In your neck of the woods you may never see a rabbit. Your fuzzy vegetable garden predator may be a deer or woodchuck, but here in the good ole Garden State of New Jersey where I grow my vegetables, rabbits are the pain in the rear of choice. Or should I say, not really of choice, but forced upon me.
My kids absolutely love them and from a non-gardener point of view they are cute, look cuddly and lets face it, they are harmless. When was the last time you heard on the news about a killer rabbit wiping out a family of four or a crazy wild rabbit runs loose through Chicago, causing chaos and millions in property damage?
However, as cute and harmless as they are, they would just eat the `bejesus` out of my vegetable garden if I did not take the necessary steps to keep them out. Over the past 10 years I have come up with a simple way to do just that, which I will get to that in a moment, but what I have also come up with are great ways to really piss them off, or so I think.
Fence the Garden
Ok this is an obvious one and for 10 years it has worked for me. I use poultry fencing and make sure the height of the fence is no less than twelve inches. For some reason in the back of my mind I have this notion that the rabbits can leap like deer, so I don`t take any chances. God forbid they get a hold of some genetically modified clover on my neighbor’s lawn, I would be in trouble.
Close to the Fence
I love this one. I know that the rabbits absolutely love to feed on my tomato plants, lettuce, peas, beans, well, ok, pretty anything I plant. I found this out the hard way when I first moved into my house. We didn’t have rabbits in Trenton, where I am originally from, so it never occurred to me that I would need a fence. Needless to say the rabbits had a field day. I think they put on 10 pounds that day. What I do now is, after the fence goes up, I plant items near the fence as a tease. Try as they might to stretch and stick their noses through the poultry fencing, they can’t quite seem to get at my plants.
I am still bumbed that I missed out on this one not having my video camera with me that day. But I had some cantaloupe growing in one of my garden beds last year and the vine made it’s way along the top of the poultry fencing. I woke up one morning to find a rabbit, trying with all its might, literally standing up as tall as it could to try and get the leaves from the vine. Tried and tried he might, he never succeeded. So now I make it a point with my vining plants to do this every year and one of these days I will have that camera with me so I can post the video on Facebook for the world to see, well, at least all of the members of the vegetable gardening page anyway.
Finally, last, but not least, my faithful man’s best friend, my dog Bear. He is as loyal as they come. Follows me everywhere, barks when a stranger walks by the house, really barks when a strange dog walks by the house, but, beyond all that, he despises rabbits. Although he has never caught one, try as he will, I do my best to at least let him give it a go. When a rabbit is out in our back yard and he can see it through our sliding glass back door he whimpers and cries as to tell me, “Please, please, please, let me go chase him. I swear I can get him this time.” So I open the door, out Bear goes, and the rabbit scampers away. He has only been close once in the five years since Bear has been a part of our family, and when I say close, I mean I had a better chance of catching the rabbit then he did.
Ok so I know what the rabbit lovers are saying as they read this article, `How Cruel!`. So let me add this disclaimer, no rabbits were harmed in the making of this article...only my vegetable garden.
About the Author
Mike Podlesny is the owner of Mike the Gardener Enterprises, LLC, the exclusive home for the Seeds of the Month Club, which has appeared on NBC, ABC and MSN Money as a great way for consumers to save money.
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