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Bunny resistant, not bunny proof


In the past, I’ve put a few yummier plants in the circle garden, at least if you ask the local wildlife. A few years ago I put up a willow fence, which deterred the critters of the hopping variety. Of course rabbits like to chew, so eventually, the willow got very brittle and the bunnies figured out it wouldn’t take long to chew a hole through it. I decided it was time to replace the fence when I had more chicken wire patches than actual fence left. I also made a big mistake the first time I put it up, which is that I set it outside the stone edging, which meant it was impossible to trim the edges and I had grass long enough to qualify for the Guinness Book of World Records growing in some spots.

The willow fencing is really hard to find. The Internet company I bought the first fence from is still in business but I had such an awful experience with them that I swore I’d never go back, and I didn’t. The new fence, purchased from Drs. Foster & Smith (which I thought was only pet supplies, but turns out they sell pond supplies as well and I guess this fence falls in that category), has holes that are a little bigger than I’d prefer. They are certainly big enough that a baby bunny would have no problem getting through them. But it will do.

I’m not under any illusion that this fence will keep a determined rabbit at bay, but what I hope to do is make them think, “Nah, it’s not worth the effort,” and move on to nibble elsewhere. Plus, it was relatively inexpensive (vs. a metal option) and, other than the “posts,” which I really should have stained to match the fencing, I think it’s actually sort of charming looking. We’re making a door for entry to the pea gravel paths as well.

8 Responses

  1. Racoons will pull down the stalk of corn and pick the ear off and eat every bit of corn off the cob and leave the bare cobs scattered all around.

  2. @ Bart: Fortunately we've not had a raccoon problem. Do they steal the ears of corn? And your cat sounds like he was the perfect rabbit preventer! I do think the dogs help a little with the rabbit situation. Not so much by scaring them but the whole yard must smell like a giant dog to them so I would think that would make it less interesting.

  3. I had a mean old tom cat that kept the rabbits and racoons out of my garden and even my yard (He'd make short work of the neighbors dalmation) . He went on to his reward spring 2008 the summmer 2008 I lost all my beans to rabbits and most of my corn to racoons. I have no idea how to find a cat that mean again. I'm trying blood meal and fish emulsion around my beans this year . When I get time I'm going to wire a solar battery charger and a portable radio to make noise in my corn at night to keep the coons at bay.

  4. Alyssa, you must have really hungry rabbits or very tasty plants!

    I hesitate to even tempt fate like this, but I've not seen as many rabbits this year. What I have seen on various walks in the neighborhood is a couple of fat foxes. I'm thinking there might be a correlation, and I'm all for it.

  5. That fence would certainly not deter rabbits in our yard! Yours must give up easier than ours. We have chain link style fencing on the inside of our split rail fence, and they hop right through the holes with no problem. They can get really thin when necessary to fit through things around here!

  6. Ha Katie! Fortunately now that the newfies are more or less "adults" (some days less than others), we've minimized the plant nibbling, but that fence does serve an important purpose beyond rabbit control: Hudson will steal tomatoes right off the plant. He eyes them up for days, waits until they are just ripe, and then snatches them. I put a couple cherry tomatoes in that bed because they are right by the door and they are easily accessible for snacking purposes, so if the fence weren't there he'd just help himself.

    Now, one look at that fence and you know that it's not Newfie proof. One big ol' paw and it'd be history!

    As for your little plant eater … well, that's why he's so darn cute. So you don't kill him.

  7. Do you have newfie proof fencing…because some of the nibbling in my gardens is not the bunnies I was blaming originally…but the 8 month old newfie who just LOVES to eat plants and trees…and particularly yummy flower buds that have not opened yet.

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