Thursday, July 31, 2014

Rabbit Protection Working

The Tabasco sauce recipe I started using at the end of June is working perfectly.  I have no additional rabbit damage a month later, and the damaged plants have regrown beautifully.

Rabbit populations seem to have fallen a bit, possibly as they spread out for food sources now that my garden is no longer palatable.

I did observe one rabbit this morning try to nibble on the zinnia.  He or she spit out the leaf immediately and left for the neighbor's clover!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Late July Photos

The general lawn photo first.  This part of the lawn isn't particularly dry, although we could certainly use some rain at this point.  Fortunately, it's supposed to rain tomorrow and Monday.

As always, click on the image to embiggen.

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I photographed the front garden in perfect morning sun last time.  This time, it's later in the afternoon so the light is glaring off the leaves and flowers a bit.  Still, you can see the development it's gone through in a few weeks.

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The back gardens are finally improving now that I've successfully repelled the rabbits from the zinnia. This is taken from near the walkway, which is being slightly overgrown by a rather happy Harlequin dahlia.

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From further around the back of the garden you do start to see where the rabbits were feeding. These plants have essentially only had decent growth for the last three weeks, but they're quickly catching up to where they should be.

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Saturday, July 5, 2014

July Photos

July Fourth is traditional for lawn and garden photos, but I was at a picnic that ran until well after dark.  The fifth of July will simply have to do this year.

Here's the standard lawn photo.  You can see some slight burning where the late June dry spell took a slight toll on it.  Color and quality are fair this year. As always, click to embiggen.

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This is a wide shot of the back garden, showing off the lawn as much as the gardens.

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Here's the general garden shot across the back gardens.  Garden development has been so-so overall, but now that the rabbits have been repelled things should improve very quickly.

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I have extremely happy dahlia this year as they don't mind (and in fact like) hot and humid weather with little rain. This is a Harlequin dahlia that I grew from seed, technically a dwarf decorative dahlia but it looks like a collarette dahlia to me.

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Two more dahlia for your viewing pleasure. These are also Harlequin.

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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

How To Repel Rabbits

Yes, I finally have a series of things that works to repel rabbits even under extremely high population pressure!  I've used this successfully on my zinnia, gladioli, and sunflower.

First, I found that just the tiniest sprinkle of blood meal around the plants helped considerably. Damage from that alone was reduced by a solid 90%.  I spread it slightly wide into the surrounding areas to make sure the rabbits scented the blood before they entered the garden.  The three pound bag I purchased for $7.50 should last around 3-4 years when used to protect 150 plants.

The second part of the solution was a slight modification of a recipe I found online:

In a 1 gallon sprayer, mix:

0.5 Tbsp Tabasco sauce, any brand but the hotter the better
0.5 tsp dish soap, any brand
0.25 tsp Elmer's glue (optional, to help the Tabasco stick)

You may scale the recipe any way you like; I make this 16 ounces at a time to fit into my small spray bottle.

Spray the plants moderately the first time, a gallon should be good for around 1,000 small plants, 16 ounces covers 150 small plants.  Respray moderately if it rains, as soon as possible after the rainfall.

Even if it doesn't rain, spray lightly each successive day for a week to keep the scent and flavor fresh and very hot.  16 ounces will lightly spray about 300 small plants.

After that, the rabbits have probably learned to leave your garden alone, but if you notice further damage respray the plants as necessary.

Do not spray vegetables that will be harvested shortly.  Although harmless, the flavor of the Tabasco sauce will be apparent on your veggies.