Cherokee Trail of Tears climbing beans - young plants

Bunny’s been eating my Cherokee beans!

I was delighted to see my Cherokee ‘Trail of Tears’ climbing beans were germinating well along my tall bean frame and teepee as I took my daily trips around the allotment garden earlier this week.

Tall bean frame and teepee
Tall bean frame and teepee

Four plants one day turned into six plants the next and then I counted eighteen the next day. However, the next day after that, I was rather alarmed to find several plants had ‘disappeared’ overnight!

Bean stalks left after rabbit has eaten the leaves
Who’s been eating my bean plants?

All that remained of these five plants were little stumps of stalk sticking up out of the soil. I learned later that our newest ‘furry friend’ had been spotted in the garden that day. My neighbour has had this allotment garden for forty years. All kinds of animals have visited: badgers, foxes, squirrels, moles, cats … but never a rabbit … until this week! My bean plants had become rabbit food! I pulled out the stumps and sowed new seeds in their place.

Protecting young bean plants with cloches
Protecting young bean plants with cloches

I also took the precaution of covering up all the newly germinated bean plants with bottle cloches … just in case.

Newly germinating bean plant
Newly germinating bean plant

Now, whenever I spot a newly germinating bean plant I will be ready armed with another bottle cloche!

Covering germinating bean plant with a bottle cloche
Adding a bottle cloche to protect the germinating bean plant

Gotcha! … the bean plant that is, not the rabbit! Bean, you’ve been cloched!

Rabbit-proofing germinating bean plant with bottle cloche
Baby bean plant in its bottle cloche

My bottle cloches are doing the trick, especially as it seems this rabbit only has a taste for the newest Cherokee bean seedlings. Fortunately, the slightly larger plants have not been nibbled (or not yet at least!)

Those long ears must have heard that I am not best pleased, as Beany Bunny hasn’t dropped by again while I have been in the garden. Although, I do know it has been back because I found a piece of pea plant that I guess it must have dropped when making a rapid escape!

J Peggy Taylor

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