I was just reading your article today about the pesky squirrels and using the castor oil solution or cinnamon. Would you know of a way to keep rabbits away from flower beds? I’ve planted some petunias and they love to eat the flowers. Would the castor oil solution or cinnamon work on rabbits, or is there another trick that you know of? Thank you, Susan
Of course chicken wire or some other sort of two foot fence (or higher) is the best way to keep cute little rabbits from munching in your yard, but that’s not always an option. Surround the garden with milk jugs lined with sand. The idea is that the rabbits will chew on the jugs instead of your plants. Or collect bags of human hair from your local hair salon, sprinkle onto garden, this dissuades both deer and rabbits. Other than a fence, what I have found most effective is to add turkey manure in with the soil. Or into a spray bottle mix: 1 tbsp. baby shampoo and 1 tbsp. household ammonia and one quart water. Spray plants every 3 days. Or soak corn cobs in vinegar for five minutes and then place them throughout the garden. The corn cobs should be re-soaked in vinegar after two weeks. When planting your flower beds, mix thyme, spearmint, daffodils and/or eucalyptus in with your flowers, they don’t like the smell and often won’t pass by to get to your yummy flowers. Lastly, if you sprinkle a liberal amount of cayenne pepper around the flowers they are likely to leave them alone.
• Ants and bird feeders:
I solved the problem of ants that were contaminating my hummingbird feeder by gluing a small salmon tin on top of the feeder I pushed the wire through a punched hole. The tin was filled with water creating a ‘’moat’’ which the ants could not cross.
You could accomplish the same thing by gluing on a section of PVC pipe on top of the feeder which would be filled with water.
I don’t know why they don’t make hummingbird feeders with moats built in; this is such a simple modification.
• Poison ivy:
One time I was pulling "weeds" in our large suburban backyard that turned out to be poison ivy. Before I broke out in a huge rash, I washed the area with liquid soap, gently toweled off the area with a paper towel, and after I was dry, I applied an over the counter overnight acne cream that prevented the spread of poison ivy, it made sense because overnight acne medication is designed to dry out the oils causing an acne outbreak.
Reena Nerbas is a rural Manitoba home economist is a lab coat - and she’s not afraid to use it. Keep your questions coming:
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition June 28, 2012