organic gardening options attracting animals?

Galien, MI

Hi, I have some coffee grounds that I would like to use in the garden, some pepper spray for insects, in addition to getting some fish emulsion fertilizer. I'm not sure I want to use them, however, as memories of rodent rampages come to mind. Raccoons, woodchucks, rabbits, posseums, etc., all gravitated to the compost pile we had, regardless of the chili pepper powder or covers. In fact, I think the chili pepper attracted one of them. They will lull you into a false sense of security, and the moment you put something out such as bone meal, blood meal, or any freshly dug dirt, they rip everything up. I had a bag of organic fertilizer for 6 hours, placed on the porch, before it was torn open and strung across the driveway (although I think that particular coon died - hit by truck). Can anyone reassure me that adding the grounds and the other items won't attract stuff, or is there a way to use it that reduced the attraction? I've stopped using a compost pile for any food items because of all this.

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

I have a nocturnal critter that digs through the pathways - I think it's after the earthworms. Last year it dug through my raised beds, so I put up 2 ft high poulty fencing, which kept it out. This year, it seems content to stay within the pathways.

My backyard is completely fenced, and although I live within city limits, I've seen raccoons, opossum and lots of deer in the neighborhood.

Deep South Coastal, TX(Zone 10a)

I have a compost pile (vegetable matter only, no meat scraps) that the critters dig thru at night but they don't do much harm. I know we have raccoons and opossums around.
Like Honeybee, I too have critters dig in the pathways and steal an occasional tomato. I use coffee grounds around my plants and the only thing that bothers them is the kitten. He loves to play in them and bat them around.
I've had critters steal my organic fertilizer, I'm pretty sure that was a raccoon. I keep my bags of espoma fertilizer in used swimming pool chemical buckets with lids.

Orlando, FL

I was thinking of using the liquid fish emul. well diluted to deter the racoons it seemed the minute I started to use the stuff last time the racoons were there the next night...

Saylorsburg, PA(Zone 6a)

I would be interested also in a solution to the problem of using liquid fish emulsion. I sprayed some on my coir I was using to fill an Earth Box and something got into it spreading the coir all over the place. I then sprayed two clematis plants and the next morning one was completely dug out of the soil although it had been there for a year. I don't know what the animal is but maybe a raccoon or skunk? Now I am a little leary of using it at all. What can I put with it that makes it unattractive to the critters?!! The smell would keep me away but is a magnet for them!

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

Because Fish Fertilizer smells of "fish" - I suspect the digging critters might be cats!

Huntersville, NC

good info!

Nortonville, KS(Zone 6a)

Just recently ferltilized 5 new blueberry bushes (babies), each planted atop its well amended soil mound and caged in 8' circumference field fence. I also just bought organic ferltilizer for acid-loving plants and spread it around each plant. I guess I should have worked it into the soil, but I was afraid of damaging the roots, so I made do with watering in very well the fertilizer. Next, I covered heavily with pine bark mulch and watered that, too. A couple days later, 4 of the 5 blueberry mounds had been burrowed into, with one cage pushed off to the side (it only had one stake to secure it, so my bad on that). Nothing was done to the plant, but whatever critter it was (prolly Raccoon), made a mess of both the mulch and soil. I noticed narrow canal-like gouges from bottom edge of cage towards the bush stem, as if the darn raccoon was reaching through the cage opening to dig for the yummy fertilizer. Just my guess. So, then I wrapped the bottom of each cage in 2' poultry netting. We'll see how tenacious the critter is!

Galien, MI

I"m trying a mixture of coyote urine and peppermint oil now. I've heard good things about both, but some animals are more interested in food than they are repulsed by those smells. I'm spraying/dripping them in the area 1-2 days before planting, seeing what happens, and then planting and respraying/dripping. Hopefully that will disguise that there is anything new planted there. Try putting just the fertilizer in an unplanted section. Some people have found that using gloves prevents racoon digups. They can smell our scent, and are convinced we've planted a goodie down there somewhere, if they can just dig enough to find it. Sigh. Good luck!

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