|This was the evidence left behind after a visit sometime during the night of October 8th|
I've done a number of things to deter them. I put out a non-poisonous animal repellent. I planted the bed with prickly Agaves. I buried clay pot shards, points up, just below the soil's surface throughout the bed. I added Euphorbia after Alison at Bonney Lassie said her local raccoons avoided it. I initiated late night pre-bedtime patrols with a flashlight. For a short while, I thought my approach was working. There was evidence of digging but none of the plant-tossing and broad-scale digging shown above. After cleaning up that incident, I added more tomato cages, replanted my plant shards, and refreshed my animal repellent. All was calm - for one night. Then this:
|This was the scene on Saturday morning, October 11th - it didn't look too bad at first glance|
|On closer inspection, it looked worse|
|2 of the 3 new Euphorbia rigida were left with their roots exposed - too small perhaps to have any impact as a deterrent|
|Things looked worse when I viewed the bed from the other direction|
|I'm glad my new silver Leucadendron was protected by a tomato cage|
|As was the Grevillea|
Everything has been replanted - again. The holes have been filled and tamped down. Clay shards have been replaced. I've given up on the repellent - I think the raccoons have become immune to it, or perhaps now believe that it signals the presence of grubs. I've added more tomato cages and picked up gopher cages, inverting them and pinning them into the ground. It remains to be seen whether that'll have an effect.
|Upside-down wire basket designed to protect plants from gophers|
Every morning, I check my plant bed - and the entire garden - with great trepidation. What's really galling? There's a wide expanse of freshly-turned dirt nearby, where my husband and I continue to clear the former lawn area of grass roots, sod netting, and rocks. The raccoons ignore it.
|Freshly turned, dig-able dirt, mere feet away - untouched!|
My husband ignores my rants. So does my cat.
|Pipig doesn't care a whit about the raccoons|
|She just wants to be left alone to nap|
Next up: the purchase of a motion-activated sprinkler. It gets mixed reviews, especially with respect to raccoons, but I'm desperate. I also bought milky spores to add to the soil to inhibit the development of the next generation of grubs - whether or not that works, it could take a year or more to determine. If none of these things work, I may cover the entire area with rock boulders.
If you have a solution that's worked for you, please share.
All material © 2012-2014 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party