If you have read my first post, you know that I needed a rabbit-proof garden quickly. In this post, I explain what needed to be done, how it was accomplished and why it was necessary.
Reasons For a Rabbit Proof Garden
Now, there are two reasons for Babe to have a rabbit proof garden. The first is to stop her from escaping, and the second is to stop her from eating my plants.
But, the garden fence is secure, and it would take her all day to tunnel her way out. However, my plants could be toxic and immediately harmful, so I will have to prioritise.
My plants are in pots on the patio, the retaining wall along the left side of the garden. Plus, there are two planters on the grass at the bottom of the garden.
The only plants not in pots are a small bush to the top of the grassed area and to the right of the shed, where I have a raised bed full of geraniums.
Rabbit Proofing Raised Beds and Pots
I started with the raised bed. And, made a 5oomm high wooden frame and covered it with wire mesh. Then, fixed it on top of the 200mm edging between the shed and the fence with wood screws.
The bush is toxic and has no place in a rabbit proof garden, so I need to remove it. Now Babe was having fun inspecting all I was doing.
Actually, Babe’s “help” was hindering progress. And she risks losing her head by getting under the wood saw.
Next, I put a trellis on either side of the arch, with a gate between the patio and garden. Then added a picket fence to protect the pots on top of the retaining wall.
With 600mm (2′) high wire netting stapled to the trellis and fence, Babe could not reach the plants.
But, if I unintentionally closed the gate, the rabbit proof garden would not let her access the patio or house. However, I will solve this problem later.
Now, I knew the two planters at the bottom of the garden needed protection with frames.
Thus, it will be easy to defend the patio pots the same way.
Now, being able to confine Babe in the rabbit proof garden made the job easier.
Hence, I completed the frames much quicker without Babe’s help. It had taken four days of work to protect Babe and my plants from each other.
While allowing me easy access to maintain my pots. Now I had to make sure Babe could not escape by digging her way into next door’s garden.
Rabbit Proof Garden Fencing
Having rabbit-proof garden fencing to the right side of the plot would be easy had Babe not found a weakness.
Behind my storage units, the bottom of the larch wood panels had gone soft. Therefore, she had found them very easy quietly to gnaw without alerting me.
But as they are my neighbours’ and there is no hole yet! I am not about to replace the panels.
Now, I could have just pushed my two garden stores back to the boundary and blocked her access. But I decided to fit gravel board along the bottom of the fence.
To help first with rabbit proofing and later a tunnel. A Gravel board is a 150 x 25mm board for the panels to sit on to prevent them from rotting.
I fitted the board along the whole fence, my side of the posts. It would not stop the panels rotting; it was too late for that anyway.
But it would stop Babe from chewing holes through the bottom of the rotting fence.
Too rabbit proof garden fences below ground, you need to dig down at least 150mm.
So, after digging a trench a spades width and 300mm (12″) deep, along the fence line and the raised bed.
I stapled cage mesh to the gravel board and the raised bed border, down and across the bottom of the trench.
Now, I only had to backfill the trench to complete the job. So, as rabbits only dig down 150mm (6″), it will stop Babe from digging her way out.
Now, Babe loved to run between the garden stores. Then turn left along the fence to the bottom of the garden. Running up the middle of the lawn, she arrived back on the patio via the gate.
On completion of the rabbit proof garden, the patio fence and rabbit proof pots blocked her way. Not only stopping her fun but, more importantly, taking away her only bolt hole.
I solved the problem by forming a tunnel using the gravel board and surplus wood from the pot frames. With a small rabbit house as a gated exit, giving her room to turn around when I closed it.
Now Babe could still have her fun. But, I could close the gate and the tunnel. Thus, keeping her out of harm’s way while I maintained her safe rabbit proof playground.