Sunday, July 8, 2012

Rabbit Proofing the Garden

Rabbit in front of the garden
This year we have an abundance of bunnies. Actually, we always have an abundance of rabbits here in Jefferson Country, Colorado, but this year is worse than ever. I've heard complaints all over the metro Denver area about so many rabbits eating folk's gardens. Yet our veggie garden is safe.
Wire fencing  can keep rabbits out of the garden until they get determined enough to dig under the fence to get inside. One way to insure they don't dig under is to electrify the fence. In our case, we electrified the chicken wire we already had around the garden using a charger meant to keep horses in an area.  It supplies a pretty good shock, but not enough to kill rabbits or cats or anything as far as I can tell. Mice and toads still get in the garden. The rabbits are often seen munching the grass outside of the garden.
Rabbit and Garden
 It may seem like overkill to electrify the fence surrounded our vegetables to protect against rabbits, but in truth, rabbits were just an afterthought. The real varmint problem was raccoons, which would not be kept out with a regular fence. Raccoons can do incredible damage, particularly to corn. Once they found our garden, they would come back every year just as the corn was ripening and wreak total devastation on it. The electric fence has completely kept them out.
The electric fence doesn't use much electricity either. As long as it doesn't touch anything, it doesn't discharge its charge.