Overcoming Winter Kill And My Own Personal Version Of Crop Circles

Welcome to the 289th Metamorphosis Monday!

So, remember when that awful ice storm hit Georgia this past winter and paralyzed all of metro Atlanta? It was in the news for days since so many folks were stranded on the interstates and roads, unable to get home for several days.

Ice Storm in Georgia, 2014 13


That ice storm did this to my “just-sodded-last-summer” front yard. I shared these pics on the blog in May of this year, dismayed that all the yards around me had greened up but mine still looked like this. I had never had a zoysia yard before so wasn’t sure when it would green up, but I knew I had a problem when everyone’s yard around me was green and mine wasn’t.

Zeon Grass Extremely Slow To Green Up4


I called my lawn service who told me it was “Winter Kill.” Ever heard of that? Yeah, me neither.

They said they were seeing a lot of it due to the bad winter we had here in north Georgia. Apparently, my yard was in worse shape than most because the grass was so new. It never had a chance to put down any really deep roots.  The little specks of green I was seeing popping up in the midst of all the dead areas gave me some hope.

Well, I wanted to show you how it’s looking today.


Zeon Grass Extremely Slow To Green Up2


How’s that for a before and after?! lol Quite a difference, huh?

Zeon Zoysia Recovering From Winter Kill


It took it all summer but it has almost completely recovered.

Zeon Zoysia Recovering From Winter Kill


This is how the area near the walkway looked in May. Notice my neighbor’s established zoysia yard across the street was already nice and green.

Zeon Grass Extremely Slow To Green Up5


The area closest to the walkway was one of the last areas to recover but it has finally filled in just over the last month. Maybe all that rain we’ve been getting has helped.

Also, I’ve have had a fabulous company helping me with it. They have worked really hard to help bring the yard back and I know it would not be looking as it does today without their excellent service. If you live in the Atlanta area and need a good lawn company, email me and I’ll be happy to share the name of the company I use.

Zeon Zoysia Recovering From Winter Kill


This area had been completely bare, nothing but dirt showing. It’s almost back…getting close now. Just wanted to share these pics since so many folks have left comments asking about the yard and if it ever came back. I never expected it to recover in one season. It was so bad, I thought it would take a few years.

Zeon Zoysia Recovering From Winter Kill


My Own Personal Version of Crop Circles

Remember this picture of the back yard right after the sod was installed last summer? I was sooo happy to finally have grass in my backyard.

Backyard with Zeon Sod (2)


About two months after it was installed, it looked like this–a total loss. This area gets a lot of shade so I never expected the grass to be super thick back here, but I didn’t expect this. No one could tell me what had happened, why it all died. I thought maybe it was because it rained so much last summer and maybe it had stayed too wet. I’m sure the ice storm didn’t help it any this winter, either.


1 037


Then about a month ago I awoke to this view!  What the hay?!  A bunch of the half-dead sod pieces had been flipped up. I suspected this was the work of the raccoons that come around every night hoping I’ve forgotten to bring the feeders in.

Raccoon Damage To Back Yard


One was even brave enough to visit in broad daylight this summer! He scampered off right after I took this photo. I was shocked he was brazen enough to come raid the feeder in the middle of the day!

Raccoon Eating From Bird Feeder


When I found that mess in the yard, I went out and turned all those pieces back over and pressed them back down again. And guess what? Here’s how it looked the next day! It was Groundhog Day all over again! All I could think as I stood there looking at all this was I had my own little version of crop circles going on, only it was sod squares instead of circles. lol Is this not crazy looking?!

This went on every night for about two weeks. I even tried buying a sprinkler device that was motion activated, but even that didn’t stop them.

Raccoon Back Yard Damage


During the time this was happening every single blooming night, I was also in the process of getting estimates for having screens installed over the gable vents in my attic to prevent bats from nesting under the outer part of the vents. If you missed the bat post, you’ll find it here: Prevent Bats and Other Critters From Roosting in Attics With Screening.

The guys coming out giving the estimates for the screening were stunned. I had four companies come out and even though all of them remove bats, raccoons and all kinds of critters from attics every day for a living, none of them had ever seen anything like this. The looks on their faces were hilarious!

