Saturday, June 27, 2009

Help! Advice for a discouraged gardner?

It stared with a severe thunderstorm Friday night that turned into marble sized hail.The plants didn't seem to be suffering too badly and I couldn't move them all. So I left them in place.
Next morning this is the sight that greeted me. Every planter had been dug up! It wasn't enough to fight the bugs and slugs but now some four footed critter is doing severe damage!
Remember those lovely begonias? This is the same plant.

I've had squirrels dig up a plant every now and then but nothing like this! I suspect raccoons. But why would they do this? What are they looking for? They have been emptying my little cans full of beer that I put out for the slugs. They have developed a taste for slugs marinated in beer. It was getting expensive to buy that much beer so I switched to water with sugar and yeast. So if it was raccoons, they weren't drunk!

I have heard mothballs to discourage squirrels and moles but what can I do here? Both the squirrels and raccoons have been pests about eating our bird suet. Many days we give up and bring it in. The raccoons will even come during the day. Of course we bring all the bird food in at night. Last night we forgot the squirrel-buster seed feeder and found it off the hook and on the ground! Maybe I should borrow a dog and tie him near the flower pots for a few nights. Tonight I am leaving the back light on.

Any suggestions?

4 comments:

The Thrifty Countrywoman said...

If the raccoons are bold enough to come during the day, I don't think there's much you can do to scare them off! I was going to suggest a motion detector light, but I think these little beggars are too far gone for that!

Jane

Alea said...

A dog is the only way I know to keep racoons away. I do have a friend who has employed the use of electric fencing, but it is not really an attractive solution: http://web1.msue.msu.edu/imp/modwl/11209809.html

Hi, I'm Troy. said...

An alternative way to protect your garden from raccoons, (and I know this is going to sound funny at first,) is to feed them.

Raccoons love cat food, and if there is a plentiful supply easily obtained, they have no motivation to dig through your garden to find food.

It doesn't get rid of the raccoons, but it may help save your plants.

Carolina Mama said...

Hey, Thanks for stopping by. It is fun to pormote NC. :) Thought you would also want to know we lived in Reston, Virginia for a few years! Good times!