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Rabbit eaten tomato plants

Posted by onestr8 STL_MO (My Page) on
Mon, Apr 7, 08 at 20:24

I have a rabbit in my yard that has a taste for tomato plants. I planted yesterday and ran out of light to put up fencing. Overnight my rabbit friend chomped a few plants.

Today I put up fencing. My question is, will the affected plants recover? Can I plant them deeper and let them "resprout?" Or is it a lost cause? Any help is appreciated.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Rabbit eaten tomato plants

Today I put up fencing...
Once these thumpers (or other pests) get a ken for garden stuff, they are hard to repel... seems like they acquire an accurate memory of where and when choice commestibles will be available. Thumpers jumped 4' tall chicken wire last season... no problem. And last season, a few acquired a taste for ripe tomato fruits (which were not protected by the chicken wire)... I lost more than 100 of them to the thumpers. I have trapped and relocated 11 thumpers in my townie garden area so far this year.

Reg


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RE: Rabbit eaten tomato plants

Pics of ya plants would be helpful to determine the damage..but other than that out here in the sticks...I would say..dinner..last year I had a problem with the birds pecking at my almost ripe maters..someone had mentioned putting Christmas decorations (red balls) on the unripe ones..shoot it worked..after a while they figure it's just for decoration and goes to someone else's field.
Bunnies..yum..sit outside late at night with a laser site and plan dinner...invite the neighbors,,

Happy gardening..


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RE: Rabbit eaten tomato plants

I've had rabbit eat young tomato plants all the way back to where there was just maybe three or four inches of bare stem above the root crown and the plant sprouted new shoots and grew to maturity. I've only let such plants regrow when they were the single plant of a variety. More often, I've pulled the root and replanted with another tomato.

I have rabbit problems every summer. Usually the rabbits prefer very young tomato plants or just nibble a few low-hanging leaves on older plants. I've had them repeatedly eat dwarf tomato plants down to next to nothing. It can be frustrating, and nothing seems to repel them once they acquire a taste for tomatoes or pepper plants except swift traveling lead pellets.

It's hard to think harshly of something like this nesting in your garden ...
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... or this ...
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Until you go out one morning and see something like this ...
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... or this
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By the way, both those pepper plants regrew and produced a big load of pods.

Bill


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RE: Rabbit eaten tomato plants

If you have the room, I'd leave the tomatoes in and see if they regrow. If not, replant.
Repelling bunnies isn't easy. If you have a dog or know of a dog groomer so you can get large amounts of dog fur, try putting dog fur in the toes of nylon stockings, and attaching the "fur ball" to the plants. I have had luck keeping critters out of the garden with these. Of course, the neighbors may wonder just what it is you are growing . . . .


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RE: Rabbit eaten tomato plants

It's hard to think harshly of something like this nesting in your garden ...
Bill, given your obvious expertise in the "cultivation" of thumpers, maybe you should consider starting a rabbit farm and promoting its product as one that is organically fed and free of all hormones and antibiotics. Given the inexorably rising costs involved in (commercially) producing the flesh of dead animals for human consumption, such a venture could really grow "legs."

The wild thumpers that I trap are only perhaps in the 3-4# range, so the flesh yield per such a thumper would be 1# tops. But their weights could be significantly increased with copious offerings from an expanded version of your garden... carrot and beet tops make excellent feed for thumpers. And ANY type of pea as well. As an added bonus, you may be able to attract lots of groundhogs which, if properly prepared, are also very tasty. Hint: the whistlepig is particularly partial to melons.

Reg


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RE: Rabbit eaten tomato plants

Reg, I've experienced the delicate bouquet of a savory groundhog stew ... and it tasted right fine, too! Trick is to harvest the whistlepig before it gets into the soybeans and acquires that gamey wang some of us epicureans find a bit offensive to our cultured palates. So, I can't imagine the flavor profile of groundhog fattened on tomato vines ... yech.

And aside from rabbits being even a bit less Kosher than groundhogs, if that were a consideration in fact, the time of year when a rabbit is the most offensive to my gardening happens to coincide with and infestation of ticks that leaves the meat of a rabbit totally unsafe to process and consume.