I knew it had to be the raccoons doing this because I saw one run away from the area when I went out late one evening to bring in the bird feeders. He would make a bad crop-circle-maker, wouldn’t he, since those guys are never caught in the act. lol

The sod-flipping antics went on for a couple of weeks and the grass that was trying to come back finished dying off after getting uprooted so many times.

Raccoon Back Yard Damage


If you search online, you’ll find a lot of pictures of newly-sodded yards with this kind of damage. This picture below shows a raccoon that’s being relocated because of what he was doing each night to the yard behind him. He looks pretty embarrassed to have been caught, doesn’t he. 😉

I also think I know what happened to the sod in my backyard last summer…what made it die. A landscaper told me I probably had grubs when the sod was first put down. He said an infestation of grubs can wipe out an entire yard in a couple of weeks. The grubs eat all the roots of the grass, so it never gets established.

I didn’t know that last summer when it died but it all makes sense now because when raccoons flip sod back, they are searching for grubs. Apparently, they love ’em.

So this is all starting to make sense now. I’m going to get the back yard treated for grubs and maybe some of the sod that’s left, which isn’t much, will start to grow again. Anyone ever experience this craziness? Thank goodness it didn’t happen in the front yard, too!

Raccoons Dig Up Sod

Photo Source


On a separate note, you know the cute Green Mountain boxwood topiaries I planted last summer. They’ve been doing great and put on a lot of new growth this spring.

Boxwood Topiaries in Lattice Planter with Annuals for aTraditional Landscape


But just recently I started noticing these little whitish spots on them. Not sure if they got a little dry recently or if this is something even worse. Apparently, they can get mites or leaf miners. Ugh. Always something, right?

Have any mysterious sod-flipping, crop-circle raccoons in your neighborhood? You have to laugh at this stuff, you know. It certainly keeps life interesting! 🙂

Yellow Spots on Green Mountain Boxwood Topiaries


Looking forward to all the great Before and Afters for this Metamorphosis Monday!

Met Monday

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  1. Hi Susan. Sorry you have been having so much trouble with your grass. I totally understand because I have had skunks doing the same thing in my yard nearly every night since the Spring and grubs are also their treat of choice. My yard is a complete mess, front and back. I don’t know about Georgia, but where I live you can only effectively treat for grubs during a certain time of year. We have started on a treatment plan so I hope it works. Good luck with yours. Be back later for the party.

    • Kristi, I didn’t know that about only being able to treat a few times a year…thanks for sharing that because I would very much like to get it treated or treat it myself. I read last night online that skunks do the same thing. I guess they like yummy grubs, too. lol I guess if skunks and raccoons didn’t eat them, we would have a gazillion beetles eating all our flowers and crops.

      • Sadly, I know more about grubs than I ever wanted to know. 😉 I live near Chicago and we’re told the best time to treat was the end of May, for 2 weeks only. We missed that window so now we have to wait until next year. From what I understand you have to treat when they are in a certain life stage. I’m glad I don’t have beetles eating my plants but I could sure do without the ankle breaking holes. I’d love to hear if you are able to treat them.

    • Kristi, have to tell you something kind of funny. The other morning I went out to rehang the bird feeders and my deck reeked of skunk. I think I may have skunks coming around at night, too. I have feeling one met up with a raccoon on the deck under the pergola (because the raccoons come around at night sometimes) and I think a raccoon got a good spraying! Can you imagine?! 🙂

  2. Thanks so much for the party !
    Hugs, Deb

  3. Goodness! Who knew all the challenges of a lawn! And those raccoons ! Yikes.

    Thanks so much for hosting! Have a great week.


  4. Ugh, how frustrating. We just lost a second cutting on hay to aphids. I hate feeling like your fighting a losing battle. Thanks for hosting.

    Shannon ~ bohemianjunktion.com

  5. Oh the perils of homeownership….sometimes we just want to throw up our hands and tell all the critters just to have a “seat at the table”… My hubby who loves to work in the yard has recently said that he is ready for the smaller yard, a Charleston courtyard of sorts…me too. Sorry you were having so much trouble with your yard…it looks great now..Hope you can save those gorgeous boxwoods!…Thanks for hosting Susan and have a great day!

