Raccoons can wreak havoc on your harvest, especially when you're trying to grow sweet corn (Zea mays), which in addition to other plant and animal matter, is part of their diet. Hardy to U.S. Department of Agriculture planting zones 4 through 8, sweet corn is favored by these masked bandits during its ripening stage. (See References 1 and 2) To avoid a disappointing harvest, there are various things you can do to keep raccoons out of your garden.
Fence Them Out
Although a 3-foot-tall chicken-wire fence might keep other unwanted garden critters out, raccoons are good climbers, and won't let that stop them from getting to your sweet corn. That is, unless you top your fence with electrical wire. (See References 2) Another effective alternative to keep these uninvited visitors out of your garden, is a two-wire electric fence placed around your garden. Suspend the first wire about 5 inches above the ground around the perimeter of your garden, and the second wire about 10 inches above the ground. (See References 3)
Scare Them Off
Various scare tactics can make raccoons think twice about going near your corn. Placing a portable radio or outside and keeping it on all night might work. You can also try lighting up your garden with lanterns so theses nighttime scavengers stay away. Other scare tactics you can use include motion-activated water sprayers, scarecrows, and streamers and pinwheels. Always have a backup plan, such as a fence, when using theses scare tactics, because they might lose their effectiveness after a few days, when the critters notice that they're harmless. (See References 2, 4, and 5)
Interplant Other Plants
Planting other plants between your sweet corn can help deter raccoons. Pumpkins (Cucurbita spp.), which thrive in garden within USDA plant hardiness...