Therefore, I've found the most effective way to deal with potential rabbit damage to young tomato vines is to grow them in raised beds and, as an added precaution, to start the vines out in bottomless 4 or 5-gallon nursery pots which raises the root crown of the vine another 12 inches while allowing the tap root system to eventually grow out the bottom of the container and into the growing media filling the raised bed. This system seems to prevent all but the tallest and most aggressive bucks from nibbling down the growing tips ... and if necessity dictates the dispatch of an old, weather-worn Brer Rabbit, that certainly would seem less cruel than open season on wittle Easter Bunnies.


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RE: Rabbit eaten tomato plants

And aside from rabbits being even a bit less Kosher than groundhogs, if that were a consideration in fact, the time of year when a rabbit is the most offensive to my gardening happens to coincide with and infestation of ticks that leaves the meat of a rabbit totally unsafe to process and consume...
Granny of Beverly Hillbillies had no problems cooking with road kills or any wild game (but Ellie May took issue with it), including opposums. I presume that it is all about the preparation. Consider that, in Granny's 'possum stew, most of the dead animal was consumed. And the "left hind foot" of the 'possum was certainly included in the mix. And the person who got this (and ate it) in his/her dish was blessed with good luck for some period of time.

So maybe, given the lucky rabbit foot thing, the same applies in the preparation and injestion of thumper stew. I do not know which of the 4 respective rabbit's feet (upon consumption) may confer good luck to its ingestor, so some experimentation would seem to be in order here. But the left hind foot would be a strong candidate. The feet would need to be labelled so that there is no confusion as to left front, right rear, etc. And good records would need to be maintained. And furthermore, I would think that the rabbit fur should be kept intact on the severed foot to retain the integrity of the good luck attribute.

I suggest that you may be perfect to conduct such an experiment, given your access to the wild rabbit and your attention to detail and excellence in culinary activities. If you should consider embarking on such an experiment, I recommend that you download and view all episodes of The Beverly Hillbillies and take comprehensive and precise notes on Granny's kitchen routines. But temper such documentation with the fact that Granny was sometimes (during her cooking activities) taking excessive volumes of her rheumatis' medication.

Reg


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RE: Rabbit eaten tomato plants

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RE: Rabbit eaten tomato plants

not withstanding your apparent concern about Good Lucks coincidental association with Good Eatin', the only reason behind the country tradition of leavin' one furry paw attached to small game, whether cooked in a pot or on a grill, is to ensure the guests they aren't eating Fido...
No, I rather suggest that if good luck can be associated with healthy eating, that is beneficial. You must know that when Granny got deep into her 'tiz medcin' and was short on animal flesh for making a stew, she would sometimes appropriate one of Ellie May's critters for that purpose. Now EM did not know this and just figured that her critter ran off. And when EM sat down for dinner she remarked something to this effect: "Boy I sure miss my critter, but the taste of this stew reminds me of him. I think he will be back soon."

So if properly prepared (even by a person on 'tiz medcin'), the flesh of a dead pet can taste good. Any rewards of good luck are just complimentary to the culinary arts.

Reg


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RE: Rabbit eaten tomato plants

Trap an kill the rabbits. Fence the garden. The tomatoes and peppers are good at re-growing.


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RE: Rabbit eaten tomato plants

  • Posted by doof SoCal 10a (My Page) on
    Wed, Apr 9, 08 at 2:43

You'll need more than a fence. A determined rabbit will tunnel underneath a concrete barrier to get to yummy pepper plants. I assume they will do the same for tomatoes, but my experience was with peppers. Years ago, I let my daughter's rabbit have the run of our backyard. No matter what I did, I couldn't keep it out of my pepper patch. I finally just gave up and waited until the rabbit died, which, fortunately for me, wasn't much long after. A neighbor's dog got into the yard and made short work of it. Oh, there was much bawling over that. But we had Big Jim peppers the next year!

As for Granny Clampett and her roadkill cuisine, I have always been interested in making her special tonic.

