Sunday, April 10, 2011
Got Rabbits? Keep them away from your vegetables with a fence - a natural fence!
I spent some time this weekend building a fence to protect my vegetable garden from rabbits. Two years ago I lost all my peas and a few more plants to baby rabbits and I have decided not to let that happen again. Do not get me wrong I think rabbits are cute, but I do not like to feed them with my garden!!
The best way to keep rabbits away from your garden is to build a fence. You can also keep them at bay with natural fence. This is by far my favorite choice, not only a natural fence looks better, but you can eat it afterwards (as it is made out of vegetables they do not like). It also increases the yield from your garden.
So how do you build a natural fence? You can use a whole bunch of plants, but my favorites are onions, spring onions and garlic. The rabbits do not like the smell nor the taste of these vegetables. So what I do is to plant them as a border or natural fence around my vegetable garden. In the square feet garden, you can also choose to plant them on the outside squares of the garden.
This year I also built a metal fence, just in case, but I only covered 3 sides of my garden beds with it, the fourth side is only protected by some nice garlic and spring onions.
To build the metal fence, I used a couple of metal posts that I found at the back of my shed and 4 plastic 3 feet tall poles that I bought at home depot. I hammered all the posts to the ground with a heavy hammer (I think it is called am12 pound hammer) at intervals of about 3 to 4 feet from each other. I left a space between the fence and the garden beds so I can freely walk inside the fenced area without stepping on the plants.
I then took a 3 feet tall metal mesh and hooked it to the little teeth on the poles making sure that it was stretch enough not to be saggy. My garden beds are in a hill so the fence is not flat, it is downhill, so it does not look very straight. I hope it does the job.
This is a great improvement from last year, when we used bamboo sticks for post. They fell on the ground and the garden looked like a mess.
Another alternative are plastic predators strategically positioned within your garden. I have seen a lot of owls around, but I use snakes as they are smaller and you can hardly see them (the rabbits can!). I have a brown one and a red one - believe me it sounds crazy but it works.
By far, the natural fence is still my favorite though.
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How to build tomato and other vegetable supports?