Dilemma: I have rabbits, including baby bunnies, living in or near my yard! Not good.
And I want to grow veggies from seed, the tender seedlings of which they love to eat.
But, when planting time came, I didn’t want ugly rabbit fencing around my new raised beds. Solution: Buy pretty decorative fencing segments and use them to edge my beds.
After looking at my budget for this project—$25 or less—I decided I couldn’t spend $5 a foot to protect my three 4x8-foot raised beds. (At 72 linear feet, that would cost a fortune—$360.) Ridiculous!
What to do?
Metal rabbit fencing (which I had on hand from a leaf corral project) seemed to scratch the wood of the beds—and it proved very hard to work with, too. (Also, the holes in rabbit fencing will not keep baby bunnies out anyway, nor would decorative fencing segments.)
Then I came across the perfect solution at the hardware store: a roll of 25-foot-long x 3-foot-high plastic poultry fencing ($15).
I simply cut the roll into three 25-foot x 12-inch strips (the hardest part of this project). It was just enough fencing to enclose my three 18-inch-tall raised beds! I bought a pack of 3-foot stakes at the hardware store ($5) and a variety pack of zip ties ($10), and I was on my way.
After inserting stakes in the corners of the beds, I wrapped the easy-to-handle fencing around the beds and secured it to the stakes with zip ties (man, I LOVE zip ties), tucking the bottom edge of the fencing into the soil. I used some garden staples that I already had on hand to secure the fencing to the soil, just in case any critters tried to wiggle underneath it.
To discourage squirrels from digging and birds from eating my sprouting seeds, I also draped bird netting over each bed. I cut small holes in the netting near each stake, which allowed me to pull it down flush with the top of the fencing.
And, like that, I was done!
It looks pretty nice, don’t you think?
I haven’t noticed any damage on plants—snap peas (above), green beans, cucumbers and squash—in the past six weeks.
Another bonus: This system is easy to remove (just snip the zip ties). And it’s endlessly reusable: Just roll up the fencing (and secure it tightly—with a zip tie, of course) and store it along with the stakes until you need it again. (I have now removed my fencing from the squash and cukes, so they have more room to grow.)
Necessity (and a low budget) is the mother of invention, right?
What are your budget-conscious rabbit barrier tricks? Comment below or write me at email@example.com.
Sarah Dorison is the managing editor of Gardening How-To magazine. She gardens just outside Minneapolis, Minnesota. Addendum: Above is her little love-hate buddy, Little Bunny, who hides in the hostas and pops out to eat the brunnera (at right).