Which got me interested in this:

Sasher says that by filling 15 percent of your car's gas tank with ethanol -- the corn-based alternative fuel -- and the rest with gasoline, you can bring down the price-per-gallon from $3 to about $2.40. You can make about five gallons of ethanol every hour from his stills, and it's not very difficult, he says.

Yeast, sugar, corn and water are mashed together and left to ferment for two days or more. The mash is then brought to a boil, with the mash vapors rising into the still tower, where they are cooled and condensed into ethanol. Of course, if you don't add the ingredient that makes ethanol unfit for human consumption, you would find yourself with something else: 190 proof moonshine.

"You can make moonshine with it," Sasher concedes, before adding with a grin, "It's against the law, though."

Granny would be proud.


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RE: Rabbit eaten tomato plants

Granny would indeed be proud with that production rate and cost/gal.

The mash has a very strong smell, corn is approaching 6 bucks a bushel, that production rate sounds very optimistic, permiting, record keeping, storage limitations and requirements ...

As to the Hare problem, like most game, there is a fine line between perfect and overdone hence the tendancy toward stews. It doesn't have to be that way.


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RE: Rabbit eaten tomato plants

In a former career, I was a pizza slinger. Last Friday, I visited a new pizza joint and was comparing notes with the owner. I like to crapped a brick when he told me high gluten flour is now over 30 bucks a bag ... I never paid over 11.00 in the 90s, and often got top quality bread flour for 8 - 9 bucks.

So, I ran into my old supplier yesterday, and mentioned it to him. He skipped right over the fact that wheat is 10 USD plus per bushel now, and started reciting a litany of woes concerning wholesale food prices. And it all seemed to boil down to C-O-R-N. Oregano prices have tripled he said because the Mexican farmers are switching to corn to get the higher prices. Then he said Canada is the world's largest producer of mustard seed, and any farmer who can grow corn in Canada is switching to corn to harvest a profit ... raising mustard seed out the roof.

I asked him if it's all about ethanol and he went into a tirade about how we should outlaw the use of food crops for ethanol production. I suspect also that since corn is now used in daggone near every processed food, along with other industrial and medicinal uses, and since China and India has increased the imports of corn and corn biproducts, that ethanol is not solely to blame.

Does seem though that when ethanol was moonshine rather than fuel for SUVs, times were simpler and prices more stable.


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RE: Rabbit eaten tomato plants

I know they sell coyote (or maybe it's wolf) urine here in texas to deter deer. Maybe it will work for rabbits?


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RE: Rabbit eaten tomato plants

Bill,

I won't go into it in depth, its far too OT but there are long lived fundamental reasons why most all commodities will likely find themselves trading in higher ranges than the historical norms. Perhaps indefinately.

As a small grain producer, (I'm not a farmer, my partner is) I'm happy for the increaced demand but input cost are up a bunch. There is risk that this newly increased supply you speak of could force prices down in the very yr. input costs soared.

This game never stops but it has the potential to be very bumpy for a while.

Ethanol production will be moved to non food sources but for lots of reasons it needed to start with corn.

To swing this topic back to a garden forum and not to be overly melodramatic, composting, seed saving and multi culture may find themselves as high return activities soon enough.


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RE: Rabbit eaten tomato plants

Dave, I've seen a bit of info on large scale composting and vermiculture that indicates high return potential. But your statement re: seed saving intrigues me more personally. Could you expand on that with a new topic somewhere and then provide a link? Any other information on potential profitability in seed saving would be appreciated at tomatohead48@hotmail.com too. Thanks. Bill


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RE: Rabbit eaten tomato plants

Sorry Bill,

That was just a very generalised statement as to my thoughts on the potential input cost increases for pretty much everything.

Learning to save and grow your own, nuturing them with non store bought amendments and using crop diversity rather than mono culture will help with the grocery bills.

I wasn't proposing anything at the enterprise level :-)


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RE: Rabbit eaten tomato plants

The only way I had any success last year was with cayanne pepper. I sprinkled the pepper on the plants and around them. I reckon the little bastages got a dose of hot mouth. Gonna try it again this year just to make sure last year wasn't a fluke.


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RE: Rabbit eaten tomato plants

Thx for post

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