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Rabbit Destroying My Plants!!!!!

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Postby Venice » Mar 02, 2008 2:28 pm

ohhh that's a good idea with the ice cubes, although I haven't seen them myself, just their tracks.

I don't want to attract birds to the yard with the seed. (Call me crazy, but I don't like birds flying around, they scare me, and Gizmo go nutso barking at them.)

I wouldn't mind pruning on the branches, but they're just eating all the bark off the base of my trees. I have some 1 1/2 ft, wire around the trees, which works usually, but the snow is up higher then this. oh well......

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Postby GardenDoc » Mar 09, 2008 4:21 pm

I am going to give the bird seed Idea a Try. That sounds like it might work more me. But will I keep having to put out the bird seeds because it will keep the Rabbits coming back?
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Postby Beetonian,zone5a » Mar 10, 2008 9:45 am

venice, I can certainly sympathize with you. Rabbits almost destroyed a couple of young burning bushes 2 winters ago. Since then I've had to surround them with chicken wire cages. Last winter with little snow they almost killed off 2 hybrid musk roses that took the whole summer to recover & had only a few blooms. Last spring a rabbit had her babies under our deck & counted 8 bunnies & 3 adults frolicking in backyard--yes they were cute but devastated the veggie garden.

We do not have any predators in our suburban neighborhood except hawks. Next door neighbor keeps bird feeder all year round which has added to population, tho she did report recently finding 2 rabbit carcasses near her feeder, & has seen hawks sit on her fence. This am, Mom & Dad rabbits were trying to figure out how to get under deck but snow is piled up, so it must be breeding season again. I've decided to buy a trap while the skunks are still in hibernation, & if I catch rabbits to release them in a conservation area some 20 miles away. Wish me luck!
"The garden which is pleasing to the eye and which makes the heart glad, is the garden in which are growing side by side flowers of every hue, form and perfume, and the joyous contrast of colour is what makes for charm and beauty." (Abdu'l-Baha)
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Re: Rabbit Destroying My Plants!!!!!

Postby A Closet Canuck » Mar 12, 2008 10:15 am

Venice wrote:I'm sooo angry right now. I just looked out and my burning bush has been stripped raw!!!!! the branches are all white and have been stripped of bark. Looks like they've been at my rose bush too.....

Sorry to hear about the rabbit damage. The good news is your burning bush can be cut to the ground and it will revive; they are really hard to kill. You might consider using hardwire cloth around your shrubs and tree trunks to keep the rabbits at bay next winter.
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---------the devil says, "[/code]Oh no! She's up!"
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Rabbit destroying my plants!

Postby Beetonian,zone5a » Apr 19, 2008 12:59 pm

Update with "rabbit battle". Was not successful in catching anything with the Hav-A-Heart trap, either rabbits or squirrels. Although it was triggered twice & piece of carrot missing & both doors closed. Too smart animals around here I guess. What I did find in the garden yesterday was a full hind leg bone of rabbit, with brown foot, but all the flesh picked clean! Our yard is well fenced, so can only guess predator was a bird of some kind, perhaps a hawk which I've seen occasionally flying by or visiting neighbour's bird feeder. Neighbour said 2 rabbits had been killed near it by hawk. Or perhaps it was an owl?
With the deep snow this winter, the tops of a number of spring-flowering shrubs have been nibbled down...rabbits? squirrels? of Wigela, Spirea, Dogwood and Forsythia that were newly planted last year....They left the Yucca alone. But the spring flowers I was looking forward to have will be a no show! Darn!
"The garden which is pleasing to the eye and which makes the heart glad, is the garden in which are growing side by side flowers of every hue, form and perfume, and the joyous contrast of colour is what makes for charm and beauty." (Abdu'l-Baha)
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Postby Durgan » Apr 19, 2008 3:52 pm

Lets check the elephant in the room. There is no way in hell that one can successfully garden with one or two rabbits around. In one night these cute little bunnies can destroy a week of growth.

The only cure that I know is a fence. I had the same problem when I moved here. I made the yard rabbit proof with a few additions. The wooden fence I placed two feet of wood lattice along the bottom. It was simple. For the back I placed a chain link fence to the ground, and earthed well to prevent digging. In four years I have had one rabbit, when I left the gate open, and my little dog chased it out with my help.

I have no particular desire to harm the little beasts. I just don't want to share my plants.
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Hi Ven - Here's a page from Frankie Flowers

Postby sunkeeper » Apr 19, 2008 4:32 pm

Hi Ven, It could be ground hogs also.

March 13, 2007

Rabbits are a real success story in Ontario. After facing near extinction a few years back, rabbit populations have rebounded and now they are bouncing their way right into our local gardens. I'm amazed how quickly the number of questions about controlling rabbits have surfaced. They not only come from those who live in the country but also from many that live in the suburbs that surround the GTA.

