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Good morning all!

stairs from the garden

Garden challenges can sometimes be an uphill climb. Let me share what I learned this summer.

Back to garden topics: I am having issues with not ONE but THREE adult racoons who have been a nuisance in my Free Union gardens since May. They really appreciate my organic gardening efforts as they visit every night.

Once we figured out what was invading/defecating, I conferred with our local wildlife center and tried all of their repellant suggestions. When lights, noise, and ammonia were not not effective, I continued my quest. This morning, I want to share DOES work, so that my garden followers may add these to their battery of knowledge.

I love racoons, yet they have been a huge nuisance this year. Since early spring, I wracked my brain to outsmart/repel the digging/climbing critters.

animal whiskers raccoon

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What DOES work:

Spent (used) coffee grounds! I collect spent coffee grounds from our local Whole Foods Market barista (they are happy to give to me) and then toss the grounds wherever the racoons are digging. I enjoy the scent of coffee, yet never acquired a taste for the beverage, as I cannot make it taste like the professionals. So, spreading the often warm grounds is pleasurable. Just wear old clothes and rubber gloves, as this process is messy and grounds scent lingers on skin.

beans brew caffeine coffee

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Did you know that spent coffee grounds become a neutral PH and add a nice dose of nitrogen to plants? Additionally, if you keep an earthworm farm or want to treat worms in your raised beds, those wigglers crave coffee grounds!

Back at Swallowtail Cottage: The family of racoons obsessed over my mature daffodil bulb/grape hyacinth beds during August and I just discovered that if I applied pine bark mulch over the area, the racoons quit digging there! Voila! So off to Lowe’s I went with Auto for bags of the stuff. I can never apply too much mulch here…hence my nickname “Mulchqueen”. I should own a pine forest.

tall trees

Photo by Trygve Finkelsen on Pexels.com

With this newfound knowledge, yesterday I applied (very fragrant) pine mulch to an area where I just planted new echinacea plants and, yay! this AM, NO DIGGING! Hurrah!

Who knew?

Ah ha!  My plan for next April/May when my blueberries bloom/fruit, I plan to strew plenty of coffee grounds around that area to ward off predation. And hopefully the silly raccoons will not do a repeat performance and get tangled in the draped tulle! 😉

Let me know if this garden tidbit is helpful. Or perhaps this is common knowledge and I missed that memo. Either way, please share this post with other gardeners where racoons are a problem.

A green/sustainable solution, yes? Since coffee shops are a dime a dozen around the planet, most of them will gladly give gardeners the spent grounds to work wonders in their gardens. Just bring your own bucket.

Coffee filters are also biodegradable, so add them to your raised beds for a carbon hit.

Off to more garden chores. Look forward to the first frost and fewer biting insects. Alas, I will miss hosting summer hummingbirds.

Happy fall. Happy gardening!

falll in the foothills of the Blue Ridge

Let me know in the comments section if this information helps.

Copyright © 2019 by Diane LaSauce All Rights Reserved