Because we seem to live in the midst of a rabbit warren (definition: a place where rabbits breed or abound... I have wanted to use that since I read Watership Down in middle school), our garden and berry patch are fenced in. The poles where the green beans climb are not though, so they are vulnerable to our furry
friends enemies, especially when they first sprout.
Our bean-growing setup
Last year, we bought a product called Liquid Fence, which worked really well at keeping the rabbits away. At almost $15 a bottle, it seemed a little expensive. With a price like that, it almost wasn't worth growing our own beans. This year, we decided to make our own rabbit repellent using this recipe from ehow.com:
What you need:
Red pepper sauce (like Tabasco)
Liquid dish soap
What to do:
1. Fill the gallon jug with clean water.
2. Add 3 heaping tablespoons of cayenne pepper to the jug, followed by 3 tablespoons of red pepper sauce and a squirt of dish soap.
3. Cap the container and shake vigorously.
4. Allow mixture to steep for two to three days.
5. Using a funnel, pour the mixture into the spray bottle.
6. Spray the leaves and stems of the plants and vegetables with the mixture, shaking the bottle to mix thoroughly before each application. It will be necessary to reapply the repellent after each watering and each time it rains.
Note from the recipe author: You can add crushed garlic if the rabbits become resistant to the basic recipe. After that, you can add raw eggs. Note from me: Raw eggs? Yuck!
Of course, by the time my repellent was ready, we were in the middle of several rainy days and the rabbits got to my bean sprouts before I could spray. We've applied a few applications and the beans seem to be bouncing back, so I think it's working. With all this rain we have been getting, we have to be diligent about getting out there and reapplying frequently.