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Garden Pests and Diseases: how to keep wild rabbits out of garden???

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BonnieGardens
Clermont, FL
(Zone 9a)

January 23, 2013
8:26 PM

Post #9395539

We have put up electric fencing close to the ground. Sprinkled various brands of pellets supposed to repel them and other critters. Have sprinkeled hot pepper seeds all around garden perimeter also mothballs which is really expensive on a 30 X 50 ft. space..
For 2 years have given up having a vegie garden as they eat plants right down to ground. Especially anything like broccoli or brussel sprouts.
They live in round hay bales in barn and also makes nests for young right in the ground in my flower beds. Rarely see them out during the day so shooting them isn't an option. Can't set traps as I have a dog. She goes after them but can't get thru pasture fence and they always run away that way.
Any cures would be greatly appreciate. Too bad I can't find someone that would sit out there all night with spot lite and shotgun. Can't get my husb. to stay up all night.
Any thoughts????
Bonnie

themoonhowl

themoonhowl
Prairieville, LA
(Zone 9a)

January 26, 2013
9:40 AM

Post #9398118

Really frustrating isn't it Bonnie.

Here is what the Humane Society has to say.

http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/rabbits/tips/solving_problems_rabbits.html

We have the same problem, but on a smaller scale. First, make sure there are no dens in the garden. Then, we dug a six inch deep trench around the entire area (DH rented a Ditch witch ). We used 4 ft fence poles every 6 to 8 ft and sank them in the trench til they were about 2 1/2 ft tall. We used 3 ft chicken wire and set the bottom of the wire at the base of the trench and secured it to the poles and then used landscape pegs to keep the wire firmly in the ground. (one every foot or so) Refill the trench with dirt and pack it down The rabbits can't climb the fence and can't push under it.

We planted a few areas along the outside edge of the fence with ice berg lettuce seeds...the rabbits nibbled on those some, but since the ice berg has no nutritive value, they moved on in search of better food.
Our yard backs up to a drainage canal, so I buy end of season lettuce and spinach seeds (10 cents a packet) and scatter them along the canal in early spring. That seems to help keep them from wandering into the yard as much.
BonnieGardens
Clermont, FL
(Zone 9a)

January 26, 2013
6:26 PM

Post #9398578

My husb. and I discussed making the same thing BUT I have a tractor with tiller on back that has to be able to get into garden at leat 3 times a year. Therefore one end of fencing would have to be opened up all the way across the garden for working it and turning at rows ends. His ideas were very expensive for wire attached to large swing out gates. Yes he can build it but not sure its worth the expence and effort. I just miss all the fresh vegies.

We had an old black cat that we never realized that he must have kept them away for years. He got killed in our road and ever since then we have had them breeding in ground nests right in my fornt flower beds and in our barn in the big round bales of hay. We have 2 kitten now we are hoping to raise to run them off again. Can't set traps as I have a lab and she will chase them but they take off out into pasture cause they know she can't get thru fence but they can. Smart little buggers. Thanks for your responce and I agree. A fence will probably be only deterrant.

Bonnie
Diana_K
Contra Costa County, CA
(Zone 9b)

January 27, 2013
6:27 PM

Post #9399508

Fence with trench imbed.

1) Fence that has a tighter mesh near the bottom. The upper part can be a more open mesh.

2) Imbed as described above.
Here is how to make gates:

Where it is just for people do an imbed that sticks up about 6 inches, and make the gate overlap. You will have to step over the part that sticks up from under ground. Do not step on it and squish it. Make it sturdy so they cannot push through it. If you have to bring a wheelbarrow through this gate build up a protective ramp with lumber or bricks so the wheelbarrow will not break down the part where the imbed sticks up.

Where the tractor has to drive over it you could do it a couple of ways.
a) Make it the same way as the 'people gate', then lay down some boards to drive over when you need to get the tractor into the garden.
b) Make a 'break away' section, where that part of the imbed can be laid down flat to drive over, then stand it back up when the tractor is done.
c) Pour concrete in the path of people and tractor, and build a gate that scrapes the concrete.

Invite all the neighbors over for a 'midnight rabbit hunt'.
BonnieGardens
Clermont, FL
(Zone 9a)

February 2, 2013
1:58 PM

Post #9406189

Thanks much. An imbeded fence it will have to be unless the 2 cats we got grow up to be rabbit hunters.