  6. Oh my Susan I never saw anything like that before, so happy your lawn is coming back beautiful and green. It looks lovely. While reading and looking at the pic’s, I was wishing you had a wildlife outdoor cam. I bet that would be an “Award winning” video….I can just imagine the critters reeking havoc at night.

    Please keep us updated on these true “masked bandits”.
    Thanks for hosting the fun MetMonday.

    • Jo May, I do too! I think there’s a good many that visit each night although now that’s I’ve set an alarm on my phone and don’t forget to bring the feeders in as much, I think they are coming around a lot less.

  7. Wow your lawn looks incredible now.How disappointing about that storm almost killing it again! Lawns are so much work for sure! We get lovely ground squirrels in our yard that make tunnels.We have several making some in our yard now 🙁 Thanks so much for hosting!

  8. Wow what a mess your front lawn was! We always have some winter kill which we rake off and usually it fills in afterwards. That grass definitely didn’t like that winter weather you had! That’s crazy what happened in your backyard- those raccoons gotta go! I hope the boxwood will do ok. I lost most of mine to winter kill this year. I know there are sprays that will treat the plant for the leaf minors. You have had some real challenges with outdoors this year!

    • I should have raked all of mine but there was just soooo much of it. I did rake one section but never checked back to see if it sped up the process of it recovering. Good to know that helps, though. I hope it’s never this bad ever again. lol about the raccoons. If that grass had looked great before they did that, I would have been quite upset. They may have done me a favor if they were finding grubs under there. They can eat all those they want! I just called Arbornomics today and moved up to the plan that includes shrubs. Hope it’s not too late for the topiaries.

      • Susan, I read with interest your issue of Zoysia grass which died out. I have a similar issue and I could use your advice.

        You mentioned “arbornomics” as having helped. Did they make your recovery happen?

        • I don’t think it was anything they did to make it come back, it just finally came back on its own. What Arbor-nomics told me was that everyone experienced winter kill that year, some lawns were worse than others. When that happens, you just have to wait to see if the grass will recover on its own. I think they fertilized it a little to help it along, but basically we just had to wait for it to recover. It did eventually green up, just took way longer than normal due to the winter kill. Even the areas that looked totally dead, eventually greened up. If you do a search for winter kill, you’ll find articles about it. Apparently, it happens from time to time. Arbor-nomics can def help boost a lawn, but with winter kill I think you mostly have to just wait to see if the lawn is going to make it.

        • Oh, and one more thing, one reason my lawn was so badly damaged was because it was so newly planted. So that was terrible timing for a bad winter to hit. Even despite that, it did make it…just took most of the summer to finally come back.

        • John, I was just reading back through that post and I see that I mentioned that my lawn service did work to help me get it back. It’s been so long, I don’t remember now what they applied to help it along…I bet it was some kind of fertilizer, probably a starter fertilizer. They are very friendly so you may want to give them a call. Tell them your situation and that a friend whose lawn they treat, suggested you call for advice. Here’s their number: Arbor-nomics: 770-447-6037.

  9. Thanks so much for hosting Susan!

  10. oh how simply awful Susan! You have spent a fortune on critter issues! That is so insane, I wouldn’t have been able to sleep at night thinking about all those racoons partying in my yard! Hopefully things will settle down now, and your grass will come back. We have a zoysia yard in Birmingham and it is resilient and beautiful if it gets enough water…no raccoons thank goodness!

    • Thanks Jenna, that’s good know…glad they are resilient. I guess if it came back after the ice storm, maybe it will continue to come back if something like that ever happens again.

  11. Susan, your yard looks gorgeous, but I can’t believe you’ve had so many different set backs to your grass. How frustrating. Do you think that is the work of one raccoon or several? That must have been so frustrating to get up and see that each morning. laurie

    • I’m pretty sure it’s several because when they used to come at night to raid the feeders, there were several of them. They don’t come by so much now since I’m doing better at remembering to bring them in.

  12. Thanks for hosting! Life to the full! Melissa

  13. Oh my what a battle you’ve been facing. Hope you emerge victorious!

  14. pam ~ crumpety cottage says

    Susan, I’ve been meaning to ask you about your yard and I’m so glad to see it looking so beautiful! I guess you just picked the wrong year to get it done. The story about the sod flipping raccoons is so funny. What little pests! I can imagine you out there every day, flipping it all back over. And in this heat! I’m surprised you didn’t mention (complain about) it before.

