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Corn Is Being Eaten, Help!

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2006
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by milwaukee on July 10, 2006 01:34 PM
I live in a downtown area and I'm trying to grow corn on the cob (sweet corn). My corn was doing quite well up untill recently, when the plants started to get eaten. I'm not sure if its squirrels or racoons but either way, I'm losing the battle. I had six plants. One plant was chewed down, and another is being worked over pretty well.
Plants are in a planter box that is not fenced in or anything.
My neighbors have a family of racoons living under their porch. I don't know what to do. My tomatoes are not being eaten not is anything else in the garden.
Please Help.
Thank You very much.
by Amigatec on July 10, 2006 01:48 PM
Squirrels do like corn. Two years ago they had a good time eating mine.

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One OS to rule them, one OS to find them:
One OS to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the Land of Redmond where the shadows lie.
by milwaukee on July 10, 2006 03:15 PM
I found this information I plan to take advantage of:

Squirrels and Raccoons
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Squirrels--chipmunks, marmots, prairie dogs, and woodchucks are all in the squirrel family--can be more of a nuisance than a pest. Still, they can destroy plants in your garden and shamelessly gobble up bird seed from feeders.

Raccoons, which are more intelligent than cats, can be easily trained. But if you don't want to go that route--training them to leave your garden and trash alone--try these true and tested tips.

Castor Oil
Repel squirrels by mixing 1/2 cup castor oil and two gallons water and using the solution to water your vegetable garden. The castor oil enriches the soil while simultaneously repulsing rodents.

Crisco All-Vegetable Shortening
Keep squirrels away from a bird feeder by greasing the pole to the birdhouse with Crisco All-Vegetable Shortening. The squirrels will try to climb up the pole but will slide right back down, providing you with hours of free entertainment.

Epsom Salt
To repel raccoons, sprinkle a few tablespoons of Epsom Salt around your garden and garbage cans. Raccoons dislike the taste of salt. Repeat after rain. Epsom Salt is good for your plants and will not harm rodents.

McCormick Black Pepper
To keep squirrels and raccoons away from flowerbeds and vegetable gardens, sprinkle McCormick Black Pepper in your garden. These animals have a keen sense of smell and are repelled by the scent of pepper. After it rains, be sure to re-pepper the garden.

McCormick Ground (Cayenne) Red Pepper
Keep squirrels out of your bird feeder by sprinkling the birdseed with McCormick Ground Red Pepper. The birds cannot taste the pepper, but squirrels can--and want nothing to do with it.

Pam Original Cooking Spray
Coat the pole of a bird feeder with Pam Cooking Spray, which works in the same way that Crisco does.

Peppermint Oil, Cotton Balls, and L'eggs Sheer Energy Panty Hose
Saturate a few cotton balls with McCormick Peppermint Oil, place inside the foot of a pair of clean, used L'eggs Sheer Energy Panty Hose, and hang from a fence post, tree branch, or bush. The smell of mint repels squirrels and raccoons.

Slinky
To prevent squirrels from climbing up the pole to a bird feeder, secure a Slinky to the bottom of the feeder and let it hang down the pole. The bouncing springs will frighten away animal intruders.

Tabasco Pepper Sauce, Chili Powder, and Ivory Dishwashing Liquid
Mix three teaspoons Tabasco Pepper Sauce, one teaspoon McCormick Chili Powder, 1/2 teaspoon Ivory Dishwashing Liquid, and two cups water in a 16-ounce trigger-spray bottle. Spray the solution into the soil around freshly planted bulbs, tulip beds, and young trees to repel squirrels and chipmunks.

Tidy Cats
Repel squirrels and chipmunks from flowerbeds by sprinkling a tablespoon of used Tidy Cats cat box filler (yes, used) on the ground around the base of each flower. (Do not use the cat box filler in vegetable or herb gardens.)

Vaseline Petroleum Jelly
Coat the pole of a bird feeder with Vaseline Petroleum Jelly to prevent squirrels from being able to climb up the pole.
by Amigatec on July 10, 2006 03:26 PM
quote:
Originally posted by milwaukee:


Crisco All-Vegetable Shortening
Keep squirrels away from a bird feeder by greasing the pole to the birdhouse with Crisco All-Vegetable Shortening. The squirrels will try to climb up the pole but will slide right back down, providing you with hours of free entertainment.


[Big Grin] [Big Grin] [clappy] [clappy]
I like this one!!

Or you may try this one!

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* * * *
 -
 -
One OS to rule them, one OS to find them:
One OS to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the Land of Redmond where the shadows lie.
by Soilmover on July 10, 2006 03:32 PM
Racoons and deer are my worst enemies! [Mad] The best measure for me this year has been a simple plastic netting/fence that I bought. Its 7 feet tall and because its so thin its really see through but sturdy enough to keep the deer from walking through my patch and grazing. Its to flexible for the racoons to climb I think. They might figure out how to get under it. This is my first year with the fence. Last year I lost 1500 sq ft of sweet corn and some popcorn to mostly racoon raids over the summer.

According to PBS Victory garden racoons have a nose for when sweet corn is a few days of being ripe for humans and then they raid it. I'll vouch for that after last years disaster. Just as it was about ready to eat they would go town and destroy all that was just about good to pick.

I read too were the University of IL did a test and found the Dial brand of bar soap to be very effective in keeping deer and racoons out of sweet corn. My corn is a few weeks away from harvest time. But I plan to get some Dial soap to go with my fencing. I'm not taking any chances after being wiped out most of time last year.

Good luck in whatever option you try. Its frustrating to grow for so long and have it gone in just one night!

Andy
by woodchuck on July 10, 2006 11:05 PM
Hey, fellow cheddar lover, if what you printed doesn't work out I have 400' of the Deerblock material that Soilmover mentioned, the deer walked right through it, but it is meant to be wrapped around bushes or smaller groups of plants not used as a stand alone fence, you can have some if you want.

Here's some information that was interesting to me anyway, from - Carrots Love Tomatoes (Secrets of Companion Planting for Successful Gardening) by Louise Roitt, pg.137.
Raccoon(Procyn lotor). Farmers have been planting pumpkins and corn together for centuries to discourage raccoons. Put the pumkin seeds about four feet apart, and as the corn approaches maturity the big, wide pumpkin leaves grow around the stalks. It is believed that the coons will not come into the corn rows because they like to be able to stand up and look around while they eat, and the big leaves make that impossible.

Good luck in your battle against four legged thieves.
by milwaukee on July 14, 2006 02:37 PM
Woodchuck-
That's a very generous offer. I appreciate it. The generosity of members on sites like this amazes me.

I don't think I'll ned the deer screen anymore, my corn is now trashed. Coons or squirrels have had their way with my plants. I'll use what I've learned for next year.
I'm a bit bummed by what happened, but i learned, so that counts for something.

I lve in Milwaukee, how about you?
by woodchuck on July 14, 2006 03:21 PM
Depending on where in the Brew City, I am about 1hr west.

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