Gardening for Wildlife forum: Help with bunnies

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Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Oct 1, 2014 8:35 AM CST
Hi, I am helping the kids grow veggies at the local elementary school. This is our third year growing a garden, but this week, the first bunny showed up. I wondered where the seedlings were disappearing to . . .

Any good suggestions on how to discourage the bunnies without drastic measures would be much appreciated. I'd like to nip his habit in the bud before he brings back his whole family.

We have 8 raised beds, and this fall we amended the soil with alfalfa pellets. Could this be what has attracted the bunnies? If so, I'll have to find another amendment, I guess.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Oct 1, 2014 9:30 AM CST
Try putting a thick layer of cedar mulch around the outline of the beds, alot of critters don't like cedar.
Other than that, you could teach the kids some cooking skills Smiling mmmmm


Or not.
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
dyzzypyxxy
Oct 1, 2014 9:38 AM CST
Hilarious! Oh yeah, rabbit stew for school lunch? Can you imagine the parental outrage?

I even got in trouble for mentioning to the 5th grade class that the frogs we were catching in their veggie bed were invasive Cuban Tree frogs, and that the University recommends they be euthanized. The teacher put the kibosh on that, and 'released' the frogs at the other end of the field.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Oct 1, 2014 10:12 AM CST
yup.

chicken nuggets come from the grocery store, just like when we tell youngun's their baby sister came from the hospital lol
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Butterflies Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Region: Florida Dog Lover Birds
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flaflwrgrl
Oct 1, 2014 2:21 PM CST
Chicken wire fencing around all the beds.
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Oct 1, 2014 3:39 PM CST
flaflwrgrl said:Chicken wire fencing around all the beds.


At home, I would do that.
But at school, if one of the kids gets scratched on a stray wire, the school would be liable. I would definitely run that by the principle (or whomever you "answer to") before I did it. Just to cover yourself.
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Butterflies Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Region: Florida Dog Lover Birds
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flaflwrgrl
Oct 1, 2014 4:08 PM CST
Danged if you do and danged if you don't.
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
dyzzypyxxy
Oct 1, 2014 4:36 PM CST
So right, if it comes to that, I'd make removable fences that we can leave in place when the kids are not in the garden, and remove easily to put out of harm's way when we're teaching. Having looked a bit, there is plastic coated chicken wire, and sturdy plastic mesh that might work, too.

We're only there one day a week. The rest of the time, the kids visit and look but there's no 'hands on' work unless we're there.

There's also the cost - we have raised beds, 6 of them are 4ft. x 8ft. and the other two are 3ft. x 10 ft. (narrower for the little kids so they can reach the middle). That's nearly 200ft. of chicken wire. I have bamboo we can use for posts, but it's gotta be sturdy enough to stand up to bunny abuse, also light enough to remove as we need to.

My first go-to is a scent deterrent, I think. Going to try that around the perimeter of the garden, and see if that is enough of a deterrent. All further suggestions are most welcome.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Coatesville IN (Zone 5b)
Daylilies Hummingbirder Lilies Region: Indiana Dog Lover Echinacea
Butterflies Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Claudia
Oct 1, 2014 5:44 PM CST
I can only speak for myself, but I used alfalfa pellets this summer in my beds and I definitely experienced more bunny traffic in my yard.
Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them. ~Eeyore
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
dyzzypyxxy
Oct 1, 2014 7:19 PM CST
Ah ha! I thought that might be a connection. Thanks Claudia.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Cinda
Indiana Zone 5b
Dances with Dirt
Native Plants and Wildflowers Critters Allowed Garden Procrastinator Herbs Vegetable Grower Plant Identifier
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gardengus
Oct 2, 2014 4:12 PM CST
You might try some pepper on the produce , it bothers their little noses , the problem it has to be re applied after a rain.
Is it possible to set up a bunny feeding station? Maybe you could find something they would like better than your fresh produce ( *Blush* well now that might prove impossible) Hilarious!
Keep believing ,hoping,and loving
all else is just existing.
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
dyzzypyxxy
Oct 2, 2014 6:20 PM CST
No kidding! What's better than fresh produce to a bunny, except maybe brand-new seedlings? Or alfalfa pellets. Can't help but think I'd just be inviting them to stay around instead of discouraging them.

I deployed a scent deterrent product today called Animal B Gon, made of herbs and egg whites. It is supposedly targeted specially for rabbits and deer. We shall see. It sure smelled fantastic, rosemary, cinnamon, mint and chamomile amongst other herbs. Guess I need to get cookin' and make some of my own so I don't have to keep spending $14 for a container that might last a couple more applications.

After more research, it does seem as if the long-term solution is chicken wire fencing attached to the existing picket fence. I'm going to have to apply for another grant to pay for it.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: BrendaVR
Ontario, Canada (Zone 6a)
Dragonflies Butterflies Region: Canadian
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BrendaVR
Nov 12, 2014 7:42 PM CST
Heh...I find the bunnies have a homing beacon for veggies, alfalfa pellets or not...if there is no fence there will be bunnies in the vegies.

Growing up we did use garlic, chives and onions growing around the perimeter of the garden and it did seem to significantly reduce the damage. More recently I've been told to try marigolds (but I haven't tried yet).
If we had no holes in our leaves we would have no butterflies!
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
dyzzypyxxy
Nov 13, 2014 9:38 AM CST
That's what we did, Brenda. Rabbit fencing around the perimeter, fastened to the picket fence on the inside so it doesn't show. Now to just keep an eye out for them digging under it . . .

And thanks for reminding me, we have not yet planted our marigolds! I wish we had better irrigation coverage, as we only have one hose bib serving 8 raised beds, so the perimeter fence doesn't get any water except rain. Last year we got enough to keep the marigolds going though.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Nov 13, 2014 10:49 AM CST
dyzzypyxxy said:... I wish we had better irrigation coverage, as we only have one hose bib serving 8 raised beds ...


I ran some black polyethylene irrigation tubing around my yard (3/4" and 1/2"), and put "TEE" fittings with hose threads anywhere I wanted another faucet. I have some mini-sprayers and sometimes try dripline, but having short lengths of hose everywhere I might want them has been nice.

Closeup of Compression Tee with Male hose thread
+ Brass 2-Valve Y ($10)
+ EZ-Loc connector (Female garden hose thread to ½" mainline)
+ cut garden hose with brass Female Hose End from Home Depot
Thumb of 2013-03-20/RickCorey/7e9d36

http://garden.org/ideas/view/RickCorey/1246/More-Spigots-Equ...

Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
dyzzypyxxy
Nov 13, 2014 12:09 PM CST
Thanks Rick. We're splitting at the source to two timers, and then splitting each run twice already, too. Only have enough pressure to run one area at a time. I've been hoping a kind irrigation guy who has a kid at the school will volunteer to help us find more water from somewhere but . . . still waiting.

Plus it takes an Act of Congress for them to let us add any kind of permanent infrastructure there. Rolling my eyes. Shrug!
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
Nov 13, 2014 5:02 PM CST
I see that you have much more experience with REAL irrigation than I do!

>> Only have enough pressure to run one area at a time.

Ouch.

That was why I started my system with 100 feet of 3/4" mainline, then branched it "wherever" into 1/2" mainline.

But my yard is tiny and I could run the whole thing from one 1/2" line. That's supposed to supply 240 GPH at a manageable pressure drop, but I never measured it. I do have 45 psi city water which is nice.

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