Garden Update; Still Battling the Monsters

by formerchef on May 4, 2009

We are still fighting the good fight against the raccoons.
They tear down my fence, I repair it.
I sprinkle pepper everywhere, they use it to season the onions they steal from my garden.
I buy “Critter-Repellent” which contains the urine of larger predators, they reply by leaving poop in my garden pathways.

Actually, to be fair, it seemed as if the Critter Repellent worked, at least for about 5 days, and then they came back with a vengeance, breaking the bamboo posts, tearing down the netting, and digging big holes. In the process they destroyed most of the newly planted seedlings I’d gown myself. I’ve ordered more of the repellent and put out more pepper in the meantime. They haven’t been back for a few days so I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

tomato050209 Out of all the tomatoes I planted, some are doing quite well, with fruit already, and some, just look sickly. I have no idea why, I’m just hoping the remaining plants give me enough tomatoes. I guess planting 9 wasn’t too many given that I lost one to the raccoons, and two are dying.

As I said, I planted my seedlings (chard, spinach, beets, leeks, arugula and basil). None are doing well, so I planted more seeds directly in the garden bed, in hopes they might sprout. The raccoons ate all but one or two of my onions and all of my potatoes. I planted more potatoes in pots and they have started to sprout. When they get bigger, I will move them into the beds.

The zucchini and yellow squash are doing well and the snap beans are ok, but the blue lake green beans I grew from seeds are suddenly looking sickly. Yesterday I put a stick next to the snap beans in hopes of getting one to grow up to the arch above it. Overnight, it latched on to the stick like a baby monkey to its momma, twirled around it and grew about 6 inches!

Last night the raccoons got in again. They are clever those little ones. This time they went under the fence, instead of over and only dug where they can reach. We also noticed another trend; they usually come after I water. The water must bring out the goodies they dig for.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Bob May 4, 2009 at 2:37 pm

Two words: .22 rifle.

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2 formerchef May 4, 2009 at 2:42 pm

Funny, but one word: no.

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3 Anise May 9, 2009 at 4:45 pm

I was talking to a Midwestern farmer today (mother of a friend) and she said the only thing that ever worked for raccoons was live traps, and then taking them 30 miles away, preferably on the other side of a large river…

With my recent excess strawberries, I made a similar strawberry pie, but instead of the chocolate, pureed together about 1/3rd of the berries and mixed them with some lemon juice, sugar syrup, and cornstarch a la the Joy of Cooking recipe. Then the berry syrup got poured over the remaining whole berries.

It was good, and a nice compromise between my mother’s tradition of whole berries in pie and Adam’s family’s tradition of gloppy pies.

Of course, the next day, Mac asked if I could share with him a bit of my last slice, after he’d eaten his. I was generous and gave him about 1/3rd, and he promptly called Eowyn, our dog, over and invited _her_ to share the pie off his fork.
I was not amused.

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4 formerchef May 9, 2009 at 4:52 pm

There are so many raccoons, trapping them would be a full time job. Not to mention all the stray kitties who might accidentally get trapped. The strawberry pie sounds good; loved that mac shared with the dog! :-)

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5 Tim B. August 22, 2009 at 4:15 pm

Dog?

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6 Kyle September 23, 2009 at 4:35 am

Thank you for this recipe!

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