Sunday, August 5, 2007

Critter free - almost

Every year I complain about rabbits in our backyard. We live on the edge of town and near the Red River where critters have found happy homes. I have tried all kinds of concoctions to fight them off: cayenne pepper, dog hair, moth balls, coyote blood, fox urine - you name it. The only thing I haven't done is the BB gun, and Lord knows I've thought about that too.

I have found that the best thing is to maintain plants that they don't like. It was a hard lesson for me to learn. The first growing season at our house I lost hundreds of dollars just because I didn't realize how bad the rabbits were. Within days of being planted, those little *?!*@#* had eaten darn near everything to the ground. It was like laying out a buffet table.

Plus, it was exhausting. I was out there early in the morning looking for any overnight damage. I'd come home on my lunch hour and give it another check - and well, you can imagine what I did during the evening too.

So here's what I realized what rabbits won't eat - at least in my garden. I also like these plants because they give me some color.
  • Salvia (I have the May Night, Caradonna. Marcus and East Friesland)

  • Monarda (I have five different varieties - and they won't touch 'em)

  • Catmint (see earlier post about how much I love catmint. I have the Walker's Low and the Little Titch)

  • Sedum

  • Daylilies

  • Cushion Spurge

  • Blue fescue grass

  • Silvermound

  • Lamium

  • Bellflower (I thought sure the flowers would be a for certain appetizer)

  • Geraniums and sometimes marigolds (they got to mine this year)

  • Celosia

Dangerous items to plant in rabbit zones:

  • Liatris: both the white and purple

  • Coneflower (they've eaten all varieties - apparently they're very tasty)
  • Rudbeckia

  • Clematis

  • Spiderwort

  • Hostas

  • Annuals in general (petunias, lobelia, alyssum - it's like tossing them a salad.)

In an earlier post I had successfully grown zinnias this year but I do believe it's because the area was surrounded by salvia. They usually ate the zinnias plants when they were about 3 inches high.

Another reason that maybe the grasses will be a good idea ...
Feel free to add to the list!


kris said...

Hi Beth - just wanted to say thanks for the comment you left on my blog - it was much appreciated! I'll be back to catch up on your posts soon.

kris said...

Your photos are great - I love your garden areas!

Connie said...

Thankfully I don't have to deal with rabbits in my garden...but the deer can be a real pain here.
Would like to chat further....could you please go to my profile and email me?