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Saturday, August 9, 2014

Yarden Theif

Rabbit or Hare Tracks
Rabbit or Hare Tracks With Quarter

Yarden Theif

The last few gardening months have been disappointing, because we've had a lot of vines and flowers but no fruits.  Even our gourds get little bulbs started and somehow they disappear.

We've been lucky to happen upon a cucumber here or there and we just couldn't figure out what the problem is.  Maybe watering, maybe heat, maybe over-fertilizing.

We haven't had any scarlet runner beans, they were just nubs after flowering.  Every little lettuce head started would be reduced to ground level every couple of days.  Flushes of flowers and fruit starts that just disappear into thin air.  Then we had two days of rain and a soppy area of the yard...  and it dawned on us.  The culprit left evidence...

The Odd Rabbit

This isn't the case where our yarden is exposed to foraging activity.  Our yard is surrounded by 8' block concrete fencing.  Our gate was recently repaired and there are no openings a rabbit could fit through underneath.  These prints were next to a corner of our block fence and seemed to be a second set after very deep impressions that could have been from landing.  The two possible yarden intruders are either cottontails or jackrabbits.

That would make this an odd rabbit or hare because they typically don't make incredible jumping feats unless chased:

An ounce of prevention . . .
Where rabbits are concerned, an ounce of prevention is truly worth a pound of cure. The most humane method for protecting your plants from foraging rabbits is to exclude their access to the plants, as well as to reduce the habitat for rabbit nests and cover in the vicinity of your garden.
Barrier fencing. Constructing a simple wire fence around the part of the garden containing vegetables and other highly rabbit-vulnerable plants is an almost foolproof method for protecting plants from rabbits. Cottontails will not jump a 2-foot-high fence. Jackrabbits can jump higher if they are being chased by dogs or otherwise frightened, so extending the height of the fence to at least 3 feet is warranted where jackrabbits are present.
A 30- to 36-inch-high fence constructed from woven wire with a mesh no larger than 1 inch is recommended for excluding rabbits. The lower end of the wire mesh should be turned outward at a 90-degree angle and buried 6 inches in the ground to discourage rabbits from digging under the fence. Regular 20-gauge poultry netting supported by stakes can provide protection from rabbits for three to five years and is inexpensive to replace. Welded wire will provide protection for longer periods. ~ Vegetable Gardener
Times like this I really miss our dog, Phoebe.  That was an ounce plus of prevention.

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