    You know, you must be the best home ‘maintenance’ person ever. I agree, it’s so important and it does seem that there’s always something that could or should be addressed. You seem to be really great at keeping on top of things.

    • Did I ever! Pam, I dreamed of sodding it for years and what a year I picked! I took those pictures of the raccoon sod mess back during the bat-gable screening days so I was just so busy with that and the porch/deck painting, chimney woodpecker damage repair, etc…, I hadn’t had a chance to share it. I’ve always got about 10 plates in the air around here. When I actually only have 2 or 3, I figure I’ve forgotten something major. lol It is endless, isn’t it…this home maintenance stuff!

  15. Wow, the front yard transformation is amazing! You must’ve been so relieved. It’s such a rich green now. As for the raccoons, we too have had raccoon issues, but not with the lawn. Once had one in the chimney and have also had them refuse to leave the roof. Crazy creatures. I’m impressed you got so close for a pic. That’s actually a great shot!

    • Oh my gosh…in the chimney! They are brave coming so close to homes, aren’t they? I’ve had them on my roof but fortunately they didn’t get in the chimney. That pic was taken through the bay window with my zoom lens. I was actually half hiding down behind my sink/island, hoping he wouldn’t see me. 🙂

  16. Wow, yes, it’s always something. That photo of the raccoon with his hand in the ‘cookie jar’ – hilarious. The yard – not so hilarious. Glad your sod recovered, and it looks super nice. All the maintenance issues of home ownership sure do provide incentive for just doing little things like tablescaping and decor switch ups in order to escape it all, don’t they? I’ve gone with an Indian summer in my sunroom, a nice escape from my basement purge project and others I need to line up outside the house. Thanks for hosting us again, Susan.

  17. I’m so sorry…but you had me in stitches! Who ever would’ve thought…sod-flipping raccoons?? What a hoot! So sorry…really! 😉

  18. Jean from Georgia says

    WOW! I thought I might be the only person with Zoysia issues. Here is what I have learned after many summers of worry. My grass greens in the spring before any of my Bermuda neighbors, but it also gets dry quicker in the summer. I have started letting my grass grow taller, often only cutting every two weeks. I also had an organic treatment last summer instead of aerating the lawn and that seems to have helped. When zoysia is green and lush, it is the prettiest lawn and that is the time for all my patio parties. If you can wait it out , a good rain will green the lawn overnight after a dry spell. So, think I will get my morning paper and coffee and go enjoy my green Zoysia, thanks to this wonderful Georgia rain.

    • I’ve been keeping mine taller too, was afraid to cut it too short with all the stress it was already under from the winter stuff. It really is so wonderful to walk on, definitely barefoot grass! 🙂 Thanks Jean for those tips!

  19. Your yard looks gorgeous!! I didn’t know what to expect when I was scrolling down your post with the bad “before” pictures. 🙂 I’ve never hard of raccoons raiding yards but it definitely makes sense now – who would have ever thought they do that! LOL I really enjoy your posts about your birds, critters and landscaping.

    • lol That was a transformation, wasn’t it? 🙂 I meant to post about it before now since it was looking better but glad I waited since it’s really looking so much better just recently. Thanks, Lynn! All these critters keep it interesting around here!

  20. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry with you. Those flipped up pieces of sod are awful….and to happen each night, oh my. Reminds me of my battle with squirrels this summer. Which you also had. I felt we were real buddies when I saw your flower pots with dirt scattered all over the deck. Your picture confirmed my squirrel problem. I do not have sod…so will not have your flipping problem.
    Good luck. Waiting for your after pics!

    • Sheila, they have never messed with the dirt again since I put blood meal on the surface dirt and kind of worked it in a little. Plus, the squirrels didn’t eat the leaves off the hibiscus like they have done in the past! So it does work! It was Mary in VA who shared that tip, if I”m remembering correctly.

