A friend from my homestate sent in a subscription for me to "Our Iowa" after feeling guilty for all those cans of Cougar Gold cheese I'd been sending them every Christmas.
In the latest issue, there's an article from a gardener in Decatur County who stumbled onto a yield-boosting practice quite by accident. I thought I would share it with you since it's both funny and helpful if you enjoy gardening, like me.
He was having trouble keeping racoons out of his garden. He'd tried sprays from garden stores but said the rabbits and racoons "kept treating my garden like their private salad bar". Then he read in a magazine that human hair somehow would keep them away and he figured it was worth trying.
So it was off to the local barber and beauty salon, asking them to save their clippings when they swept up each day and he would stop by at the end of the week. He spread the hair on the ground around and between the plants, "and darned if it didn't work!" That is, until it rained and the scent was washed away. Back to the barber and salon for more hair each time it rained and each time, it was a success.
"I'd been spreading the hair between just the three outside rows of tomatoes, figuring that was enough to discourage the racoons. Now I could tell the plants in those three rows were faring a lot better." So he spread more hair in the center rows to see if it made a difference there and it did! The rows with hair grew noticeably bigger tomatoes than the 'hairless' rows. Some the size of softballs!
This season, the hair is going around every row of every plant. He's had both the barber and salon owner save every clipping for this season and says he can't wait to get started. Guess the rabbits and 'coons will have to be content watching from the sidelines... or munch the neighbor's crop!
Here's more on the magazine: http://www.ouriowamagazine.com/