Here is one example:

Goodmorning Frankie:
I hope you can help me.
My neighbour has rabbit's under her garden shed, unfortunately they love to hang around in my backyard even though I have a dog.
Along the side of my house I have a perennial ground cover plant which I love, the rabbits love to lie on it so are slowly killing it, along with all their "dirt" my backyard is driving me crazy, even in the winter their footprints and "droppings" are in the same place in the snow, I even found the beginnings of a nest last summer. How can I deter them from coming to my backyard? Hope you can help me Frankie.
Best regards
Brenda Pickup

My answer:

Rabbits although cute are becoming quite the pain in the butt when it comes to our gardens. They are pretty persistent and many control measures don't work. Sometimes you can discourage them from your property by putting some of your dog hair in the area they frequent or by evening placing a plastic owl over head (owls are a rabbit predator). Their are some repellents available at local garden centres such as Critter Ridder but most need to be re-applied after a rain. Persistence in being a pest to them is a key. Here is some additional tips that I found for you:

One of the best "homemade" organic rabbit repellents is the soiled cat litter from a cat that has killed and eaten wild animals. Spread such cat litter, while still fresh, around your landscaping trees or garden once a week.

Remember, too, that some plants function as "natural pest repellents," at least in terms of saving their own hides. Many of the same plants that are rabbit-resistant are also avoided by deer. In the case of some of these plants, it's easy to see why: although natural, they're poisonous (yes, to humans, too). For this reason, deer and rabbits will generally leave alone foxglove (Digitalis) and monkshood (Aconitum), for example.

In the case of other "natural pest repellents," rabbits avoid them not because they're poisonous, but because they don't smell good -- to rabbits, at least. Aromatic herbs such as lavender (Lavendula) may send humans scurrying for their potpourri supplies, but they send rabbits just plain scurrying! And if you aren't keen on spreading your cat's litter around the yard as a repellent, at least plant some catmint, or "catnip" (Nepeta) for puss. Rabbits don't like the smell of catnip. Nor will they like the smell of a garden frequented by a catnip-craving cat. It's also a lot of fun to see cats going crazy over their catnip!

Another solution is to apply Skoot on some of those plants damaged by rabbits. Skoot leaves a bad taste on plants that rabbits just don't like but because of this don't apply Skoot on those plants you want to eat. Skoot is generally used as a fall application to prevent rabbits from eating the base of young shade and fruit trees.

If you are planning to create a garden and you see rabbits frequenting your yard I would suggest considering using those plants that rabbits don't like to eat. They include:

Woody Plants
Acer palmatum (Japanese Maple)
Aesculus glabra (Buckeye)
Aesculus hippocastanum (Horsechestnut)
Aesculus parviflora (Bottlebrush Buckeye)
Budddleia davidii (Butterfly-bush)
Buxus species (Boxwood)
Cornus alba (Tatarian Dogwood)
Cotoneaster species (Cotoneaster)
Hydrangea anomala petiolaris (Climbing Hydrangea)
Hydrangea arborescens (Smooth Hydrangea)
Ilex glabra compacta (Dwarf Inkberry)
Juglans cinera (Butternut )
Juglans nigra (Black Walnut)
Kalmia latifolia (Mountain Laurel)
Liquidamber straciflua (Sweet Gum)
Liriodendron tulipifera (Tulip Tree)
Picea pungens 'Fat Albert' (Blue Spruce)
Pinus strobus (White Pine)
Potentilla fruticosa (Bush Cinquefoil)
Rhododendron P.J.M. Hybrids (Rhododendron)
Rhododendron species (Azaleas)
Rhus species (Sumac)
Taxus species (Yew)

Ornamental Vines
Campsis radicans (Trumpet vine)
Clematis species (Clematis)**

Ribes species (Currant & Gooseberry)
Vitis species (Grape)

