Hello wonderful people!
The garden was so hot this morning. The tomatoes need to be staked again, but it was simply too hot to spend much time out there. I gave everything a drink, but didn’t spend too much time looking around. We are starting to get production on almost every tomato plant, the sunflowers are starting to produce flowers, and the peppers look great.
Today, I’d like to discuss a little problem. Many little problems actually: bunny rabbits. Rabbits and birds love to destroy our beautiful gardens. We want to stop them chomping on our vegetables.
These cute little creatures can be a huge pest in a veggie garden. People have nice images of rabbits inspired by Bugs Bunny or the Easter Bunny, but these hungry bunnies can be quite voracious. They’ll munch on almost anything in your garden, favorites include kale, carrots, peppers, and others! They look at your garden (and all your hard work) as a personal buffet. How do we keep them away?
The simplest and one of the most effective repellants is a physical barrier. Putting up chicken wire around your veggies may be unsightly, but it will allow you to munch on some of the veggies you planted. Be sure to bury the chicken wire though, those bunnies will dig! Remember, they’ll only go for your veggies if it is worth trying; make it difficult for them to get close!
If you don’t want unsightly wire around your garden, you can try using a homemade, earth friendly repellant. Many garden pests, including rabbits, don’t like spicy peppers. Any very hot pepper and be used, even some you may grow in your garden. Blend 3-4 peppers and a few cloves of garlic in a food processor and add water to create a liquid. Strain mixture and mix it with vegetable oil, some white glue, and dishwashing detergent. Spray mixture onto plants, but be careful where you spray hot peppers. Be careful not to burn your veggies! Be careful not to touch your face after making this recipe!
You can also use blood meal to scare rabbits. Blood meal is dried blood from cattle slaughterhouses. You can sprinkle dried blood meal around your garden. This isn’t the greatest idea though, because it needs to be reapplied often and it can cause a nutrient imbalance in your fertile soil!
Another easy way to keep rabbits away is to change their habitat. If they have nowhere to live, they won’t be chomping away. Get rid of any brush piles or low groundcover. Keep low trees well trimmed. Make it hard for rabbits to find someplace to hide.
Though it may be a bit more work (aka years of dedication), getting a dog is a wonderful way to keep the rabbits away. As long as your pup isn’t friendly with the backyard residents, he should be an excellent guard to your veggies.
The other pest in our garden could potentially be birds. Birds are slightly more picky when it comes to selecting a meal from the garden. They like sweets. Birds would be happy to take your berries, plums, or tomatoes. However, they are easily scared away. Your new puppy may assist in keeping birds away, but unfortunately can’t reach them in a tree. An easy way to scare birds, aside from frantic dog barks, is to hang up aluminum foil, CDs, or other shiny objects around your garden. As your ornaments move around in the breeze, they should throw light around the garden. The flashes scare the birds. The chili pepper concoction above also works for birds. Just spray where they are congregating.
Give these easy tips a try if you’re having trouble in your garden. Best of luck!