  21. P.S. – We had an unusually bad winter in our area too. I had a crape myrtle that I finally shaped into a “tree form” and the winter killed it back to the ground. 🙁 I don’t know whether to just let the little sprigs popping up from the roots grow back into more of a shrub form, or dig it up (difficult that because they have a deep root system). So many people in our area lost things this past winter.

    • pam ~ crumpety cottage says

      Lynn, same here. I was thinking of just removing the tree altogether and a young man who sometimes helps me with landscaping said to just cut it back to bush size. He did that for me and oh my goodness! You should see the blooms on it now!! I’m so glad I didn’t have it dug up, it looks gorgeous. Maybe you could try that too.

  22. Gosh Susan, Your lawn is so beautiful and lush now after the winter abuse! I had to chuckle at the damage the raccoon did in the back and ” Groundhog Day all over again” 🙂 What a hoot and who knew they could do that kind of damage? Great photo of him raiding your birdfeeder too!

  23. Oh, my gosh! I never knew raccoons could be such pests and cause so much damage. We had a pet raccoon growing up. Thankfully, Sparky never caused us any damage. I did know about the Winter Kill and out here we also have Snow Mold that can create a mess. Sorry for the trouble, but it looks great in front now!

  24. Peggy Thal says

    So very sorry about the raccoon grass craziness. I have never seen this before. I think I would have totally freaked out. Right now my garden and I are not friends. Just was stung 8 times, then 3 times by hornets. Finally went back to pull a few weeds and now I have poison ivy. This rain has made all sorts of weeds grow. I hope your raccoon problem is solved- sounds like there must be grubs or something they like. Or the raccoons are just messing with you.

  25. Oh my goodness, Susan, those little critters are such a menace! I’ve never seen one in AZ, but we had them in Oregon. Thanks so much for hosting even in the midst of your chaos!

  26. OY!!! I think I told you about the fAMILY of raccoons who took up residence on our roof at the old house and also used it as their own private Bathroom:(:( We hauled 1/2 of a 5 gallon bucket of their “droppings” off the roof!!! Several times!!! We never had sod so they didn’t do this though! Your front grass came back beautifully, you have alot of patience!!! Hope you save the 2 bushes too! Thanks so much for hosting.

  27. What a mystery in your yard! How frustrating to see the sod like that morning after morning. At least you found someone who knew what the issue was.
    Thanks for hosting! (btw: The link up said I didn’t have a back link on a couple of mine, which I do. I sent them for your approval.)

  28. Oh my gosh! Isn’t it frustrating dealing with wild animals? I would have wanted to scream if that was happening to me. At my house I am constantly battling with rabbits and squirrels! They seem to eat anything I plant. We have had to ring all our plants with rabbit fencing to keep them from eating everything. It certainly isn’t pretty but nothing else we have tried works. Lately we have seen foxes in our neighborhood so they may be keeping the rabbit population in check. The circle of life in nature! Your front yard looks like velvet! I’d love to lay down in it!

    • Thanks, Lynne…it sure feels good when I run across it barefoot to check the mail each day. It’s a relief to see it all back again. Glad you found a solution for the rabbits…that would be so aggravating!

  29. Wow, that’s a crazy story! I can’t get over that shot you got of the racoon on the bird feeder!

  30. I enjoyed reading of your adventures with the raccoons. Never a dull moment at your place! I know of someone who puts out a wading pool for a family of raccoons: If you can’t beat ’em, enjoy ’em.
    As for the box woods, it looks as if you have spider mites, but I’d take a sprig to your local gardening store for advice, or If you have an extension service nearby, you’ll find an expert there. You can begin by washing the plants with Dawn and water which would chase a few away, but it looks as if you have a true infestation which calls for more extreme measures. Be sure to hit your surrounding plants with soapy water and a strong spray from the hose to discourage the tiny beasts from moving over. However, boxwoods can have many issues, so again, expert advice can best guide you. Best of luck!

  31. Susan-I have to hand it to you, you are a warrior, you never give up. You inspire me with your enthusiasm and great writing and you keep us all smiling with your inimitable wit. Thanks for making my day, again! Gwen from Pinehurst but recently moved to Wilmington, NC.

  32. Mary from Virginia says

    WOW! What an adventure in suburbia! I cannot imagine having to figure out all of that. I am glad you got some answers, and your lawn is beautiful!

