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I sure am having problems with the rabbits eating my coleus! Actually, they don't even eat it, they just chew off the stem. I suppose they do that to get liquid. I've tried putting out little dishes of water, but that doesn't help. I guess they can't lap it up like cats do. Anyone have any success in preventing damage from rabbits?
Try cayenne pepper. Just give the leaves a light dusting. It is by far the best rabbit repellant I have ever used -- and organic too! Reapplication will be necessary following overhead watering or rain but in my book, it is well worth the effort.
Insecticidal soap is another thought and what I had to resort to for potted amaryllises. Each one had to be totally immersed in it and the results have been great. If you have the ants in pots it's more difficult.
For my big zonal geranium there was no way I could even lift it, no less immerse it, but the insecticidal soap drove them out. Many remained on the outside of the pot. It's really a problem. I covered the plant and sprayed Raid on the pot - all the way around - in the hopes it will still kill any ants left over.
Rabbits are very tactile and their organ of touch is their mouth. I had a pet rabbit that chewed through the vinyl straps of my aunt's purse while she was visiting just because he was interested in the texture. Try blood meal to keep them away becasue of the blood scent -- so they won't get close enough to take a chomp. Make sure if you use cayenne that you dust it on the stems as well as the leaves, as that is what Br'er Rabbit is targeting -- the stems are succulent and they like the "snap" on their teeth, just like some of us like the feel of a nice, snappy stick of celery, even though we might rather have something more fattening! It's a sensory thing!
Well I put down lots of blood meal, and I'm no longer so concerned about the rabbits. No, it's not because I have evidence of it working... It's because the damange the ground hog did last night makes what the rabbit did seem pretty minimal. I had two containers 3 ft high and nearly as wide, and it COMPLETELY ate both of them, plus two other coldus plantings in the ground, fairly big, plus a 'sweedish ivy' plant. &^%$$$&^$#&^$@@
Aw, sorry to hear that! I had one where I work last year that completely destroyed my Victory Garden. Dang thing was bigger than both of my dogs! I tried everything to get rid of it and, just like Pirl said, nothing worked. I agree with onewish -- hope the little buggar got one heck of a belly ache!
For ants I have been putting a dusting of instant oatmeal anywhere they are present. They immediately start hauling it into their holes.
When they eat it it expands and the ants are history. Down here they gang up on me and their bites cause puss blisters that leave scars.
One of the snowbirds that was parked across the road from me was feeding the squirrels. So they have no fear of me.
When I started planting my deck I brought a Brugmansia from Jacksonville. The neighbors were watching one day when Mr Squirrel chew on one and then proceeded to run in circles and do flips.
Maybe Mr Groundhog needs to meet a Brug.
I also use Bayer Rose and Flower systemic on my coleus and everything but edibles.. I put whole cloves around my herbs and heirloom tomatoes.
Hope some of this helps.
An article in the August issue of Garden Gate magazine suggests dumping urine-soaked cat litter into the groundhog's den to make him take up residence elsewhere. It suggests to do this when the groundhog is out foraging. Once he has left, cover or fill the hole.
I don't know where the groundhog den is, probably a few houses down under their deck.
I set out traps, but so far no luck catching it. My friend says she catches them all the time with peanut butter. I"ve never been successful at getting one to go in the trap. I just get squirrels.
My daughter has a lot of beautiful coleus too (from my cuttings, ha), and she saw a big ground hog in her yard. They live out in the country and her husband has a cross bow. She said that is a very effective remedy. They know where the hole is, so I"ll pass out the tips about the cat litter. Sigh, no cross bow here, though I"ll surely tell them to bring it next time they visit.
Human urine is an excellent rabbit repellent (around the plants, not on them). If you have a little boy, he can be a very effective, ready-to-use dispenser! (My son was very handy from age 5 up until high school!) For in-towners, or the shy, a jar collection system works just as well.
It will also work for woodchucks, but takes more! Try applying directly into the woodchuck burrow, too.