The New Home Economics

Protecting plants from rabbits

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After what seemed like months of prep work, we’re finally planting our native back yard landscaping project!  We’re about 60% done at this point. We haven’t been able to find everything on our list, but we found suitable replacements.  I can’t believe how many are edible in some respect, even if just as herbal tea. More on that later.

I had a moment of panic last Sunday when I realized that rabbits most likely enjoy eating nearly all of the plants we’re adding. Once they’re established, they will be able to withstand a bit of nibbling. But right now, they could all be wiped out.

I bought a roll of 1/2 inch galvanized hardware cloth. It’s not cheap stuff, so Adam made the baskets as small as possible, like this:

Cutting with a wire snips. Each piece was then cut into three 8-inch high pieces and rolled into little baskets.  Yep, that is how small our plants are at this point.  We went for cheap small plants, knowing how fast natives tend to grow and fill in.

It’s a good idea to wear gloves when doing this sort of work.

Looks silly, doesn’t it? But it also has the added benefit of keeping these plants safe from being stepped on by the two kiddos running around the yard constantly.  My kids are careful about not stepping on plants, but these are honestly hard to see; they’re so tiny.  I plan to leave the baskets in place until the plants start to outgrow them — might take all summer, but it’s worth it.  Next year they should be OK without protection. Especially if Adam makes good on his rabbit stew threats.

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