Return of the Cottontails

27. July 2014 22:16

The "deer and rabbit" fencing we have around our garden mostly works. The deer do manage to poke their noses through the openings to munch on anything growing within a few inches of the fence. Only a few grape leaves, citrus branches and the blackberry and raspberry plants are in any danger of being pruned by Bambi. The thorns on the berries and some of the citrus do not seem to hinder the deer when anything is within reach.

At the bottom part of the fence, the one inch spacing in the wires does not seem to prevent the cottontail rabbits from slipping through without much difficulty. There are at least three bunnies in the group that lives near the garden. One was a bit smaller than the others, perhaps a juvenile who liked exploring more than staying near the safety of the brush area where they normally live. The pumpkin leaves provide excellent camouflage for the tiny bunny. Another of his favorite spots seemed to be among the bush beans -- perhaps because they were a favorite for eating.

After multiple episodes of finding baby bunny in the garden and chasing him out, we hoped to put an end to it by installing a layer of chicken wire along the lower part of the fencing along the side next to the cottontail habitat.  It did not work. We had hoped that they would not go around to the side. For a few days, it looked like a success.  But all too soon, the cottontails were hopping around the garden again.

We will have to add the additional chicken wire to the other sides of the fence to keep the cottontails out. Fortunately, the damage they have done so far has been minimal -- mostly a few beans and peas. Meanwhile, when I trim anything from the garden or remove past prime plants, the results are dumped outside the fence and serve as a buffet for the deer and rabbits.

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