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Archive for the ‘Bunnies’ Category

The Garden

The Garden

The day has come.  Some plants are finally IN THE GROUND.  Such excitement around the homestead.  Now here, I must be completely honest.  The seedling project has not worked out well.  It makes me so sad that my time and energy has gone down in flames, but I’m not gonna sugar-coat it.  The seedlings did not fare well when taken out of their cushy garage dwelling.

I made an honest effort to put my zucchini plants (the ones whose stems hadn’t yet snapped, which was only 2, well, 2.5) but after a couple of Spring-time Kansas storms, those stems had also snapped.  Clearly I’m doing something wrong.  Oh boy this picture is sad.  Tips???  Please???

A Zucchini Corpse

A Zucchini Corpse

And as I mentioned before, the seedlings were not doing well in the natural sunlight.  The tomatoes were brown and wilted and I just didn’t see them coming back to life.  So we did the next best thing.  We went to our favorite local, family owned farm (that just happened to beautifully do our wedding flower arrangments) Pendleton’s, and stocked up on vegetable plants.  I was fearing the worst as far as the money we’d be spending.  We had scouted out plant prices at the local big-box hardware store and were looking at spending $3-7 per plant.  And for as many plants as I wanted, this would have run the price up pretty fast.  But Pendleton’s really came through for us.  We got beautiful tomato and pepper (many varieties of each) plants for $0.99/plant.  That’s right, less money than I’d spend at the grocery store for 1 stupid bell pepper for a whole, big, beautiful plant!!

Tomato plant (Patio variety)

Tomato plant (Patio variety)

So although I made every effort to save money by growing my own plants from seedlings, in the end, we found another cost-saving measure.  Find a local nursery/farm/gardener and get some high quality plants for a more than reasonable price.

Tomatillos

Tomatillos

We also visited another local nursery, Sunrise Garden Center, and purchased Okra, Eggplant, Cucumbers,Tomatillos and Banana Peppers, as well as some tomato stakes and bone/blood meal.

Okra

Okra

And I got the official word from Grandma, my family’s expert gardener (and MAN did that woman have a beautiful garden) – BLOOD MEAL = BUNNY REPELLENT.

Tomatoes, Mountain Fresh Variety

Tomatoes, Mountain Fresh Variety

And last but not least, we planted three deck planters for the herbs.  Basil, Rosemary, Cilantro, Parsely, Peppermint and Thyme.

Herb Planters

Herb Planters

The Rosemary and Basil Forrest

The Rosemary and Basil Forrest

And then the rains came.  And they kept coming, with a vengance.  But my plants remained standing.  They are marvelous creatures!

The Morning Dew

The Morning Dew

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Bunny Proofing

Former Bunny Entrance

Former Bunny Entrance

OK, so clearly the marigolds are a laughable solution to our scourge of bunnies.  So we’re on to plan B (and C, and D).  I purchased a boat-load of Liquid Fence and I hope to give an honest consumer review after I use it.  However, I’ve been told that bunnies are persistent little buggers, so in addition to the liquid fence, we’ve put up a literal fence.  A cage fence.  My handy husband bought some small-opening caging from the hardware store and used it to block the holes in the fence that the bunnies were using as a back-door entry straight into our garden.  He also caged the bottom third or so of our metal fence gates.  All in all, our back yard is pretty much physically blocked off to tiny woodland creatures that would make a meal of my vegetable plants.

Ordinary Gate?

Ordinary Gate?

I really like how subtle the caging is.  I thought it would be much more obvious, but its not noticeable until you get pretty close.

Bunny-Proof Gate

Bunny-Proof Gate

I hope the bunnies don’t go running head-long into the cages!

Oh THERE it is!

Oh THERE it is!

As you can see, we used the ever-useful zip-ties to affix the cage to the fence.  Shockingly, this solution was my idea.  I go for simple crafts, not-involving power tools.

But we still plan to employ the liquid fence as well as blood meal just in case they do find a way in, which I have full faith that they will.  For those of you wondering about the blood meal, the handy husband found, during his research the morning of the bunny uprising, that blood meal is an effective bunny repellent (in its dry form).  It is also a good source of nitrogen when it breaks down in the soil.  So even if it doesn’t work to repel the bunnies, and seriously, I hope the liquid and cage fences do their job, it will act as a fertilizer anyway.

No Bunnies Admitted

No Bunnies Admitted

In other gardening news, the seedlings have been moved to the deck to become accustomed to being outside.  Its odd but I think they’re getting sunburned.  All of the leaves that had developed solely under the plant lights in the garage have turned brown, yet the new leaves developing outside are healthy and green.  We’re thinking it has something to do with the UV exposure outside that was lacking in the garage.  Anyone have experience/thoughts on this?  Clearly I have some more research to do!

Tomatoes

Tomatoes

Cucumbers

Cucumbers

It seems to be primarily the “seed-leaves” that are affected, and I know they’ll fall off anyway.  I’m hoping its not a big deal.

Despite how difficult and time-consuming all of this is this year, it has been very rewarding.  And I love thinking of how much easier it will be next year!

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