in a previous post. The coons won't get any Mirai corn from the garden because number three on my 2007 to do list is to build a raccoon proof fence around that corn! I can't afford to fence in the entire garden, so I am just fencing in the center of the garden and I will grow the corn inside the fence.
"But raccoons can climb a fence" you might be thinking. I'm going to do three things to combat this. First I will make the pumpkin patch but up against one side of the fence (the one furthest from the house and closest to the woods). Raccoons hate trying to get through and over pumpkin vines. Second, I will grow cucumbers ON the fence. According to Carrots Love Tomatoes, raccoons detest cucumbers, so they probably won't try to climb over them. If they remember how much fun they've had at their annual corn eating party and are determined to not let this companion planting bother them, I think my third trick will stop them.
I found a raccoon remedy in another one of my favorite books called Jeff Cox's 100 Greatest Garden Ideas: Tips, Techniques, and Projects for a Bountiful Garden and a Beautiful Backyard. One of the 100 great ideas shows how to securely attach the bottom of a roll of chicken wire to the top of the fence and leave the top of the chicken wire unsupported. You also bend the chicken wire out a little and leave it floppy. If a raccoon reaches the top of the fence and begins climbing on the chicken wire, his weight will cause the chicken wire to fold down on him and dump him off.
I will post plenty of pictures after I get the fence built. I will also report what my raccoon friends have to say about it! Of course they may take their revenge by convincing their deer friends to jump over the fence, but that is material for another post!
So there you have it - number three on my 2007 Garden to do list!