Monday, May 16, 2011

Peter Rabbit's Relatives

I thought I had it made. I bought a flat of organic broccoli plants and left it out back before planting the veggies in the side garden. My husband kindly watered it each morning and the leaves were flourishing. I was somewhat concerned that the squirrels would get to the plants before I did but I watched them sniff at the flat and then move on. They didn’t seem interested in broccoli at all. Was this, finally, something I could grow without interference?

Then one morning there were a only couple of munched leaves and then nothing. Just one skinny, leafless, truncated stem in an otherwise empty container. I was ready to vilify those squirrels when I saw one sniff the pathetic stem and leave it alone. Hmm. Maybe they weren’t the culprits. If the squirrels didn’t eat the plants, what did?

“The bunnies are back,” my husband said. “I saw a couple of them in the front yard.”

Aha. Peter Rabbit’s relatives. I usually love to see rabbits around. They are particularly charming animals. I remember the time when I was down on the lawn weeding and a young rabbit nibbled his way through the clover to within a few feet of where I was working. We looked at each other and peacefully continued our tasks. There we were, just two of nature’s creatures companionably doing our own things. But now…

I wouldn’t do anything harmful to rabbits though I would certainly like to have my vegetables able to grow. With fingers crossed, and a cage or two, we planted a watermelon vine and some tomatoes. I know rabbits have to eat, too, but I should think there is enough grass, clover, wild strawberries, and sunflower seeds to keep their tummies happy. I silently sent a message, Stay away bunnies. I would hate to have to call on Farmer McGregor for help. On second thought, maybe a fence will do.

The humane society is the best Farmer McGregor if you have rabbit problems:


  1. Can I tell you my sad saga? Years ago, my husband I also planted a vegetable garden. We defied conventional wisdom and planted corn and were rewarded with a huge crop. We tasted one ear that was"ready" and it was fabulous so waited patiently for the sugar to "come in" to the rest. My husband pulled back a little of a husk every day to check. Finally, he said, tomorrow is the day. I boiled a big pot of water so the corn could be cooked as soon as it was picked and not loss any sugar. He ran out with a big bowl for the corn and found every last ear had been eaten by Japanese beetles! They, too, had waited patiently for the sugar to come in!!

  2. Japanese beetles? Bunnies? We saw a groundhog in our yard the other day. What does that one eat? I started putting out seedlings on top of our patio table to keep off the ground critters. As for the squirrels...