15 May 2009

Rabbit-repellent corn

I had a bit of bother with last year's attempt at a Mohawk-style Three Sisters bed. The corn part of the partnership just didn't work very well. At the time I blamed poor germination, but later wondered whether it was the fault of those cute little rabbits that were lurking on the fringes of the vegetable garden last year. This time round I decided to sow the corn in cardboard tubes in the greenhouse to give them a head start and perhaps make them less tasty for the furry blighters. Using the tubes means that the roots will have minimal disturbance when they go into the ground. The seeds had a 100% germination rate, which seems to bear out the rabbit-muching theory.

The weather is looking promising now (no sign of a frost in the forecast), so I've put the first sowing out into one of the lower vegetable garden beds. These have all been supplemented with extra soil this year in an attempt to prevent a repeat run of last year's tomato-drowning catastrophe.

The runner beans have been sown there too and the squash plants were sown in the greenhouse, enjoying a more sheltered start.

We enjoyed our first rhubarb harvest last night. One of the three plants that were planted in the tyre garden last year died, but the other two are looking healthy enough. You can see the asparagus plants are enjoying being in their tyres, too!

I've transferred the plants I hope to sell tomorrow into plastic boxes. Mostly they are heirloom tomatoes and peppers, but there are also some red cabbage seedlings and these cosmos plants:

Purple Russian are THE tomato plant to have this year, I understand. ;-)

The chicks are coming along fine. They are starting to look a bit tatty as their feathers are coming through. I'm sure they're growing, but that is hard to detect when you're looking at them every day. Where there is a noticeable difference is in their combs: those do look a bit bigger now than they did on Monday. You can really see why they're called combs, too!


Esther Montgomery said...

We ate our first rhubarb yesterday too (which was 16th May).

On the other hand, seeing where you are at with the corn is a bit of a blow. I've got some seed for it and, as it isn't one of our high-priority plants (unfortunately - maybe I should negotiate a change in planting for next year) it comes last in order to be germinated. I've been hoping that, now the tomatoes and beans and squashes are on their way, I'd be able to bring on some sweet-corn as a catch-up . . . but having seen where you are at with yours, I'm thinking I really am too late.

? ? ?


P.S. If you hadn't mentioned the rhubarb, I'd just have thought 'Ah! Different climates!' E.

Esther Montgomery said...


Linda said...

Good luck with the sale! Who knows, it may turn into a little business sideline.

Keeping hens seems to be quite big on the Canadian scene? Miranda in BC, who blogs at http://www.nurturedbylove.blogspot.com/,
is another chick-hatcher/hen-keeper.

Heather said...

Everything looks so nice! The chicks are great! My meat chicks are double in size from a week ago. They still look to sweet to eat to me but maybe soon they will get ugly and it won't gross me out to think of them as dinner. Can't wait to read more abou the chicks!

Amanda said...

Hi Esther

I was still sowing corn well into June last year, so I don't think you need to worry about that. I've got another lot waiting to go out that I planted a couple of weeks after these. Then I think I'll risk sowing a third batch directly into the soil. Hope that'll give me some succession (in the optimistic expectation of getting lots of cobs from each batch!).

Unknown said...

I never thought of this form of rabbit repellent. This is very clever! I recommend getting some DeFence. It’s organic, natural and highly effective. We’ve been using it and have had a lot of success. Plus, it lasts a really long time. Directions say apply every 3 months.