    Be careful taking pictures of those creepy critters!

  33. Okay, right away I knew they were searching for grubs!!! Never had the problem with racoons but had the same problem with skunks!!! Same thing, every morning bits of turf were dug up and turned over……we’d turn them back over and tamp them down…….next day, same thing……it was a nightmare!!! Skunks were a bit trickier, don’t want them to get mad and spray!!!! Finally got rid of the grubs and the skunks slowly disappeared………..lawns and gardens can be such a pain, but wonderful when all is going well!!!

  34. Hi Susan, those dirty raccoons! The only problems we’ve had with them is emptying the catfood feeder! Luckily they have’nt found our chicken coop yet! But we have had similar problems with wild hogs! They would tear up our yard and I would do my best to level out the area and each night they would come and tear it all up again! This went on for several days until one early morning my husband caught them in the act and shot some lead in them. They have not returned. Thank goodness your yard is looking much better now! Anyways thanks for hosting! Have a great week!

  35. You must feel like you have been in a battle for that grass. Whew! I didn’t know raccoons would do that. After reading all about your yard troubles I had to share my post on the mushrooms my husband is eating out of our yard! It’s all about yards today!

  36. Susan, your front yard looks amazing! Blasted raccoons. Thanks for hosting! Happy week to you! Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

  37. I’m going through hell on earth with wild life – I painstakingly added fairy lights all over the place – including trees only to have the squirrels bite through the wires – after working days on the lighting – I’m left with a quarter of them when I turn them on !
    Thanks so much for the party Susan – have a wonderful raccoon and grub free week

    • That’s awful, Suzan! I wonder how the shopping mall areas keep theirs from being damaged. Wonder if they make some lighting for trees that is squirrel chew proof. The squirrels chewed through all the string lighting I put under the deck handrails and under the pergola, too…so I had to take it all down.

  38. Wow is all I can say about your lawn transformation. I would have been sick! It’s so beautiful now. I don’t know anything about this kind of grass. We have St. Augustine here. I used to have a huge problem with raccoons when we lived in Boise, Idaho. We still have property up in the mountains in Idaho and there we have problems with bigger, scarier critters like wolves and bears. Here in south Texas we have a possum who is uncatchable and is bold enough to be in our yard and on our patio in the daytime too. It’s always something isn’t it? Thanks once again for a wonderful party!

    Big Texas Hugs,
    Susan and Bentley

  39. Susan, I live in South Georgia and we are having problems with, of all things, armadillos! They haven’t been too destructive in the grass, but they have been tearing up our flower beds looking for grubs. We have finally resorted to treating our yard for grubs. Hopefully that will take care of the problem. It’s always something!

  40. Wow….this post was enlightening, funny, frustrating, entertaining and maddening……and it wasn’t even MY yard! I just feel for you. We have battled bunnies and squirrels…..cute as they are, the bunnies would eat every pansy we would plant and one day when about 7 squirrels were on top of my house, in addition to many in the yard I’d had it! I called the county and got permission to bate them. Hated to do it but it was getting out of control. We put up chicken wire on the other side of the view fence (where they came through from the creek area)…..seems to have taken care of the problem so far! Wildlife…..we love it, photograph it, are entertained by it…..but there are times when we just want all the critters to STAY AWAY FROM OUR STUFF!

  41. !Boy would I be upset! Putting out all that money for a new lawn and having it die and then then raccoon having the nerve to tear it up! I had to laugh when I saw him captured in that cage! I don’t have to worry about grass here where I live in the desert in California, only coyotes taking my lovely kitty away, poor girl!

  42. Susan, your front lawn looks wonderful now. As for your backlawn….wow. I can almost hear the marauders at night!
    “Come on gang, don your masks, we have a new job tonight. There’s a lady in town named Susan who lays wonderful new grubbing supplies. Hey Ricki, don’t get your fingers caught in the cookie jar again!!”

  43. SharonFromMichigan says

    Oh Susan, that pic of the raccoon in the trap is to die for! That little bugger looks so cute and guilty at the same time. I’m having issues with my roses. Something has been eating up my roses like crazy. One thing I forgot to do this year was buy some praying mantises. I had a couple mantises in my gardens last year and they did a wonderful job keeping all the other plant parasites under control. You’re right, it’s always something!

