Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Kruse vs Rabbit

We live in a beautiful neighborhood with historic homes, mature trees and friendly neighbors.  We also live with an abundant rabbit problem.  Is it like this everywhere?  The only other place we've lived was in Omaha, NE and I don't recall seeing this many rabbits there.  My biggest complaint about these rabbits is the amount of my foliage they eat.  Spending money on new plants is mostly a no-no around here because the rabbits will chew them down to the ground in no time.

My parents live on an acreage where they also deal with a large rabbit population.  I'm afraid my children thought rabbits were actually called d@mn rabbits because that's what my mom would always say when they had eaten more of her plants.

But this year is gonna be different.  If we can keep the rabbits out of the yard, we can attempt to grow a garden!  Growing a garden is high on our priority list...not because we need one more thing to take care of and maintain...but because we think it's important that we learn how to do it and more importantly, that our kids learn exactly where these vegetables come from.

If you've been a homeowner for any length of time, you know that each home improvement project is not just a one step deal.  It's a least a 10 step process that you have to complete before you even get to the project you WANT to do.  This one's no different.

Before we could think about planting a garden, we had to figure out how we were going to keep the rabbits out.  So we installed this metal mesh around our entire yard.  Well, almost...of course we need one last roll to finish up a few spots.  Basically, Brent just used his staple gun to tack the metal fencing to the wood fencing in 7 foot sections.  But even that wasn't easy!  As he was installing the metal fencing, he would find fence posts that were rotted and had to be dug out and replaced.
In the back corner of our yard, there is a gap in the fencing to accommodate this big shrub/tree - honestly, I don't know what it is, but it grows like crazy and we have to cut it back a few times each year.  Brent had to make this little fence to go around it because this is one of the prime entry spots for the rabbits.
After mostly completing the rabbit fence installation, we borrowed our neighbor's tiller to prepare a space for our garden.
Our neighbor (yes, the same one that gave us our workshop) gave us his garden he had built last year because his mom has a huge, bountiful garden a few blocks away that thrives because of adequate sunlight...making his small garden mostly unnecessary since his mom's produces enough to mostly feed the entire neighborhood.
We just took it apart in his yard and re-assembled it in ours.  After the photo below was taken, we also took his dirt from his old garden and moved it to ours in 5 gallon buckets.  Not a fun job - but it was free dirt and how can you say no to that?
With the garden installed and the rabbit fence up we are ready to plant.  Except we have to wait another month until it is warm enough to transplant our plants outdoors.

Here's the little growing operation we have going.  We realized that the warmest, sunniest spot in our house happened to be on the second floor 2 feet away from Brent and I's bed.  So most evenings as we drift off to sleep, there is a faint odor of wet dirt in the room.  Really romantic.
Try not to make fun of us if we're doing this whole "start from seed" thing wrong.  It's probably pretty obvious that we have no idea what we're doing, but we figured the best way to learn is by screwing it up a few times!
 Looks like one of these little guys isn't gonna make it!
I'm just really hoping that the majority of these plants transplant ok out to the real garden.  Growing these things from seed is a TON of work!  Major sad faces would be happening if they all die once they get into the garden.  Tips would be greatly appreciated in the comments.