Our next door neighbor is a rabbit hunter and tries to help us out. His dog is also good. My dog we can't turn loose in the pasture with our cows all right. She sleeps on our carport and unles they come right across the yard she doesn't know they are around.

Oh well, we will get more fence and do it that way as I really want a vegie garden. They have been eating someof my aztec grass border around my flower beds out front. They have 20 acres of woods right across from me but prefer what I grow.

Thanks again,
Bonnie
PermaCycle
Indianapolis, IN
(Zone 5b)

February 5, 2013
10:20 PM

Post #9409875

Yes, proper fencing is the key. I would recommend "rabbit guard" a galvanized 16 ga. steel to prevent the critters from using their teeth to bite their way through, which happened with my chain link fence for several years. When I added the rabbit guard inside the chain link, only then was I able to stop the intruders. Feeding the neighborhood cat colony on a regular basis also helped. :) Also, I found some gate construction hardware online that allowed me to build and erect a professional standard 6-ft wide gate in a short time. I don't know how wide your tractor and tiller is, but you can learn more about the GForceHinge at http://www.gforcehinge.com/ to see if this will work for you. Video instructions are available at the website and on YouTube as well.

For a threshold, I placed a single row of Catalina pillar blocks in a trench below the gate. These landscape stones are plenty heavy duty to handle vehicle traffic. I haven't had any rabbits attempt to dig under the blocks, which are about 5" thick sitting on dense clay soil, but if you are concerned you can put a section of wire on both sides of the stones to further deter them and use a double row of stones. The gate can be constructed and installed in less than 2 hours by two people, including the setting of the 4x4 posts and the stones, if a quick drying cement mix is used. Make sure you use heavy duty latch hardware to hold the gate in place when closed and some kind of support when the gate is open. I use a masonry brick to support the end of the gate when I'm accessing the garden just to take the weight off the secured hinges. If you do this, your gate should remain sturdy enough to last a long time with little maintenance.
Diana_K
Contra Costa County, CA
(Zone 9b)

February 5, 2013
11:08 PM

Post #9409883

Good idea about imbedding concrete blocks or rocks or other impassible material in the ground.
Another 'drive-on' product is Turfstone. This is shaped concrete that is about 4" deep (use 2 courses) and can be filled with gravel such as 1/4 by dust to compact very firmly.
Other use is in a lawn area that can be driven over. Lawn grows through the spaces pretty well. Fill with gravel when rabbits are the problem, of course.
BonnieGardens
Clermont, FL
(Zone 9a)

February 12, 2013
5:55 PM

Post #9417122

PermaCycle:
That gforcehinge looks much easier than what my husb. usually makes but then he is making for pipe gates for our pasture. That looks simple enough that I can do it. Thanks so much.

Diana:

Thank you also for all your info. Much appreciated.
My Kabota is BX2350 just a little one so won't need humongus gate. Widest part is 60" I think. It sure is a little workhorse.
My husb. has bigger tractor but it doesn't work the garden.
Thanks again.
Bonnie
makcounter
Abbotsford
Canada

February 13, 2013
9:10 PM

Post #9418452

There is a type of fencing designed to keep rabbits out. It's called rabbit fencing, and if you ask for that at your nearest home improvement or hardware store, they should know exactly what you're talking about.

Rabbits dig, however, so you would probably have the best luck if you laid about 12" of chicken wire on the ground along the outside of the bottom edge of the rabbit wire fencing. The rabbits won't be able to dig through it. They could easily bite through chicken wire, but I doubt they'll be inclined to do so when it's flat on the ground. That's the best non-lethal solution I can offer. Others may have better ideas.


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PermaCycle
Indianapolis, IN
(Zone 5b)

April 18, 2013
6:34 PM

Post #9489075

Hi, Bonnie. Hope that your rabbit fencing is going well. Just wanted to let you know that I added a small drop-down wheel on the end of my gate to allow for better support on the hinges when opening. Works great, much like those pipe gates your husband makes no doubt. All the best.
BonnieGardens
Clermont, FL
(Zone 9a)

April 20, 2013
3:10 PM

Post #9491016

I'm sure the rabbit fencing will work. That will be a next winters project before we put in winter garden. Got too much going on right now but it will get done I'm sure.

I appreciate all the suggetions. We will stop the rabbits.

Bonnie

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