We all know the tale of Peter Rabbit in Mr McGregor’s garden where naughty Peter steals all of the prize vegetables. Far from being the cute, furry eared creatures that they seem, true to the story, rabbits can wreak havoc in your vegetable garden.
What are rabbits?
Rabbits are small mammals in the family Leporidae of the order Lagomorpha and generally breed at a young age and many regularly produce litters of up to 7 young, often doing so 4 or 5 times a year due to the fact that a rabbit’s gestation period is only 28 to 31 days.
What are the signs that rabbits are present?
The first sign of a rabbit problem in your garden will be lack of new shoots and plants which have been ‘mown’ down to the ground by the rabbits. Unlike other insects and small mammals who leave ragged edges on plants, rabbits will completely destroy new vegetable plants, shoots on bulbs, especially tulips, and woody plants, perennials, annuals and berries. They have voracious appetites and so your carefully tended plants will disappear very quickly! You may also notice small black faecal pellets which are a sign of rabbit activity.
What can I do?
Strong rabbit proof fencing is the best way to keep rabbits off your vegetables. This should be buried deep into the ground and bent outwards to prevent rabbits from tunnelling under it and should be of a suitable height so that the rabbits can’t jump over it.
However, if you find that you have a rabbit problem which has got out of hand, then it’s time to call the professionals in for advice and guidance to stop the problem. Hillbans can not only recommend an immediate solution but also a programme of action going forward.