Strangers in the Night and Other Garden Marauders, Part III: Rabbitgreenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) Preparation Forum : One Thread
Greatest Cravings: carrots, peas, beans, lettuce, beets, strawberries; in winter, bark of fruit bushes and trees. Generally don't eat squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, potatoes, peppers or corn.
Signs: most active in early morning or late afternoon. Plants nibbled cleanly, leveled to ground. Telltale droppings--small round pellets in area of dining.
Best barrier: rabbits CAN leap, generally wont, prefer to burrow underground to get to goodies. Best barrier is 1' mesh chicken wire, buried 6'' into ground, at least 2' of fencing aboveground AND an apron of several inches turned outward at top, acting as baffle. Guard trees and bushes with hardware cloth, burlap, plastic or alum foil, extending at least 18" above highest snowfall you expect. (Rabbit's paws = snowshoes.)
Other deterrents: spreading ground black pepper, chile powder, blood meal, rotten egg, bone oil or hot pepper sauce around plants. Dog will keep rabbits away for sure. Remove piles of debris or brush, act as hideouts.
-- Old Git (email@example.com), July 06, 1999
A chicken wire fence with 6 inches underground and 2-1/2 feet aboveground but no bent-outward apron at top failed to stop at least one rabbit from getting at my beans. After I surprised one in the act and let it struggle against the inside of the fence for several seconds in a panic while I hissed at it to give it a good scare, I walked around to where it was and watched it run to the other side and cleanly leap a section there. I looked for signs of burrowing under the fence but found none.
After that I stopped planting beans and peas, but did continue planting carrots and lettuce. Never noticed any trouble with varmints nibbling on them. Maybe that one rabbit was an extraordinary jumper but I put a permanent scare into it?
On several later occasions I did see rabbits resting on the grass just outside the fence, but never saw evidence that they bothered what was inside it. Perhaps this just indicated their disdain for my taste in greens or my horticultural efforts. Or their preference for the untrimmed weeds where my riding mower couldn't trim close to the fence.
Have you ever watched a bunny eat a ripe dandelion that's just gone to full seed? Nip it off at the base, steadily chew up the stalk, then -- poof! -- swallow the seedball whole, leaving only a half-dozen floaters around its head.
-- No Spam Please (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 08, 1999.