Tammy SchmittThe Bunny Blockade

I have a secret: I’m outrageously jealous of the rabbits living under my neighbor’s house. They have no deadlines, alarm clocks, or bureaucratic nutjobs to deal with. They spend their days eating, sleeping, and having sex. There are no bad hair days, wrinkles, or calories to worry about. They are always cute and I can’t stand it.

evil bunny

But as envious as I am of their lustful, snack-filled lifestyle, my garden has become their favorite buffet. As they fuel up for round after round of naked bunny funtime, more and more of my plants begin to disappear. Last summer dwarf heliopsis, most of my asters, dahlia, sedum, beans, annual vines, etc were all devoured. They need to start eating my neighbor’s landscaping instead of my garden. So while the bunnies are locked in their latest orgasmic frenzy creating hordes of babies to further decimate my garden, I’m battening the hatches and waiting for their Bacchanalian festivities to end. What the rabbits don’t know is I’ve created a bunny blockade.

WHAT PEOPLE SEE

rabbit-in-the-garden-animal-wallpaper

 

WHAT A FEMALE RABBIT SEES

kraft zesty man

P3230001Knowing bunny proof plants exist as stalwarts of garden mythology only, I had to take a more drastic approach. Since my four well-rested dogs hadn’t done much to reduce the local bunny population, I needed to figure out a way to keep the rabbits out of my garden so they could focus on eating everyone else’s plants instead. To do this, I enclosed my entire garden in green plastic coated wire fencing and created barricades for my fence gates.

I used whatever green plastic coated wire netting was available from my local hardware store.

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Since eastern cottontail rabbits aren’t known for their jumping abilities, I only used fencing that was 2 feet high.

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I used cable zip ties to attach the fencing to the black wire pet fencing that already lines my wooden fence. I started with the little zip ties but they drove me crazy and I soon switched to much longer black ties. I used landscape staples to secure the fencing into the ground.

P3230006Most of the fencing was attached from my neighbors side of the fence since I had too many woody plants in the way. My wonderful neighbors decided I was crazy a long time ago and don’t mind the rabbits. They may change their mind when they have no plants left.

I rolled the fencing a bit at the bottom to help prevent the rabbits from digging underneath.

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I used square dowels to reduce the space between my gate slats so the rabbits can’t squeeze through the openings. It’s possible they’ll dig under the gate, but I’m hoping they’re not that motivated.

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This was a really easy project!

I used a cheap piece of decorative molding to block the bottom of the fence. The pea gravel isn’t part of the bunny blockade. This area stays wet after it rains and the gravel helps with drainage.

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Even though I’ve fenced in the back garden, there’s still plenty for the rabbits to eat along the front and sides of the house. Note to self: Encourage neighbors to plant lettuce.

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Tammy Schmitt

About Tammy Schmitt

I am a passionate middle school teacher and gardener. I've gardened in South Dakota, South Carolina, and in upstate New York near the Canadian border. My current garden, in an overdeveloped suburb near Washington DC, has been my most challenging. My desire to create a true refuge for our native birds and butterflies has helped me battle unpredictable weather and compacted clay soil. My garden isn't perfect, but it's always a beautiful escape. Read my full blog at Casa Mariposa.

7 thoughts on “The Bunny Blockade

  1. helen on said:

    Very entertaining, Tammy, and good luck! Unfortunately, the bane of my garden is possums (cute like bunnies, but no fence can keep them out!), and the much less cute rats. Unfortunately we likely have native rats as well, and besides, I’m reluctant to use rat poison as it’s such an inhumane way to kill an animal (if there was a very quick-acting poison, I’d be more inclined to consider it).

    We also, have a plastic owl, Hoot, who is moved around the garden each morning to deter the rats from eating the seedlings. Not sure if it’s working not least because recently I visited a friend’s garden who had a similar plastic owl. The rats had chewed off half its face, and had nested inside! Clearly not a deterrent!

    • Thanks! Crying about all the damage doesn’t do any good so I might as well make light of it. :o) But I’d much rather have a rabbit than a face chewing rat, even if their preferences are for plastic and greenery. How big are the rats? Are they the size of large mice or the giant monsters that live in NYC?

  2. Or get yourself a non-climbing, rabbiting cat. He can’t jump or climb as a result of an injury to his hip when he was just a year old, so birds and possums are out of reach. And although he is HUGE he is obviously fast enough across the ground. Our tally, in response to the bunny invasion that’s hit Sydney’s North Shore in the past year, is now 12. 10 rabbits to Balzac the cat, 1 to my car (urgh, it was horrible but no chance to avoid it) and one to the swimming pool, where I assume it had come to drink during our summer drought, and then fallen in. Now if only he could catch the varmit that’s eating my dahlias into skeletons every night…..

    • I’d love to get a cat but my husband is very allergic. We had very mild winters for 2 years which may have contributed to the explosion in the bunny population. They’ve already eaten my crocus so as much as I want to believe my system will keep them out, I know I’m just slowing them down. But I’ll take what I can get. :o)

  3. Bunnie angst truly felt, Tammy. I have never let their cute and sweet PR pics fool me. They don’t trouble us here, although we see many in the car headlights when driving. We have bandicoots and grasshoppers, though, and nothing seems to stop them.

  4. Amanda Commins on said:

    I feel your pain Tammy. I have just spent the past few hours constructing wire barriers around a number of plants that I am hoping the bunnies can’t get under, over or through. I used to like bunnies (fooled by their PR clearly) but my patience is now wearing a bit thin.

  5. The only way to see a bandicoot here is to go to the zoo, so if one showed up in my garden, that would be quite a sight!

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