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Apr 4, 2011 12:30 PM

protecting the seedlings?

Something is already eating the 4" corn plants (probably rabbits)--the corn still looks like a blade of grass, for heaven's sake, and 3 plants are now absent--not just chewed upon, but AWOL. Planted 8 more seeds this morning, but do you have any homemade ideas for adequate critter-foils? I saw rabbit fencing at Lowe's, but hate to spend another $40 on my hubby calls my million dollar gardening hobby.

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  1. Have you tried cutting the bottom off a 2 liter soda bottle or the bottom off a milk jug and placing it over the plant? Makes for a neat l;ittle makeshift greenhouse too. Just leave the cap off for heat to escape. Thos new seeds should germinate quickly.

    9 Replies
    1. re: Novelli

      Great idea, but gotta run out to the recycling bin at the curb & rescue a milk jug! Yowsa, we gotta drink more milk than we use in a year to cover everything, but will get more creative. Thanks.

      1. re: Novelli

        Great idea! Nothing's eating mine at this point, but will save those milk jugs! Like pine time, have to go pull the one already in the recyclable bin.

        1. re: CocoaNut

          Shhhh...walk down the street the night before the recycle guys come and take whatever the neighbors put in their bins. Most people don't crush 'em, so you should score quite a few soda bottles and/or milk jugs!

          (no, don't go look out the window. I don't want you to see me.)

            1. re: CocoaNut

              Heh! My husband has a picture of my backside while I'm danglin' in the plastic recycle bin scarfing up half- and whole gallon milk jugs for transplants. At least I wasn't dumpster diving! We don't have recycle trucks and garbage collection here. We have recycle sheds and dumpsters located throughout the county. I've been known to raid the glass bins too for jars!

        2. re: Novelli

          Not sure how well it would work out, as I don't have a rabbit problem, but you might also want to try buying a couple of those cheap rubber toy snakes at the discount store and lay them out in the garden. It should spook out any rabbits or birds that come aound.

          If that fails then you may want to go ahead invest in the rabbit wire...but, at least you gave a couple of cheap shots!

          1. re: Novelli

            Snakes--so funny! We do have one of those owl things, but the rabbit just laugh at him, and the birds sit on his head.

            1. re: pine time

              I really like your comment. We've used flashing Christmas lights to try to frighten the deer and raccoons, kept a radio going, hung metal pie plates, and we finally realized they were out there partying and having a good time. Music, disco lights, snacks. We don't have rabbits or squirrels, too many bobcats and part bobcats here.

        3. It might not be a critter, it might be a bug. There are some out there that can consume a seedling overnight. Floating row cover placed over your seeds and seedlings immediately after planting can help discourage both critters and bugs. And then there's moles. Any signs of heaped dirt in your garden that isn't from your digging?

          1 Reply
          1. re: morwen

            slugs, too, are fond of delicate plants that they will leave alone if said plant makes it to maturity.

          2. Follow-up: short of raiding the neighbor's recycle bins for more milk/soda jugs, looked around the garage and, lo and behold, saw a stack of nursery pots. Plopped 'em over the other corn (and the eggplants, since they, too, have been munched upon) and all's well, so far.

            While other critters/insects could be culprits, we're in rabbit heaven here. HOWEVER, last year, "somebody" ate corn right off the cob when the stalks were a good 4-5 feet high. We do not have deer here, so that would be some might tall rabbit!

            3 Replies
              1. re: Eldon Kreider

                Always a possibility, of course, but I've never seen raccoons around here.

                1. re: pine time

                  Raccoons know when the corn is ready and sneak in during the night.

            1. My "go to" for ALL vegetable pest problems (including deer) are FLOATING ROW COVERS. They'll even work for corn until the corn gets tall enough to be able to ward off their predators.

              MUCH more efficient & flexible than all the hard plastic flotsam & jetsam.