Thursday, May 14, 2009

RABBITS AND CHICKENS AND MULCH

Last year, we had two major issues with our garden: weeds and those disgustingly enormous tomato worms. So, we decided to get a head start on those issues this year. We have loaded up with organic pesticide, and we are buying untreated mulch and hay to spread around the plants and down the aisles. I know that mulch will not completely stop weeds from growing, but we are hoping to retard the growth enough to make the weeds manageable.

However, we have been accosted by a new enemy. Our garden is being decimated by a humongous rabbit. Yes, one gigantic rabbit is singlehandedly destroying our fledgling plants. We've lost half of our tomatoes and broccoli, and we've lost all of our lettuce and beans. So, when I went to the local co-op to purchase my hay and untreated mulch (along with some seed corn to bolster our currently pathetic corn crop), I asked the co-opers for some advice on dealing with the pesky ... um ... is a rabbit a rodent? The co-op staff gave me three suggestions.

The first suggestion was to spread human hair around the perimeter of the garden. I figured we could get some hair clippings from the local salon. However, Grampy nixed that idea. He was a little grossed out, and declared that he could not eat vegetables that had been nourished by other people's rotting hair. Fair enough.

The second suggestion was to sprinkle Cayenne pepper around the perimeter of the garden. The smell will temporarily keep the rabbits out. Of course, it must be reapplied after every rain or watering, and the rabbit will eventually get used to the smell and invade the garden again.

So, the third suggestion was to follow the second suggestion. Once the rabbit gets used to the smell of Cayenne pepper, we need to sprinkly shavings of Irish Spring soap around the garden. Again, this is only a temporary solution, as the rabbit will eventually get used to that smell, too; but, the hope is that the above methods will deter the rabbit long enough to allow the plants to grow a little. Once the plants get too big, the rabbit won't want to eat them anymore, and will be forced to seek tender young shoots elsewhere.

While I was receiving these pearls of wisdom from the co-opers, my cherubs were happily occupied with this:


Yes, a big trough of chicks. Fortunately, the chickens were covered with netting. Although my cherubs found them to be adorable in the trough, I think there would have been mass hysteria if the chicks had been able to make actual contact with them.

5 comments:

Jessica said...

I saw your comment on Kara's blog and had to laugh. I have toddlers and don't know how other people have time to watch tv either.

Very cute pic! Our garden is being destroyed by squirrels. Grrrr. They ate all our corn.

Kara said...

Ohhh, rabbits!!! We had the same problem at our old house and I stuffed dog hair in pieces of stocking and tied them aroung the tomatoes cages and on stakes around the perimeter of the garden. Seemed to work, but by then most of my lettuce was gone:(
Soph brought home 2 chicks from school the other day and although they are cute, I'm ready to take them back soon! Your girls are so cute!!

Muthering Heights said...

I heard a rumor that if you raise the garden, a rabbit will avoid attacking it for fear of exposing itself for attack. I think that may fall under the category of psychological warfare, however...

Preacherzson said...

you live in fricking Tennessee- GET A GUN and treat the offender with extreme prejudice. Plus there is a certain perverse joy in seeing those little rodents jump about 3 feet into the air right before they get to the veggies when you pop 'em in the ribs or backside. Watching a squirrel's mental state cycle from nirvana to complete shock to "the sky is falling!" is a treat. It takes gardening to a whole other level.
sidebar:
The squirrel invasion of '08 was successfully repelled requiring only one fatality; get a bb gun (and wear eye protection when shooting.)

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