Ernie DeMarie via pbs pbs@lists.pacificbulbsociety.net
Sat, 27 Jun 2020 07:26:34 PDT
Raccoons are a real menace here as they get into the pool and eat fish.  But of course the thing that really ticks me off is that they chew up waterlily flowers and go dig up the rhizomes so roots end up floating on the surface. So they must be trapped and removed but the havahart traps are not consistent in trapping them, either they have some clever way to get the bait (marshmallows and or peanut butter work well) or they perhaps dont scoot end all the way and are able to back out.  We've also had them bend traps (their newer traps are not as sturdy as the old ones were) and in one case they took off the handle while inside and we never found where it went.  That trap has to be carried by my wife and myself both when it gets a raccoon.  Most often the raccoons are afraid and remain quiet till release (very far away--best to go 15 or more miles as they are supposedly good at finding their way back) but occasionally we get an aggressive one that hisses and carries on.  Those can be quite scary at times.  Grace breaks down any large cardboard boxes we get to make flat pieces of cardboard to put in the back of my car as they are needed.  Why?  Because the disgusting raccoons tend to crap and otherwise make a mess of the bottom of their cage and this prevents getting the back of the car dirty.  We keep several layers of cardboard in there at all times, so we can throw away dirty pieces as needed.  Transporting them is not fun either, they stink and windows need to be kept open.  I don't know how to set up an electric fence, especially around a pool with brick patio on one side and a cement walk on the other.  For the root problems, we have recently started taking the bird mesh and tying rocks to it, placing it over any roots floating on the surface, and sinking it to trap the roots and bring them back down.  We  are hoping that the mesh will confuse future raccoon efforts to dig up waterlily roots and rhizomes. This year the chipmunks decimated the crocus more so than usual.  This in spite of frequent trapping and removal.  For some reason their population was extremely high this spring but it seems to be coming down a bit lately.   If it werent for certain mammals, gardening would be a hell of a lot easier....Ernie DeMarieZ6/7 border NY where Alstroemeria aurea is making quite a show and is self seeding a bit.  Buds on some agapanthus, lilies beginning to open with more to come, earlier season hemerocallis blooming nicely, and some dierama still in flower.  Weather has been oddly dry and sunny for weeks but rain is coming today.  Overall this kind of weather is very good for most of what I grow. 

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