Rabbits are leaping over my learning curve into a sanctuary

The shrubs and vines I planted this fall were doing beautifully.  I was going for daily strolls, enjoying big fat buds on the Wisteria….the beginnings of some little flower spikes on the Fothergillas …pale yellow flower buds on the Witch Hazels near the front entrance.  Oak Leaf Hydrangeas – which I had hesitated to plant in the fall – were looking so healthy that my decision was vindicated.

Then I noticed some bark missing here and there.  “Hmmm” I thought, “A few rabbits got in under the fence.”   I know that in some places – under the gates for example – the metal rodent barrier mesh was missing.  It looks like there are well-travelled paths going in and out.   Now I see little piles of rabbit ‘pellets’ along the path;  And sometimes when I take the dog out for his early morning or late night walks I notice occasional rabbits leaping away in the dark.

I now think that by putting up the deer fence, and having a not-quite-impregnable rodent barrier, I have made a sanctuary for rabbits.  Their predators– fox, coyote, raccoons, opossum, cats and dogs – they’ve all been kept out.  The rabbits are safe!  Yes, I do see hawks circling, and I hear owls, but apparently they can’t keep up. The rabbits just keep breeding, eating and pooping.

So I’m going to have the gaps in the rodent barrier filled in as much as possible.  And I’ve sent away for rabbit repellant.  I hope it isn’t too late.


Fence starting to go up 31 aug 2013Deer fence going up.  Before planting anything I want to make sure I’m not planting a banquet for deer…beavers…rabbits…groundhogs…or anyone else on four legs.  The deer fence we’re using also has the option of a rodent barrier along the bottom.  So it will keep deer out and prevent rodents from chewing through and getting in underneath.  I’m sure it won’t be 100% effective, but it should help a lot.

I chose a polypropylene fence from Critter Fence.  It’s eight feet high, and while a deer could theoretically jump it, it’s pretty unlikely.   As you can see, the fencing itself really is quite invisible.  What you see is the posts, every 12’ or so.  But once I get trees and shrubs planted, the posts should also be pretty much hidden.