June "In The Grow" - Indiana Yard and Garden - Purdue Consumer Horticulture

June “In The Grow”

Recent columns about animals visiting your gardens sparked a great deal of mail. I’ll print some of the letters here, but I want to remind you that many of these suggested changes may keep the animals away for only a short time. If food supplies are scarce, your garden visitors will munch on soapy, hairy or peppered tomatoes. In addition, some home remedies can be dangerous. (Imagine the oft-repeated “remedy” concerning gasoline in mole holes!) Although a reader recommended mothballs, they cannot legally be used around food crops, and they are dangerous to use around kids or pets that might ingest them, so use them wisely and only around ornamental crops.

I read about the man having trouble with deer in his garden. We also had that trouble, and I went to our dirty clothes hamper, took one of my dirty shirts and hung it over a pole about 4 feet high. This did the job. One day I was talking to an elderly man and told him what I was doing to keep deer out of our sweet corn. He said to save some hair when we get it cut, put it in some cheesecloth and tie it upon the little pole. This has worked for us four straight years. – Ray R. Jones, Lamar, Ind.

Raccoons in the sweet corn patch? We planted Gurney’s Hybrid NK-199 Elephant Ears. We had sweet corn and no trouble. – An Adams County Reader

Saw your raccoon problem. I solved mine. I used my fence charger, using two wires six inches apart around my corn patch. No raccoons. – Raymond Livingston, Worthington, Ind.

No wolf is required to control Bambi! String up an electric fence (same thing we use for cattle) approximately 36 inches off the ground and when Bambi and cousins contact the wire, it will get their undivided attention (without killing or injuring them). For raccoons, locate the wire approximately six inches off the ground, just high enough they will have to crawl over, not under, and you can bet your sweet corn crop Ricky Raccoon and friends won’t be back for seconds.

Supplies required: electric fence charger, electric fence wire, electric fence posts and insulators, all available at your local farm supply store. To keep Bambi from polishing his antlers on your favorite small trees in the fall, have the fence up by mid-September. We know it works because we have had no damage since we started using the electric fencing. – Weldon E. Vaughn, Lafayette, Ind.

These two remedies keep ‘coons out of the sweet corn. We’ve used both over the last two years, and they work. No. 1 – Moth balls. Just lay a few in the rows of corn. Do not cover. No. 2 – Human hair. We have our beauty shop save the hair they cut for us. Just lay it in the rows of corn. – Tressie Carpenter, Spencer, Ind.

Well, that’s the advice from your neighboring gardeners. Exclusion (fencing) gets my vote. Coming up soon, we’ll revisit the mole issue!

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