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  • Animal Pests

    I am growing jalapeno, cherry bomb, and red peppers in pots in my urban backyard.

    Some kind of raccoon or other city dwelling creature is clawing up my plants and eating the peppers.

    Any suggestions on how to discourage them from my plants?

    It's a shared backyard with children so... dangerous traps or poison aren't an options... not that I'd want to go that route anyway.

    Thanks for your suggestions! :)

  • #2
    They're eating the hot peppers?* Are the peppers disappearing or just chewed on?* Are both the sweet and hot peppers effected?* Birds come to mind, but they would also go for the tomatoes for the moisture.* Deer and rabbits will eat the leaves.* Deer eat the tops and rabbits eat the lower leaves.

    Newt

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    • #3
      Well, they're eating the red pepper and only half eating the hot peppers. There are claw marks on a lot of the peppers and broken limbs and leaves. I don't think deers could make it this far into the city...

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      • #4
        I am stumped.* You could dust the area with flour from your pantry.* In the morning check the prints.
        http://www.cityofmelrose.org/departm...cks/tracks.jpg

        I don't know of any animals that eat hot peppers.* Try covering your plants with deer or bird netting and tuck it under the pots or hold it down with rocks or bricks.

        Newt

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        • #5
          I will try dusting just as soon as it stops raining here.

          A friend of mine suspects some sort of bug or worm, but I doubt a bug would be able to knock limbs over and create claw marks. Perhaps I have two separate problem.

          Who knew gardening could be such hard work!

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          • #6
            Rain?* Oh my, that would be nice.* :)* Please let me know what you find when things dry out.

            Newt

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            • #7
              I have had some success in the past when growing vegetables, of planting marigolds alongside the veggie plants. Something I believe about the scent deters pests...now clawing critters, not sure about that.

              Could it be squirrels or chipmunks? They LOVE digging in containers. Fortunately, I have enough bird feeders that keep the squirrels busy that they pretty much leave my containers alone.

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              • #8
                try some pebbles

                It sounds like something like a squirrel or chipmunk is rooting around in the containers. I have the same trouble and have tried luring them away with peanuts at the feeders. (I've located the feeders on the opposite side of the yard, to help keep them from the containers.) This works for a while, but then more squirrels come into my yard looking for the nuts. I have found that pea gravel on top of the soil seems to keep them out, and I think my containers look pretty, too! Good luck!

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                • #9
                  Pfeffer, just be sure to use the shelled peanuts. If you use the ones with the shells on they are more likely to bury them. Without the shells they eat them and don't save them for later.

                  Newt

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                  • #10
                    great information

                    Newt,
                    Thanks so much for that important information about the nuts. I did not know that.
                    Thanks,
                    Pfeffer

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                    • #11
                      I went on a LOVELY garden tour this past weekend and one of the homes that we visited, the host had many, many container gardens. I noticed that she had the small, white rocks (the ones that look almost bleached). I commented on that to the gardener and she told me that it is a wonderful way to keep "vermin" from digging in the containers. She did have some lovely gardens with sedum and chicks that had pea gravel as well. It made such a lovely contrast with the plants also.

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                      • #12
                        Pfeffer, you are so very welcome! I remember one winter we'd had a huge snow storm and I couldn't get out to the store. My hubby had accidentally bought a large bag of peanuts with their shells on and I'd never used them. I spent quite a while breaking the peanut shells so I could feed the squirrels in the snow.

                        Newt

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                        • #13
                          Ncgardengirl, I love those tours and have gotten some wonderful ideas from them too. One of those is the use of pine cones or gum tree cones placed on the surface of potted plants to keep the cats off.

                          Newt

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