Acanthus spinosa latifolius (Spiny Bear's Breeches)
Aconitum napellus (Monkshood)
Adenophora lilifolia (Ladybells)
Ajuga repens (Bugleweed)
Alcea rosea (Hollyhock)
Alchemilla mollis (Lady's Mantle)
Aquilegia hybrida (Columbine)
Artemesia species (Wormwood)
Aruncus dioicus (Goat's Beard)
Asarum europaeum (Wild Ginger)
Astillbe x arendsii (False Spirea)
Baptisia aurestralis (False Indigo)
Bergenia cordifolia (Heartleaf Bergenia)
Brunnera macrophylla (Siberian Bugloss)
Cactus species (Cactus)
Cimicifuga racemosa (Bugbane)
Convallaria majalis (Lily-of-the-Valley)
Coreopsis grandiflora (Tickseed)
Dendranthema x morifolium (Hardy Chrysanthemum)
Dicentra species (Bleeding Heart)
Digitalis purpurea (Foxglove)
Doronicum orientale (Leopardsbane)
Echinops ritro (Small Globe Thistle)
Epimedium x rubrum (Red Barrenwort)
Eupatorium coelestinum (Hardy Ageratum)
Euphorbia species (Euphorbia)
Ferns, except maiden hair
Filipendula ulmaria (Queen of the Meadow)
Gaillardia x grandiflora (Blanket Flower)
Geranium species (Cranesbill)
Hemerocallis species (Daylily)
Iberis semipervirens (Evergreen Candytuft)
Iris siberica (Siberian Iris)
Kniphofia (Red Hot Poker)
Lavandula angustifolia (Lavender)
Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)
Liriope spicata (Creeping Lily-Turf)
Lobelia cardinalis (Cardinal Flower)
Lysimachia clethroides (Gooseneck Loosestrife)
Malva alcea (Hollyhock Mallow)
Mertensia virginica (Virginia Bluebells)
Monarda didyma (Bee Balm)
Myosotis sylvatica (Forget Me Not)

Ornamental grasses
Pachysandra terminalis (Japanese Pachysandra)
Paeonia hybrids (Peony)
Perovskia atriplicifolia (Russian Sage)
Phlox sublata (Creeping Phlox)
Potentilla verna (Spring Cinquefoil)
Primula x polyantha (Primrose)
Pulsatilla vulgaris rubra (Pasque Flower)
Salvia x superba 'East Friesland' (Perennial Salvia)
Sedum 'Autumn Joy' (Sedum)
Stachys byzantina (Lamb's Ear)
Stokesia laevis (Stokes Aster)
Teucrium chamaedrys (Germander)
Thalictrum rochebrunianum (Meadow Rue)
Tiarella cordifolia (Foam Flower)
Veronica species (Speedwell)
Yucca filamentosa (Adam's Needle)

Ageratum houstonianum (Mexican Ageratum)
Begonia x semperflorens-cultorum (Wax Begonia)
(Amethyst Flower)
Calendula officinalis (Pot Marigold)
Catharanthus roseus (Vinca)
Cleome hasslerana (Spiderflower)
Mirabilis jalapa (Four O'Clock)
Pelargonium x hortorum (Geranium zonal & bedding)

Allium giganteum (Persian Onion)
Hyacinth orientalis (Hyacinth)
Narcissus species (Daffodils)

Allium cepa (Onions)
Allium porrum (Leeks)
Asparagus officinalis (Asparagus)
Cucurbita pepo melopepo (Summer Squash)
Lycopersicum esculentum (Tomato)
Rheum rhaponticum (Rhubarb)
Solanum tuberosum (Potatoes)

Artemisia dracunculus (Tarragon)
Marjorana hortensis (Marjoram)
Mentha species (Mint)
Ocimum basilicum (Basil)
Origanum vulgare (Oregano)
Petroselinum crispum (Parsley)
Satureia hortensis (Savory)


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Postby Stonetown Gardner » Apr 20, 2008 10:10 am

Last year I bought some blood meal and sprinkled it around the perimeter of vulnerable plants... seemed to work well. I've also heard putting human hair in the garden will work - scares them away when they smell it.

We have a ton of rabbits around here, but other than chewing some lilies (and that could have been squirrels) they've never done any damage - they didn't even touch the lettuce in the garden last year!
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Postby packrat79 » Apr 20, 2008 10:19 am

I had quite a problem with a rabbit last year, I set out some Gazania in a ground bed and it ate them right down to the roots! I had to put my remaining Gazania in a hanging basket to keep them out of its reach.
This year though I have three large (and very hungry) cats to guard things, so maybe they'll be able to keep the rabbits away.
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Postby Lindamct » Apr 20, 2008 12:40 pm

Well our friendly neighborhood ground hog is back :!: . I mentioned some time ago that I would keep posting about this problem we have had over the years with this rodent. Well, guess what :!: The first sign was my Day Lilies being eaten right to the ground, when they were only up 6". So off I went to get that Castor Oil I had mentioned I would try. Guess really does work. I peer out my top floor window, and he is happily eating away now in my neighbors flower beds!! 1 ounce Castor Oil, 2 litres of water in your pump spray bottle around his favorite plants, and it really does work! Reapply after a rain or heavy due :D . They really don't like the smell. One day last week, we actually saw him go over to our Carpathian Bell flower crop, he turned up his nose, went on to the Hollyhocks, and did the same. I think we have him beat. I shall keep updating on my progress with this method of deterring the Ground Hog. :)
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