If you have rabbits in your area and most suburban and rural areas do have them even if you do not see them all the time then you will need to protect your vegetable garden from these hungry furry monsters.
The interesting part is protecting your garden doesn’t take a lot of work and as you will see a 2 foot high wire fence is enough to keep everyone happy. Rabbits will not normally eat larger plants but in the beginning of the growing season things like bean sprouts are one of the only good resources of food.
After living with rabbits for some time I have found it interesting that they won’t even touch most of the plants in my garden once they are mature. The problem is just 2 or 3 rabbits can eat all of your sprouting plants in a single night and this can delay your garden by weeks when you need to replant seeds. If you protect your garden your rabbits will be happy eating your clover weeds and you will have a garden you can eat.
Starting With A Good Base
When you design your garden you want to separate it from the rest of your yard and a easy way to do this is by adding a 2×4 border. Simply stacking 2x4s around your garden perimeter and holding them in place with one foot long half inch rebar rod will give you a great base to start.
In my garden I used two 2x4s stacked on edge to provide a full 5 inch height. Check the square of the boards by using a measuring tape and a string line if you need to.
Drive the rebar in at the corners and where ever the ends of the boards overlap.
Buying your Wire Fence
Wire Fence usually comes in 25 foot and 50 foot lengths. It also comes in a variety of heights but you will only need two foot high fence to deter rabbits. It is made of heavy green coated wire that comes with matching three foot long stakes that you drive into the ground and then hang the fence on.
Although this standard fence with 2 inch x 3 inch wide openings will keep out the adult rabbits you will be amazed to see that baby rabbits can sneak through these tiny openings. I actually watched once as a baby rabbit ran at full speed and jumped through the opening as if it wasn’t even there.
To make sure baby rabbits can’t get in you will need a one inch or smaller opening for the first foot of fence. The best and easiest way to handle this is to install the standard green fence and then attach a foot high of chicken wire at the bottom.
Chicken wire also comes in the two foot high widths so if you need 50 feet of it buy a 25 foot long piece and cut it with some wire cutters. You will need to wear gloves when you cut the chicken wire as the ends will be sharp. Bend them over with pliers and put the sharp edge down.
Installing Your Stakes
First install your corner stakes. You will need one steak in each corner and you drive it in at the corner then use a few screws to attach it to your 2x4s.
The center of your runs of wire fence should be supported every 4 to 6 feet by the next stake. You should install all of your stakes before you begin attaching your fence.
Installing Your Fence
It is very important that you get your fence installed very tightly or it will sag later in the year. At the beginning of the fence roll there will be cut wires that allow the roll to be fastened for shipping. Cut the ends off and fold back the fence one section.
Attach the fence so that the wire is positioned as close to the ground as you can. If you need to dig a bit of grass or dirt away it is better to do this then to alter the height. Once the first stake is secured to the fence unroll the roll of fence all the way to the opposite corner with your garden and then go back and attach the first center stake.
Attaching the Chicken Wire
Once you have your Green Fence installed securely you can install your chicken wire. Each packet of chicken wire should come with a long piece of wire that you can cut and use like a twist tie to attache the chicken wire to your green wire fence.
If you want to paint your chicken wire green to match your green fence buy a can or two of green spray paint and paint the chicken wire while it is still rolled up. You will find that not all areas get coated so loosen the roll so it spins inside its self and you can hit it again with spray paint.
If you need to cut your chicken wire you will need to unroll it completely. Wear gloves while cutting.
Using a pair of pliers cut the provided wire into 2 to 3 inch pieces and use it to attach the first corner then attach the opposite corner and finally work the center area to make the wire secure to your fence.
Although the fence will only be 2 feet high it is not a bad idea to include a small gate. It is easy to make your gate with some scrap 2x4s and extra wire.
Make a square frame for the door and then place two long pieces of 2×4 into the ground to support the gate.