Mulching downsides

I started year-before-last to use a straw mulch to help control weeds and add some organic matter to our soil here . This in addition to going pesticide-free because of our bees has caused a population explosion in the insect life , particularly worms and grubs . That increased population has attracted the critters that eat them ... particularly 'possums and 'coons . And they are raising hell out in the garden . Not a morning goes by that I don't have to put one or more plants back in the ground , mostly the peppers . I bought an electric fence setup mostly for deer (which aren't usually a problem this early on) , but it looks like I need to get it installed and run one wire about 5"-6" from the ground to try to keep the small critters out . Has this worked for any of y'all or am I wasting my time trying ? The alternative is either live traps or bullets ... the problem is that there's basically an endless supply of critters when you live in a clearing out in the woods , and I can't trap or kill them all .
--
Snag



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Terry Coombs wrote:

often that is because the starter mix or fertilizers used smell like fish or goodies that they like to eat.
the raccoons used to do that to the onion plants we put in that were grown as plugs in trays. so we stopped planting them outside the fenced areas and that has kept them from bothering them again.

yep. we trap and move raccoons, possumes and groundhogs but there is an endless supply that will keep coming in. if i don't trap i use the air-rifle to deter them if i can see them (groundhogs). had one run very fast yesterday to get away. :) usually that can keep them away somewhat where i can be sure to get something of a harvest. last year i trapped and moved a whole family and knew there was one left we didn't get. they do like sunflower seeds ( raccoons do too).
i wish i had the stomach to kill/clean these critters as then at least we'd be getting something useful from them for the efforts. but as of yet i'm not that hungry or desperate. i guess it is good to know that i could probably easily live off the land here if i have to.
songbird
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Terry Coombs wrote: ...

oh, the other thing i forgot to mention is planting decoy areas further out along the edges away from the gardens to help encourage critters to stay over there and away from the more protected gardens.
we have the fence for deer too. requirement here. and we also don't bother to grow sweet corn as that draws raccoons even over the fence. for the number of times we eat it (three or four) it's better to just get it from the store or from a neighbor who's nice enough to bring some to us.
songbird
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Gardening in or near the woods, you'll likely need a more substantial fence than a single hot wire 6" off the ground, though some electrification certainly helps - but coons are not stupid, so you have to try and be smarter than they are; and you might as well get the thing up on a permanent basis; you'll need it, the critters are out there.
--
Cats, coffee, chocolate...vices to live by
Please don't feed the trolls. Killfile and ignore them so they will go away.
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Ecnerwal wrote: ...

we don't have an electric fence on the main garden area where most of the veggies are planted but it is tall enough to keep the deer out. this seems to deter the raccoons enough too (as long as they can't smell anything edible in there).
what they don't know is that i bury about 150,000 worms in there each spring when i plant. they have never got in them at all (i hope they can't read :) ).
songbird
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On 5/22/2016 9:51 AM, songbird wrote:

plus the skins make nice gloves, caps, etc. My extended family always had a mess of coon dogs and we went nearly every weekend in the winter, at night, to run coons. Was one way to keep them from decimating the corn crop and other crops and was a lot of fun for a batch of young boys.
When we were young marrieds I planted two acres of corn. Raccoons got most of it by hitting every night. I tried the electric fence and it worked for a bit. Found the best way was to put the hound out there on a long rope and he could keep them down to a minimum.
All of that may be the reason I don't care much for corn on the cob anymore. <G>
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Terry Coombs wrote: ...

they like sunflower seeds as bait in the trap, so do possums and groundhogs.
we'd cleared out most of the chipmunks last year and i'd not seen any of those around until the other day when i saw one running out front and today i saw one out front and in back.
the strawberries in one garden are starting to get some red to them. these are the unwatered and un noticed plants i put in to wander through the alfalfa/trefoil patch. i'm going to have to pick some soon.
the past few days we've had sprinklings of rain, we could really use some. as usual it is going north and south of us. we had a few drops today. might get some more tonight...
g.l. and good news on getting the roof on. :)
we're in the middle of planting and getting things weeded and ready. for me getting the north garden weeded and planted (outside of the fences) was nice - everything else is much easier (but not as much fun).
cheers... :)
songbird
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On 5/27/2016 8:28 PM, songbird wrote:

Most of the roadways around us were flooded so we stayed home except for a run to the stupor market near by to get in some grub.
Looks like there may be more rain today.
George
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George Shirley wrote: ...

i washed the car yesterday and waxed it this morning. first time i've washed or waxed it in many years, it was looking pretty sad... sits outside, no cover, plus all the farmers have been planting so a lot of dust and also spring pollen in the air. and of course, plenty of bird poo.
if that's not a rain dance what is? as i was trying to wipe off the last bit of wax a quick storm came through.
i can go out now and finish. i have some wax left-over to use up so i will do the hood and top a second time. i don't know if it makes all that much difference, but i'd like to get rid of the container.
we need a lot more rain. forecast is calling for it, but we'll see...
songbird
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On 5/28/2016 9:08 AM, songbird wrote:

this coming week and maybe more.
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George Shirley wrote:

almost none of it happened. just a few drips here or there and one time where the driveway actually got wet. my car looked like it never had anything done to it. there has been so much pollen and dust in the air. a layer of green and brown dust.
then finally some rain last night. :) i haven't checked the guages yet, but at least the ground looks wet for a change. more rains forecast this week. i hope we get every one of them. the ground is very dry still.
songbird
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