Tuesday, May 25, 2010

I Have Finally Made Peace with the Bunnies

We moved into our lovely home on the creek two years ago, and ever since I have been battling bunnies. Don't get me wrong, I love sweet little bunnies. I still get giddy every time I see them hopping along. They are so sweet, except when they are chowing down on my favorite flowering annuals and periannals. Then, they are no longer sweet bunnies, but truly "dagnabbit" rabbits.

I have tried just about everything you can dream up to keep them away. Here is my Top Ten List of Failures:
10. Moth Balls (kept everyone and everything away except the hungry bunnies)
9. Cayenne Pepper (only worked when it was fresh)
8. Rat Poison (I was feeling very desperate when I put this out. Don't worry, they didn't take the bait, and I felt so guilty that I trashed it immediately).
7. More Moth Balls
6. Dog Urine
5. Keeping a Watchful Eye (drove myself crazy)
4. Natural Predators (cats, dogs)
3. Spray Repellants
2. More Moth Balls
1. And, More Moth Balls

After all that, did I give up? No way! I am a serious gardener, and no "dagnabbit" rabbit is going to force me to have a flowerless/herbless/veggieless garden.

So here is what I have found that actually worked:

1. Planting flowers that rabbits don't like. This one has been tough and costly. It's been mainly by trial and error, examining the neighbors yards, and advice from a friend who has dealt with rabbits for many years.

Rabbits don't like:
Knockout Roses
Monkey Grass
Most Shrubs (including nandinia and gardenias)

(I will keep adding to this list as I discover more. Please feel free to leave a comment below if you know of any that I have left off).

2. Use pots for planting vegetables, herbs, and flowers that they do like to eat. If they can't reach 'em, they can't eat'em. I have purchased a large assortment of pots and have done sort of a french style garden mixing veggies, herbs, and flowers. Everything is doing well in these, and they are so pretty around the patio. The pots are also nice because the tender annuals can be moved inside during frosty temperatures.

If you are having trouble with rabbits devouring your garden, I hope you will give these ideas of coexistence a try. I would love to hear how it goes for you and your "dagnabbit" rabbits.

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