This has been a strange year…again! So far, there’s been nary a sign of raccoons in the potager. Maybe my berry boxes have them flummoxed. The planters on the Deck have not been dug out by raccoons, squirrels, or chipmunks after being planted for the first year ever! Not a single tulip was eaten by the deer. I should be counting my blessings. And I am grateful for all those non-events. But, we’re being overrun by rabbits!
I planted lupines in the Front Garden and Fairy Slope; they didn’t last one night. I should have learned. Earlier this week, I planted the first strawflowers in the Cutting Garden. You can see them in the top photo, looking healthy and happy. I only had time to plant half of them, and as it turned out, that’s a very good thing. Here’s the same patch the next morning…
Apparently those tender strawflowers drew them into this area, and after that appetizer they ate the leaves and buds off the lilies, and the tops off the garden phlox. They were busy, busy bunnies! From past experience, I know that they are even more keen on some of the plants yet to be put into the Cutting Garden (zinnias, gomphrena, asters, cosmos) so obviously something must be done, and FAST!
D was going to town, so I asked him to pick up 15 4′ electric fence posts. They were the quickest, easiest, and cheapest way for a quick fence. Fifteen posts cost $23; they go into the ground easily and they are durable, lightweight and easy to store. I’ve already thought of several uses for them once the fence is no longer needed. I replanted with the second half of the strawflowers, added a few cosmos and asters, and decided I’d better get the netting up because the strawberries still needed to be picked and it was nearly dinner time.
It’s very hard to see in the photo, but I used the berry netting that is used on the blackberry row. Folded in half, it makes a double layer and is just the right height. It fastened onto the posts very easily at the top, and I hooked it under each bottom post’s little “tooth” on the foot as I went. For added measure, I spaced heavy pots and planters along the bottom with the netting folded out under them to deter digging. Yes, I know rabbits could chew through it, but I’m just hoping to deter them until the plants get a little bigger and tougher. There are SO MANY other tasty treats for them in our back yard and wooded areas that I’m hoping they won’t be inclined to work that hard.
This morning’s drizzle (very welcome by the way!) didn’t deter me from checking the strawflowers first thing. Donning my long raincoat over my pajamas, finding my rubber boots, and grabbing the camera, I hurried to the Cutting Garden almost dreading to see what I’d find. I was surprised to realize I was holding my breath as I approached the south end where the strawflowers were planted. Lo and behold….
Success!….at least for the first night. We’ll just have to see how determined these bunnies are, but so far, so good…
Ah, the intrigue! The covert ops! The suspense!
Gardening can be such an adventure, and I always enjoy reading about yours.
It certainly keeps one on one’s toes! Always something to observe, a challenge to attempt to overcome, a magical moment of surprise….I think it’s what keeps me “young!”
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Bunnies can definitely be a challenge. This winter they “pruned” my raspberries down to 1′ stubs, but didn’t touch my next door neighbor’s. It looks like your barrier worked for one night, at least. May it continue!
It’s interesting that there’s always been a bit of rabbit browsing in one garden or another, a plant here and there, but my attitude was just to grow a few extra replacements and let the bunnies hopalong. This year, they are taking out entire plantings of new seedlings, not just one or two! And, they are devouring new plantings in EVERY garden every night! That’s just not acceptable. They should at least share with me!
Bunnies? It’s deer that chew up my son’s garden near Seattle.
We have deer here as well, but Plantskydd seems to work well with detering them.
Good luck! Bunnies – so cute, so voracious! I’ve spotted one in my own garden but so far I think the birds are wreaking more havoc!
Birds are just bystanders here, except when the berries ripen!
Although I live on a road that is named rabbit warren in French, I’m quite pleased that we don’t have rabbits here anymore after reading this – just slugs! Good luck – it’s a running battle and one hopes the plants grow faster than the rabbits’ appetites!
I’m hoping once the plants get past the “tender seedling” stage, the rabbits will return to the clover I leave for them in the lawns!
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