Note to Self:

Monday, August 31, 2009

The Relentless Urban Rabbits

This has not been a good summer for vegetable gardening...it's bad enough that there has been a low yield with all the rain and lack of heat and sun, but what has been growing has been slowly and consistently chewed away by rabbits.

I recently posted on the subject of the explosion of urban rabbits this summer (click here to read it), and it hasn't gotten any better. A few nights ago I came home to see a rabbit calmly sitting in the middle of the garden gnawing away at what remains of a broccoli plant...and it didn't even run away initially...I had to stamp my feet (as if my neighbors don't already think I'm a little nuts). Thus far the rabbits have eaten all of the broccoli (two-foot wide plants down to stumps), most of the Brussels sprouts (they left the leaves for now but ate all of the actual vegetable), and have even eaten a pot of jalapeno plants...peppers and all! I've also noticed some suspicious nibblings on the red cabbage. Next year I'm going to be like some grumpy old man sitting on my front porch with a wine glass in one hand and a slingshot in the other.

6 comments:

garth said...

I sympathize with your plight. In our case, our layer chickens devastate our brassicas, which is the very definition of conflicted. (Delicious kale? Delicious eggs?) However, I'd recommend electric garden fencing over a slingshot. While electric fencing causes animals some pain, they do learn to avoid the fence and it's more humane than killing (or, worse yet, injuring) them with a slingshot or similar.

And yes, there are solar powered fence chargers available.

John in NH said...

yeah I agree, you sir need a fence ;) dont have to deal with rabbits up my way that much, but woodchucks are the buggers that get the garden, to take care of them (they dig!) you need to bury about 1-2 feet of wire fencing horizontally under ground that works. but yeah a nice little solar powered electric fence should do it

Joe said...

Hi Guys,

Thanks for your suggestions. The problem with an electric fence in my situation is that I live in a city and my garden literally touches the sidewalk...I'm sure I'd be arrested or something if a kid (or adult) happened to touch it. And no I'm not actually going to sit on my porch with a slingshot...though as I professional cook I can make a pretty good rabbit etouffee,

Clare said...

Hey, Joe, how about just some plain old chicken fencing to surround your garden area? It comes in rolls that are easy to transport on a bike! Just stake it in well. It's about 2 feet tall, which should take care of the bunnies. If you're concerned about the asthetics of it, plant some sweet pea flowers to grow up it for some nice color, and if the bunnies munch on those, no problem.

Joe said...

Hi Clare,
I was thinking along the same lines...next year though, sort of late in the season...but it does suck after all the hard work (not to mention cash involved) to let a good portion of your garden to get chewed away.

Anonymous said...

Rabbits ate all our cilantro but didn't touch the basil.