I’m new at gardening, and I’m working hard and learning a lot about it, but the one thing I’m learning for sure is that I have rabbit problems. In this economy, and with the prices of vegetables going up, I decided to invest in my own backyard garden. I spent the winter months carefully planning it out, researching, testing the soil and waiting for winter to end. I got my little seed starters and had tomato and pepper sprouts within a couple of weeks. I was like a little kid with cabin fever, desperately ready to run outside the moment it warmed up, and when it did, I spent all day in the backyard tilling up grass, raking in the mulch and preparing the yard. It cost me more than I thought it would to start a brand new garden, but I’m hoping it pays off within a year or two.
As soon as it looked like there wouldn’t be any more frost, I was outside, excitedly planting my little seedlings in perfect little rows. I dreamt of the day when I could harvest green beans, peas, tomatoes, peppers, cantaloupe, watermelon and spinach. I was sure I’d save money, lose weight with all my gardening and eating vegetables, and I’d be a hit with my neighbors as I shared my crops with them.
As soon as I got home from work each day, I was out in the garden, pulling weeds, checking for plant growth and making sure the bean trellises were set up correctly. When I saw little tomato buds on the plant, I was so excited! The calluses on my hands were hardening, I was getting a great tan. Some of the neighborhood kids even came over to help me, and ask me questions about plants. I even let some of them have their own tiny little plots so they could plant anything they wanted.
And then, one Saturday I walked out into my yard to a horrific scene. I had rabbit problems. My beautiful herb plants were gnawed down to nothing but nubs. There were perfect little clip marks on the tiny little tomato plants. They’d left the squash alone, but devastated the peas. I just stood there in shock, looking over the damage done to my first vegetable garden ever. Finally, I decided it was too much and just went inside, called up a friend and went out for the day, just to get my mind off of it.
Of course, she told me I should have done this and I should have done that. She told me that I should have expected it and planned for the attack, but none of that made me feel any better. I finally decided the best way to take care of my rabbit problem is just to call in a professional. Let someone else fight the rabbits while I protect and tend to my garden. And of course, I have to explain to the kids why their plants won’t grow this year.