The Q&A Archives: help with racoons!!

Question: I've just planted my vegetable garden with tomatoes, lettuce, jalapeno peppers and bean and sunflower seeds. Our local racoon family has been digging up the garden. They seem to be most interested in the seeds. Is there something I can do to keep them out of my garden?

Answer: A family of raccoons is going to do more damage than simply digging up seeds. As your plants grow they will visit to see what you're growing and then they will begin taste testing. the second the veggies are ripe the raccoons will harvest them while you sleep. There are some commercial products available such as pepper sprays but in my neighborhood the raccoons aren't even slightly deterred by them. To be honest, you may need to cage your plants in chicken wire (well anchored so they can't dig under) or cage the entire garden. I know gardeners who invest in a couple of packages of tree bird netting, pound 6' stakes around their gardens and then secure the birdnetting to the stakes, burying the ends and anchoring them down securely. You can still see the garden but the raccoons won't be able to get in. Of course you'll need to get into the area periodically to weed, etc. so plan on lifting one side of the bird netting for access - but be sure to secure it well when you've finished working in the garden.

Best wishes with your garden.

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