— Bob G (@VictoryGardenUS) July 22, 2014
This would be hilarious if it were happening to someone else's garden, but, it is my garden. Baby bunnies were living in the garden and I was trying to encourage them to leave. How do you trap bunnies in a garden, what can you use as bait? What is the movie that has a subplot where a gardener is trying to find how a rabbit is getting thru the fence and is going crazy because he cannot find what to fix only to find the rabbit now lives in the garden?
One day last week, the neighbor lady with whom I talk gardening called to say she could see a rabbit inside the garden fence. The drill is, when a rabbit is in the garden, chase it around and it will exit the way it got in, then fix the fence.
This time is different tho, I chased it around, it went under the fence, I fixed it, done I thought. NO, next day I saw a baby bunny in the garden, cute. This is probably what I saw when I thought I had seen a chipmunk. I chased it around some and it went right thru the fence. Several years ago I cheaped out and bought a two inch mesh chicken wire fence. It kept the rabbits out but baby bunnies could go right thru it. I covered up the two inch mesh with one inch mesh, done, I thought. Later I saw it outside the fence right where it joins the deck. It saw me and dashed thru a openening between the fence and the deck. Darn! I could think of no way to flush it out from under the deck. Even if I left gap open, at any time I would have no way of knowing if the bunny was under the deck, in the garden, or outside the fence. I closed the gap so I knew it was inside and started to figure how to deal with it.
Up until now the rabbit damage was to about 75% of the beet crop and they destroyed the cabbages. Well I pulled the last of the beets, most damaged, to plant the fall beet crop and left the damaged cabbage for the baby bunny to eat. The challenge now was to catch and release the bunny outside the newly hardened fence before the beets and the fall snow peas sprouted, the bunny would love the shoots.
The next day, Fran and I were picking zuccs & cucs and we saw the baby bunny, we chased it to a corner of the fence where some things were stacked, and I reached down grabbed it and let it go outside the fence. Done, or so I thought.
Another day or so went by and I saw another baby bunny in the garden and the realization hit, the mother bunny had a nest under the deck and had a litter of bunnies there. The baby bunny was nibbling at the grass in the crack in the paving that I was going to have to weed whack, so not totally evil. Anyway, can you believe that one night I couldn't sleep and was thinking of the bunny problem. That is the definition of life is good when bunnies in the garden is what keeps you awake at night.
I planned to block bunny access from under the deck to the garden with pavers, boards, bags of paver base, whatever. Now the bunnies would be trapped under the deck and would probably starve. Sad for the bunnies, talk about bad life decisions, but bunnies aren't known for smart. I would try to let them go tho, they are so darn cute. Also, I am sure sealing up the underside of the deck would eventually cause some kind of moisture problem to the deck.
While I was hardening up the fence, I blocked off some of the access to under the deck and opened the fence in the corner hoping to chase the bunny out the gap. Steve, the lawn guy came by, I told him my problem, he got right into it, he is a hunter. We saw the baby bunny and we chased it around the garden and tried to drive it out the fence opening. The bunny got behind us and dashed under the deck. A baby bunny outsmarted two grown men. Steve offered to loan me a live trap, but I asked what to use as bait in a garden, a problem. I had no choice now, I finished blocking off the garden from under the deck. The bunny was trapped.
I took Steve's trap anyway and set it up in a made gap in the walling in of the deck the next morning when the bunny should be hungry. So if the bunny trys to get out from under the deck in the only opening, I will catch it, close up the gap, and release it. So far, no success.