The Q&A Archives: garden planning

Question: how to plant garden and protect from rabbits

Answer: Unfortunately I am not sure if you mean a vegetable or flower garden. In both cases though you would begin with a sunny location (preferably all day sun) that is well drained (not a low, muddy area) and prepare the soil. You could prepare it this fall and be all set to plant come spring.

The first thing would be to run some basic soil tests to check pH and fertility levels. You would add amendments as indicated by the test results along with ample quantitites of organic matter such as compost, well rotted stable manure and bedding, or even chopped autumn leaves. Then mulch the area or plant a winter cov er crop such as annual rye grass to protect the soil from erosion. In spring, dig that into the soil before you plant.

What to plant depends on your personal taste and needs. There are many plants that you should be able to grow very well. You might check with your county extension for suggestions as to what does particularly well in your local area.

Rabbits can be very destructive. Some gardeners report success using the spray on rabbit repellents sold at garden centers. In my experience however the best control is a fence; in addition to going upward it also needs to extend flat outward (bury the flat part so they can't see it) to deter digging under it. If you have young trees you should probably use tree guards to prevent them from damaging the bark in the winter. Your county extension may have suggestions as to a good fence design, or you can take a look at some of the following for ideas. You may need to cut and paste the complete url into your browser to make it work correctly.

I hope this helps.

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