Unsurprisingly rabbits don’t belong here. By here I don’t mean our property only, but New Zealand as a whole. Some early settlers 200 years ago thought it would be a great idea to introduce rabbits to the island that originally had no mammals except bats. Lacking predators the rabbits bred like rabbits – because that’s what they do. We can rarely see them in our newly planted orchard during the day, but around full moon when the nights are bright, they till the garden without mercy. They also seem to have a love for ringbarking (aka killing) young trees, that’s why we protected all plants with those green plastic plant guards.
Realizing that we’ll not be able to cover each and every carrot seedling on the long run, we decided to take more drastic measures and set up a rabbit fence.
Since rabbits are known to dig holes, rabbit fences need to go down at least 15 cm into the ground. The bad news about this was that we would need to fence a huge area with 300m of wire netting. What I estimated to 2-3 days of work turned out to be a two week project for me and a friend who helped with digging a trench.
On the hilltop we created a 1.80m high fence made of solid timber boards, not only to protect our veggie area from strong winds but also to keep the chicken on the southern side of the ridge.