Tue Jul 17, 2007 6:29 am
I haven't seen this posted before, but could have been and I missed it. I am having a serious problem with rabbits eating up my pea vines. When you look at the peas, 4 FULL ROWS, it looks like someone has stuck up match sticks in the rows, no leaves just stems. As soon as a new leaf gets half as big as a dime, it gets eaten again. Anyone had, and corrected, this problem before short of having a rabbit shooting? Pete
Tue Jul 17, 2007 6:51 am
Have'nt had much problems with the rabbits that much, don't seem to eat a lot of my garden. My problem is the deer. They seem to like my pepper plants. They keep eating the top half off of the plant, wife say's to leave them alone as we have more than enough to share. I'm thinking "Vension Sausage"
Tue Jul 17, 2007 7:27 am
Hey Mike maybe you could send a little venison, although I have problems with deer too, and I could send you some rabbbit meat, then if we could get Merlin or Billy Fussell to send us a receipe for that good Cajun jambalaya, we'd be all set to go
Tue Jul 17, 2007 7:35 am
Sounds like a plan. I still have about 20 lbs of venison in the freezer I think? Of course I didn't get it myself, we allow some folks to hunt on our farmland and they repay us with free meat. I haven't hunted for years, but I'm thinking about getting back into it. In the evenings, the deer come into my driveway from the field across the road, then go into the tree line of my property, follow it out into the field behind my barn and help themselves to my garden. Hunting them would be a shame, as it would just be too easy.
Tue Jul 17, 2007 7:55 am
Between groundhogs, deer and rabbits - there isn't much left for humans. The cucumber and squash plants aren't surviving the feeding frenzy. The tomato plants are getting a hard pruning now that the tastier stuff is gone, hard to tell how long they'll survive. The deer are also eating the buds and blossoms off my daylillies, clipping the roses and I'm guessing all the hybiscuses (I guess that's plural for hybiscus) will be nothing but tall sticks in a few weeks. And to think I was focusing all my attention on squirrels.
Tue Jul 17, 2007 8:04 am
Hey LC, I know what you mean as I have problems with the squirrels also. They dearly love the silver queen corn and when it's ready, the pine trees look like overgrown corn stalks what with so many corn shucks and silks hanging from the branches
. My biggest problems are deer, rabbits, squirrels, and raccoons, mostly in that order. Oh well, can't win all the time I guess. Pete
Tue Jul 17, 2007 8:09 am
The deer seem to like my wife's hosta's as well. My garden seems to survive the small critters, but then again I CHEAT! I went to raised bed gardening a few years ago and don't regret it at all. Hardly any weeding to do, which saves my back, and I don't own a tiller anymore as I no longer need it. Watering is a breeze too. My beds are 3-4' wide and 16' long. I have soaker hoses buried in each bed about 4" below the surface, just attach them to the hose and let it soak for 20-30 minutes every other day or so. I think the raised beds also repel some of the small critters too, may they don't want to jump/climb up the 12-14" to get into the beds?
Tue Jul 17, 2007 8:14 am
Mike, what did you use to make the sides of your beds?
Tue Jul 17, 2007 8:42 am
Pete, at first I used standard 2X12's the first year. I only built two as I still wanted to experiment with it. I also had the "Normal" garden next to it. After the 1st 2 seasons, I went 100% raised beds, and haven't looked back.
I now have them built out of landscape timbers, not railroad ties. I use the square/oblong shaped timbers that you might also see used for fence posts?
I built them in a "Log Cabin" fashion by overlaping the timbers. I then used the special "Landscape Timber Screws" to hold them in place, and then I drilled 1/2" holes using a bit extension every so often and drove 2' long 1/2" re-barb thru those holes thru the timbers and into the ground. I have 2 rods at each end of each bed, then there are 5-6 of them along each side, I think? The beds vary in width of 3-4' but they are 16' long. Height is roughly 12-14" high as I used 4-5 layers of the timbers.
Prior to securing the bebs to the ground, I layed 2 layers of the weed barrier under them. The soil here is hard clay, so I go to a local place that sells mulch and such, and they offer what they call a "Garden Soil Mix". It is pretty much good soil, sand and compost mixed in thirds.
There was some work to put it all together, get the soil, etc. BUT it was WORTH IT! I now grow everything I used to grow the standard way including corn, potatoes, carrots, etc.
The best thing is that by using the raised beds, the soil doesn't get compacted. I can take my hand and dig into the bed and scoop out the dirt easily, it so easy to work. I pull out all my plants & stalks at the end of the year, and mix in some fresh compost and turn the soil using a pitch fork. It also takes less watering, the soil is also warmer in the early spring and late fall due to it being elevated, so you can plant earlier in the Spring as well as put things in later in the year as well.
Did I also mention that there are less WEEDS to deal with? This allows me to plant my items very close to each other. I stagger my corn in a "Z" fashion in the beds as well as my tomatoes/peppers. Another good thing about the beds is that I have attached posts to the sides of my beds using deck screws, and I then built stringers across the bed for my vining plants to grow on. Never liked the wire cage things for staking plants and such.
Tue Jul 17, 2007 10:50 am
Mike - you mentioned using landscape timbers, I hope they aren't pressure treated. The preservatives leach into the surrounding soil which your plants will accumulate. Wood preservatives are not the kind of chemicals you want to eat.
Here's a nugget of knowledge - the evil scourge known as ragweed is an excellent bio-accumulators of metals from soil. But the "crop" needs to be harvested and disposed of as hazardous waste, roots and all, to prevent returning the metals to the soil.
Tue Jul 17, 2007 11:01 am
I hope they aren't pressure treated.
Nope, just standard cedar, should have mentioned that in my post as I figured most folks would know not to use the PT lumber.
Tue Jul 17, 2007 1:12 pm
need some good rabbit protection.Beagle!!!!chase them all over.Tracys dogs got after the deer last night!!!3 times they wanted in the garden.Dogs were going nuts.kept the deer out!!!!Kevin ps could get in to falconry!!!!
Tue Jul 17, 2007 2:36 pm
Great ideas Mike and Kevin. I used the same method you used Mike for my wife a strawberry bed. It is 4' X 20' with all the good compost, leaves. organic cow fertilize?? and such. It does make a nice bed.
Wed Jul 18, 2007 11:40 am
Tue Jul 24, 2007 3:12 pm
Yes, indeed! The price went up since my squirrel population went down.
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