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Monday, May 9, 2011

Bunnies in the Garden

What do you do when cute little furry bunnies that eat your strawberries? Good question! I'm not sure I have the best answer and maybe you have some suggestions for this issue but over the weekend I found a solution that so far seems to have worked.  First let me share with you how I found bunnies in my garden.

On Saturday I was out in the vegetable garden filling a few raised beds (including the Greenland Gardener bed I mentioned a few weeks ago - more on that later this week) and picked up the hose to water a few plants. I looked to the strawberry plants and though "they could use a drink" and began to spray at the base of the strawberry plants as best as I could when something ran out - the first little bunny! It was soaking wet from the hose but otherwise unharmed.  I snuck up behind it, gently picked it up, and moved it out of the garden into the brushy hillside area. Then I thought "I wonder who else is hiding in there?" and proceeded to spray more of the strawberry patch. Two more bunnies raced out and ran for cover. I doubted they would stay out of the garden - you know how bunnies are - always hungry - and always making more mouths to feed!



Later in the day I came back to the vegetable garden and checked the strawberry patch again for bunnies - sure enough - the three bunnies were back!  This time I captured all three bunnies and placed them in a tall nursery pot. I kept them there while I worked in the garden some more and planted cantaloupe, squash, zinnias, marigolds, and beans, beans, and more beans! I can't wait for this summer's harvest to come rolling in. Back to the bunnies...

I decided I would give them one more chance to stay away from the garden and in my territory (AKA yard). I moved all three bunnies underneath a large - and quite wild - multiflora rose bush on our hillside. I figured it would offer them adequate protection from predators (which consist mostly of neighborhood cats) and was a good distance away from my vegetable garden. But I couldn't stop there. I went to my garden shelf (OK I don't have just one - things tend to end up all over the place) and brought out my bloodmeal. I sprinkled the bloodmeal around the strawberries, asparagus, tomatoes, and all around the vegetable garden. Bloodmeal has a Nitrogen content of 12% which is useful to all those plants. Bloodmeal also scares away creatures that tend to be lower on the food chain. They smell the scent of blood and are afraid a predator may be lurking about. After two days we seem to be bunny free in the vegetable garden. Hopefully now that they are out they will stay out, but it is a wake up call for me - my fence needs bunny proofed! 

We'll see how this goes! How do you keep rabbits out of your garden?

9 comments :

  1. Hope this works for you....we use garlic spray.

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  2. I miss bunnies in our meadow. The growing coyote pack in a nearby university owned forest seems to have decimated the bunny population.

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  3. Never tried blood meal before but I have some on the shelf. I've tried garlic and had some good results. My big issue currently is the neighbor's cat who likes to use my garden as a litter box. Any suggestions there?

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  4. Good idea! My city yard is full of bunnies, and I am so afraid they are going to eat my garden. I'll try this!

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  5. I have garlic planted in the garden so will this help to keep them away? So far I have a small fence and no bunnies in there. We have four in our yard all the time. We also have coyotes and a neighbor's cat and still plenty of bunnies.

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  6. Hi Dave,

    I use a product called Plantskydd for Critters. This is granular and not harmful to the bunnies or pets, sprinkle it on and it lasts for months through rain, etc. I order it online and it really works if you replinish it every couple of months. Usually by the time the plant grows larger they are not interested.

    The liquids have not worked for me, Good luck

    Eileen

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  7. Being in town I don't have a bunny problem. I have seen armadillos & snakes. That was a good job.

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  8. Darla,

    I may have to try the garlic spray.

    BYW,

    I think I'll keep the bunnies over the coyotes but they are in our area. I saw one pass through two years ago but haven't seen any since.

    GSS,

    For kitties you can get a mesh and lay down on the garden and cover with mulch. Our cat used to jump into pots and do her business there. We cut the plastic mesh to fit the pot and it stopped her quick.

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  9. Danielle,

    I have garlic and onions in the garden too but just planting them seems to have no effect. A spray like Darla mentioned would work better!

    Eileen,

    I've seen that product before, It may be worth buying!

    Lola,

    Those armadillos are headed our way, looking for fire ants I think!

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