Doug Hackbarth - Broadview Florist & GreenhousesI was recently asked how to keep raccoons out of the corn patch and really only knew of one sure way to accomplish that task…an electric wire. As a grower of thousands of vegetable plants, hosta and garden mums, as well as many other “tasty” plants, I have had to compete with deer, ground hogs and raccoons. The electric wire kept them all away. The electric wire is not something that you can simply go and install yourself easily. It is dangerous and costly if you do it right. You must consider neighborhood children and pets and figure that they will also have a run-in with the wire.

After some research I found some safer methods which may, or may not work. One was to buy an electric (or battery powered) device from Yard Guard which sends out a high pitch sound that keeps all critters away. Simply “goggle” electonicpestcontrolpro.com for more detailed information. Another product known as Shake-Away is an organic pesticide that is safe around your other plants, children and pets and can be found under critter-repelent.com.

But here is the simplest, least expensive method of all. Surround your garden with cucumber plants started from seeds. There is something about those prickly plants that raccoons just hate to walk through. It was first suggested to me that cucumbers be planted all throughout the corn rows to keep raccoons from eating the corn. Try it-what have you got to lose.