Monday, August 17, 2009

Bunny Proofing

We live at 6700ft, get down to near zero in the winter and above 90 in the summer. We get around 30 inches of snow in the winter and 10 or more inches of rain in the summer. We have clay dirt and no soil. Not one earthworm. That's a recipe for hard gardening. Add in bunnies and it's near disastrous.

I've been keeping track of what plants are "Bunny Yummy" and what ones aren't here in the southwest. Beware....hungry bunnies will eat about anything. They even eat our prickly pear cactus in the winter. Bunnies are the reason our neighbors all own at least 2 dogs. We own ZERO! Thus, the bunnies flock to our yard. It's the Garden of Eden (Eaten) for bunnies.

As for the progress on our side yard, I've narrowed down the less Bunny Yummy plants. Here's a photo from last blog with the bunny surviving plants:

Now for the rundown on these bunny proofing beauties and where I got them:

Sargent Crabapple (Arbor Day)

It supposedly grows slowly, but this little beauty use to only be 4 inches tall after a bunny chomped the top off last summer. Okay, this one isn't bunny proof....hence the chicken wire around it. Chicken wire around plants....equals bunny proof....sometimes.

Santa Rosa Plum (Lowes)
Prunus salicina
Large, fast growing tree that produces purplish-red fruit. It is suppose to have fine textured fleshy fruit with a rich, tart and juicy flavor. It got blossoms this spring and then snowed. No fruit. I'm beginning to think the weather here may prevent us from ever having plums. Again....lovely tubing around the trunk to protect it from critters.

Butterfly Bush (Home Depot)
Buddleia davidii 'Royal Red"
My absolute favorite! I transplanted this one to this spot last fall and thought it was dead. It came back and grew fast! I've got 5 more of these in various colors elsewhere. Drought tolerant, bunny proof, and fast growing! They get nearly 6' by 6' and are good down to -20 degrees F.

Russian Sage (Home Depot and one from a local nursery)Perovskia atriplicifolia
Wasn't sure if I was going to like this. So far I do. We'll see how much it spreads, which it's suppose to do. At least the bunnies don't eat it and it has some color. Okay, I like! Drought tolerant too!

Lavandula 'Munstead' (local nursery)
The only lavender I got to survive through the winter. Yeah! Lovely scent and bunnies don't eat it. Of course, it's drought tolerant once established.

Chives (Home Depot)
The herb, you can eat it. Bunnies don't seem to eat it once it gets above an inch tall. They have tried it. Stays green, doesn't require water, and best of all.....did I mention it's green?!
Any bunny proof plants that you're fond of? How about deterring other critters from your garden? As always, it's a work in progress. Enjoy!

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