The raccoons and I have waged war over sweet corn for over twenty years. Since our main garden is an eighth of a mile from the house, it’s difficult to protect it from marauders. An electric fence would help tremendously, but the garden is large (90’ x 54’) and I really didn’t want to spend the money. I don’t want lot of corn, just enough to put a few pints in the freezer and have a few meals of fresh corn-on-the-cob.
I usually don’t have any trouble with raccoons until the day before I’m about to pick the sweet corn. I’m convinced they have ESP and know when I’m planning to harvest. Every year, I think I can outwit them and every year I go up to the garden with bucket in hand only to find the ears ravaged. As I watched the corn thrive this summer, I decided that this would be my last year growing of sweet corn. The game I’d played with the raccoons had become too wearisome, and I was throwing in the towel. This year was particularly hopeless, because we were going to be away from the farm right when the corn would be at its peak.
While in Indiana, I tried my best not to think about how the raccoons were pillaging the garden. When we returned home, I couldn’t believe my eyes. Only half a dozen stalks were torn up and the rest were untouched. For once, I picked enough corn to freeze and to enjoy fresh. Victory!
So how did I beat the raccoons at their game this year? Mostly luck. However, I also used my husband’s suggestion to plant twice as much corn in hopes that I could pick a few before the raccoons wrecked the entire patch. It was a good strategy not only to keep the raccoons at bay, but it also helped the quality of the corn. More corn meant better pollination.
Will this truly be my last year of growing sweet corn? No way. That was too much fun. I’m doing this again next year!