Rabbit-proof Gardens

Grrr. I admit it — I was angry. Walking along the gardens that flank my porch, I was aghast to see all my hard work transplanting seedlings and starters had been ravaged by pests. And large pests of the fuzzy bunny type chew straight down to the core. Squash, zucchini and cucumber were indistinguishable without leaves. Totally armless, stick figures of tomatoes, eggplant and pepper waved in the wind. I had to start again, losing weeks from my growing season. What could I do to keep the rabbits from eating my second efforts?

According to the The Gardener’s A-Z Guide to Growing Organic Food” by Tanya L. K. Denckla, rabbits can be repelled with environmentally-friendly methods. The list included several easy fixes. I started by sprinkling a border of mixed cayenne pepper and garlic powders around fixed beds, followed by a growing screen constructed out of leftover window supplies. For transplants like zucchini that have a wide berth, I used an overturned colander for PM protection. As an added measure I lined the edges of my garden — and possible entry points — with dog poop. I know, gross. But it’s free and I have a vast supply. We’ve gotten a neighborly tip about urinating around the edge, but that seems excessive.

So far, so good. The bunnies have new munching grounds, and my little plants are safely thriving.