  44. Susan, I most certainly have heard of Winter Kill here in Ohio. So sorry you had to go through it there. I cannot even believe your lawn recovered, that is amazing. Here we’d have to buy all new sod, it just wouldn’t no way. That service you have is AWESOME!

    I always hate when the varmint controllers have to come………..of course you do know “relocating” is a polite term for drowning, though, right? I am not a bleeding heart, but it is important to know it. That shot of racoon in the act is CLASSIC, you captured it perfectly lol. What a thief! And digging up your sod like that, ugh.

    Try a natural garlic organize solution called NEEM on your plants that need protection from disease and critters – it works naturally and well without harming you or nature or the plants.

    • Michele, I hope they don’t kill them…that’s awful. 🙁 Isn’t it illegal or something? Thanks for the tip on the garlic solution! Yeah, I’m realllllly lucky it came back. I guess the ice just stunted it very badly since it eventually came back. Arbornomics was fertilizing it pretty regularly, too…so I know that helped. I picked a heck of time to sod, didn’t I? lol

  45. I love the picture of the Raccoon hanging in the wire trap! OMG we have so many of them, they love to get in my hanging baskets and flatten them , then curl up and sleep!! I had to take them all down, everyone ruined. I really feel bad for them, as all the development has taken over their hunting grounds, and they are left actually starving. We have to keep our garbage cans in the garage, we wait till we hear the truck coming before we put them out, if not the raccoons knock them over and drag garbage out all in the street! aaccckkk!!

    • They don’t seem to be afraid of anything, Rena! That’s amazing about your hanging baskets! I think that’s the issue here, too. All their habitat has been taken over with housing. I feel bad for them, too.

  46. Susan,
    I do not have a sod story,but I do have to tell you about our pet African male goose! He was our pet and “guard goose”.
    My husband and I have planted daffodils on our pond dam for years. In the spring it is beautiful! One Saturday we planted around 200 daffodil bulbs on the dam. The next day they were all dug up and lying beside their holes! All that work!!!! We had no idea what was happening! We then re-planted all the bulbs. During both episodes of planting Charles and Dianna (his wife) stayed right there watching us plant the bulbs. They did not give us any indication that they wanted to dig them up while we were planting. The next day I went out and all the bulbs were dug out for the third time! The bulbs were not eaten, but just set aside by it’s hole. We re-planted again, but this time I watched out for the mystery happenings. Well, it was the male goose! Our female goose did not help, it was all him!! We ended up keeping him in his little goose house after the forth planting for two days and I guess he forgot about it, because when he was let out, he never tried it again! 🙂


    • That is hilarious, Shelly! He must have been at it for hours to dig all those up! Wonder why in the world he did that. Too funny! I’ve noticed sometimes after I plant a bed of annuals in the spring, sometimes the next morning, some of those will have been dug up during the night or early morning hours. I’ve read that freshly overturned dirt will draw animals…maybe they smell the freshly dug dirt and it makes them go looking for worms or something. Charles had to dig pretty deep to get your bulbs out, didn’t he. Thanks for sharing that story…what a hoot!

  47. That storm did a lot of damage to our gardens – my Hydrangeas suffered the most – I’ve learned they need more protection. I wanted to share a wonderful decor book with you – I checked it out through the Georgia Pine system – so if you’d like you may be able to check it out too – I think there may be only one in the state. It is called, ‘An Invitation to Chateau du Grand-Luce’. It is beautiful – in word and picture – a decor book I actually ‘read’. wonderful story – by Timothy Corrigan. I do appreciate you hosting and hope you have a great day,

  48. You need to make like Granny Clampett and get yourself a shotgun to those pesky varmints. Actually she might have turned them into a stew…

    I am sure you are upset — I certainly would be. I am not a gardener, so I have no ideas at all other than the shotgun.

  49. Woah! Sod flipping raccoons! Who knew! Your grass seems to have recovered well. My bermuda is still struggling. I lost all of my Indian Hawthornes and replaced them with August Beauty gardenias…fingers crossed! Have a great week, Susan!…hugs…Debbie

  50. So glad your yard came back – it’s looking beautiful! Those pesky racoons — they really are destructive aren’t they?!
    Thanks for the link-up, Susan. I’m a little late linking up this week, but decided to go for it anyway. I just finished my kitchen remodel and was excited to share! Have a great day!

