Friday, February 19, 2016

Dear Rabbits, Urine for a Surprise

Even though my yard is brown and drab all winter, it is a relative oasis for rabbits compared to the houses around me. All my neighbors have a few small juniper shrubs from the builder's original landscape package. I'm the only house with any kind of soft tissue perennials that should be coming up this spring.

That scares me a little because the rabbits definitely have me on their feeding trail right now. I let my dogs out at 3am only to see two large rabbits make a dash for the fence. Even with my 9 inch dog fence around the base of the aluminum fence, they jump over that and squeeze through mid-air. The rabbits are bigger than the dogs!

They've worked some of my plants down to a nub this winter. The only things they haven't touched are the woody plants like bushes and trees, and the lavender for some reason. They scalped my Dusseldorf Pride down to a painful looking nub, like looking at a starfish with all its legs cut off.

rabbit damage
Armeria maritima 'Dusseldorf Pride' with hungry winter rabbit damage
I'm thinking about moving to heavier ammunition. Predator urine all around the house and maybe even some moth balls on the side yards (where the dogs can't get them). I'm not sure how my dogs would react to wolf urine in the flower beds, but I 'found' some free large mammal urine earlier tonight and already started spreading that around the yard. I don't know if he's much of a predator, but this is chemical warfare now.

The other plan is to make a chicken wire cloche (I just learned that word) or more like a dozen of them to cover my emerging plants. These are freaking expensive! My mom also suggested maybe just wadding up some screen over the plants and weighing it down with rocks - it doesn't necessarily have to be formed onto a fancy frame like that as long as the plants aren't crushed. 

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