Saturday, June 12, 2010

Garden Notes - Rabbit Troubles and Plant Updates

I've been having my fair share of rodent problems lately. It seems 2x4 inch wire mesh is not enough to keep the rabbits out, especially the baby ones. The adults seem to have a bit more sense. So far, they've picked over my soybeans, nibbled on several of my green beans, decapitated one rather large head of lettuce and corn stalk and shaved off one of my pepper plants. As a result, I will be spending my weekend putting up chicken wire all around the perimeter of my garden. Hopefully that will be more of a deterrent.

I really should have put more effort into growing flowers this year. The garden looks a bit too green at the moment. I've always loved the European potagers and their classic style of mixing edibles and ornamentals in unique patterns. Well...that will have to wait until next year.

The cut-and-come-again lettuce mix that I grew in my salad box a few months ago failed miserably. I really only have myself to blame as there was little to no fertility in the garden soil that I used. I will try again this fall with a mix of compost and potting soil. For now, I have little patch growing in the garden.

A year and a half after purchasing the small cutting, my Kaffir lime tree is flowering for the first time. Citrus blossoms never fail to get me excited. I'm curious to see how the fruit develops.

I'm not sure what type of lettuce this is but it's beautiful. I've enjoyed watching it grow. It resembles a butterhead but the leaves have a crispiness that is more reminiscent of iceberg. I think it's either Korean or Manoa. I will have to ask Winnie if she has any ideas as the seeds were from her.

The cranberries I planted out last year are beginning to flower and spread. The leaves are bright green at the moment but should develop into a bright burgundy as the fall approaches.

Finally, here's a look at my celery after they've been thinned down to one plant. I transplanted them out in clusters of 4-5 plants simply because I was too lazy to thin my seedlings. Now I'm glad that I didn't since in each cluster, there is always one plant that drastically outperforms the rest. And looking at the size of my celery, it doesn't seem like the crowded conditions have hurt them too much. I've been harvesting the thinnings to use in soups. Delicious! I think I'll stick to growing them this way.


  1. Your garden is huge and so beautiful, I'm sorry you are having those rodent problems. I know what you mean about the Potager gardens, I really wanted to do more this year, but it is so hard with raised beds to interplant with flowers since when I change crops I disturb the others while ripping out the old! I guess every year it will get a little better. Especially that Artichoke if it ever takes off, will make a great focal point if I allow some to flower.

  2. what is required to grow crannberries. As life here gets more depressing, life are a bit of a hermit is more inviting!! I just need to know where to hermit to!!

  3. Thomas, I use spray to deter rabbits. It has always been very successful. We have a lot of urban bunnies here. They actually sun themselves in the yard and you can walk within two feet of them. Only one time, last year I had a problematic bunny that did not respond to the spray. This year I added one foot of chicken wire around the beds for reassurance.

    Your garden looks great....lovely photos

  4. Rabbits are the worst! I have to fence around almost everything. I use hot pepper wax spray too and it seems to deter the rabbits and deer. At least until it wears off. Of course I relocate pests after they wander into my Havahart trap. It is a constant battle.

    I think your garden looks great in spite of the critter problems!

  5. Rabbit traps and rabbit stew on the menu soon? Or perhaps terrine, studded with your herbs. They are organic rabbits, locally sourced, small carbon footprint and you do know exactly what they have been fed. Super sustainable.

    The cranberries look wonderful.

  6. Aw man, I hate to hear that the rabbits are causing so much trouble for ya. Your garden is HUGE! Holy Moly....

  7. Your veggies are looking good as ever. That Zinnia is really cute. You're right, you need some color in your garden... They'd also help attract pollinators for your veggies...
    For rodents/rabbits, etc, try this:
    1 clove crushed garlic, 1 T cayenne pepper, 1 tsp liquid dish soap to 1 quart warm water - Puree

  8. I'm having groundhog troubles myself. It turns out the neighbor's shed (closest to my growing bed) has a groundhog living under it. Sigh. He just walks along the wall eating as he goes sometimes. Usually about now I'd pick the best producing squash and thin out the rest, but I'm afraid to do it as then there would only be one left in the spot and the groundhog might eat it. At least when he eats the beans. I know I have so many. One doesn't mean much, but one squash plant really does.

  9. Everything is looking fantastic, Thomas. I have tried the bloodmeal around the beds, and so far my Kangaroo Paw and Gaura have bounced back. If all else fails, cattle fencing should do the trick.

  10. Sorry about the critter problem! My problem has been blight from excess rain all season!

    About the celery. Have you notice the celery being must stronger flavored than store bought?? I was surprised by how potent it is!

  11. I am sorry about your rabbit problems, we are lucky here that rabbits don’t come anywhere near gardens.
    Lovely zinnia! Mine are all that same color, although the seed packet said it was a mix. Flowers do bright up the garden. Especially in spring and early summer, when everything else is green. My favorite is calendula.

  12. Thomas, your garden looks great with or without the flowers. We are having rabbit trouble ourselves. Set a trap, but to no avail. They have eaten all of my okra plants and munching on the tomatoes and beans....argh. It's frustrating!

  13. Lisa- yes! The celery is definitely much more pungent. I love it!

    Bloodmeal doesn't seem to deter the baby bunnies. The older ones don't seem to pose as much of a problem.

    I just spent 4 hours putting up chicken wire...and still not done. My hands are killing me!

  14. Decapitated lettuce and shaved off pepper plants? Yikes, sounds like an episode of Veggie Tales gone! Jk...I'm sorry...that really stinks...deer are the major problem where I live...and there is only one remedy that seems to work for that....electric fence!

  15. Your cranberries look much better than mine and they are the same age. Unfortunately, mine get limited sun availability which I am sure is slowing them down. Yours look wonderful though.

    Your celery looks great too. I just harvested the first celery of the season today and enjoyed it thoroughly in a pasta salad.

  16. I guess I'm lucky to have a dog in my garden to keep the rabbits out. I can't wait to see what the Kaffir Lime does. The leaves make for some wonderful curry

  17. I'm sorry about your bunny troubles.

    I'm wondering how you grow limes in zone 6. Would you write a post telling us your secrets?

  18. OOO... rabbits... how I know what problem they are. I had to fence my garden too. Over 1000 feet of chicken wire, and, yes, my hands were killing me too.
    It did the trick though. Goodluck.
    Oh, and you really dont want rabbit stew this time of year... rabbits do not taste good until late in the fall.

  19. We've had rabbit troubles as well, we also added chicken wire. The birds are busy helping themselves to our fruit too.

  20. Oh Thomas, I'm soo sorry to hear about your rabbit problems. That was one of THE most frustrating battles that I had to wage. I hope the chicken wire works.

    Your Kaffir Lime is beautiful, much better looking than mine. I've been slowly but surely killing my tree, it gets smaller every year . . .

    Your garden is looking great!

  21. I think that lettuce is Korean lettuce.