  51. Susan, I would have been worried sick about my grass if I were in your place, because I’m sure that was no small investment. How disheartening! But it has come back beautifully; don’t you love when you find a really good company that you can wholeheartedly endorse like Arbor-Nomics? Your lawn looks beautiful now, and at least the damaged area is in the back now instead of the front. Now about those raccoons — good grief. They are such pesky varmints — and very determined! I really did laugh out loud when I saw the picture of the raccoon in the trap; boy does he look mad. 😉 At least you know how to attack the problems now. Those grub worms are a real pest, too. They’ve caused us to have moles in our yard for several years now.

    I enjoyed your post and thank you for hosting Met Monday! Have a great day!


    • I know, I was disheartened back in May. So relieved it has recovered! Moles are no fun either. It’s a challenge sometimes trying to have flowers and a pretty yard with lots of interesting critters around. lol Thanks Denise!

  52. How frustrating to have the little varmints ruin your new lawn. In the west we have gophers going after the roots & grubs, I believe you can put down tiny pellets of what is basically cod liver oil to deter critters & bugs.

  53. So glad your blog does not have the very annoying “POP Up” adds. They are so distracting and make the blogs so commercial. They take the personal element out of them.

  54. Oh, so sorry you had the racoon problem but I have to tell you about mine. It was many years ago when we were trying to establish our back yard. We have extremely rocky clay soil and it was hard for the grass roots to grow and spread so I decided to ‘plant’ my compostible trash each night or two in the back yard. I would dig a hole, put the peelings and such in and cover it up. I had heard of someone doing that and turning her clay soil into wonderful good soil for planting and growing grass as well as other plantings. So armed with my bucket of compostibles and my shovel I went out and dug my hole. I was so proud of myself! And you guessed it, the next morning my hole was dug up and the peeling and leavings were all gone. This went on for a week before I admitted defeat and let the racoons win. We eventually worked with the soil and amended it so the grass would grow but I will never forget the racoons who thought I was giving them a buffet every night. Best of luck to you with your back yard grass and I hope it comes back. My husband basically took small plugs from the front yard and that grass that was growing over the concrete drive and nursed it in the back yard for 7 years before we got a beautiful grassy lawn but it is a nice thick yard of zoysia now.

    • Carol, that is too funny! They will come back every night if they think there’s a remote chance of finding something to eat. I’ve been pulling plugs out in front that keep growing in the islands. I think I’ll start doing what your hubby did!

  55. Oh Susan,
    I just noticed the racoons on your post. They have tormented us for months, raiding bird feeders at night. They are too smart to enter the cage we set, but managed to steal the food. We found a source for racoon baffles that fit over the mounting poles for the feeders and they no longer steal the bird food. I was so tired of taking down the feeders each evening. We purchased a game camera which lets us know they a still visiting. Even animal control wasn’t able to catch them. They carry diseases and are so destructive. Treat your lawn each year and that may solve the turf problem Good luck on our quest, we have put up with them for months. As always, love your posts and can’t wait to see them each day.

  56. What a real mess and a whole lot of trouble wildlife can create. I’m on the unpopular side of the fence where that’s concerned and cannot stand wildlife anywhere but in the wild. They do not belong in yards. We had a raccoon just this week, hissing at one of our dogs, and we live in a very populated neighborhood. We’ve had to trap two raccoons in our attic in years past. What a mess they make. I just don’t like wild things who destroy human things.

    • Dayle, I know what you mean. The raccoons have pretty much destroyed my outdoor wicker table and four chairs on the deck where I have my bird feeders. The area surrounding where I live used to be very wooded, with homes on large 5 and 6 acre lots. Builders are coming in now when a person passes away or moves, buying those lots and putting 7 or more houses on them. I think the animals just have no where to go or live anymore. I live in a very populated, high traffic area and it’s not uncommon to find three deer standing in the front yard of a house on my street. I just saw that a couple of weeks ago two door up from my home. I do feel sorry for them since I know they don’t want to get this close to humans any more than we really want them that close to our houses.

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