One of the good things about raising pet rabbits is the fact that you can grow their foods by yourself in your yard. What’s best is that you need not to be an expert to grow the favourites of your bunnies! So how do you start?
Before anything else, let’s familiarize what is container gardening, how it is done, and what materials you need.
An Introduction to Container Gardening
If you haven’t tried gardening yet and you have limited space at home, then the best way to grow the favourite veggies of your bunnies is in containers. Basically, that method is called container gardening.
To start with, you can make a 4×4” square bed using the available wood you have. Though planks of untreated pine works best, you can also use any scrap wood. Just make sure that the wood you are using is free of chemicals. You don’t want the soil quality to be affected by it.
Aside from plant beds, you can also do container gardening in pots. The key is just to ensure that you use an excellent potting mix, which provides the basic needs of plants – nutrients, moisture, and aeration.
Now that you know the basics, it’s time to dig into the fun part, which is planting the vegetables. What veggies are safe for your rabbits and at the same time, can be grown at home?
Growing lettuce is fairly easy. You can directly plant the seeds in the bed, even if there are several other plants in there. There are several things you need to take into account though.
If you are planting head lettuce types, such as romaine, make sure to give it enough space to grow. The ideal ratio is four heads per square foot.
Here is one fact you might find useful. If you decide to grow the leaf type lettuce, you can enjoy an added perk because you are able to clip the leaves from the outside, allowing the plant to regrow itself. However, if you choose the head lettuce type, once you harvest it, you have to get the entire plant and reseed.
In addition, lettuce loves the cold weather, thriving in temperatures between 10 to 15 degrees Celsius. That means they are best planted in the fall or spring. Still, there are heat-resistant varieties nowadays that you can grow anytime of the year.
Also known as Chinese cabbage, bok choy is another rabbit favourite that grows quickly. Like lettuce, it is a cold weather crop and is best planted in the spring or fall.
When planting bok choy, make sure the soil is rich and loose. There should be no weeds in the plant bed, so as to ensure the nutrients aren’t taken away from the bok choys.
In 45 to 50 days, this plant becomes mature. Therefore, you can harvest them and feed them to your bunnies in their respective rabbit hutches. Do not wait before summer to harvest them because the heat may only cause the bok choys to go to seed quickly.
Is there any other plant you can grow easily than weeds? Of course, growing dandelions is as easy as pie. And more often than not, you can collect the seeds and plants from your yard!
If you decide to plant dandelions, it is advised to place them in pots. That way, they don’t germinate all over the garden, causing problems with other plants.
To plant, grab a handful of seeds and spread them onto the soil. And then, cover them lightly with dirt and water. After a few days, your rabbits can enjoy chewing several pots of delicious greens! Even after you cut down the leaves, these plants will still come back. What can be easier than growing these beauties?
For container gardening, it is best to use the smaller varieties of carrots. These orange root crops thrive in loose soil that is free of rocks.
When it comes to growing them, there isn’t much to worry about because they are fairly easy to maintain. Just keep the space free from weeds to prevent them from absorbing the nutrients.
In a few days, you can already harvest these treats. Your bunnies will enjoy them, from the tip to the leafy tops!
For container gardening, herbs are probably the easiest to grow. Plus, you can grow a wide variety of them, from mint, cilantro, oregano, basil, and parsley! But then again, take note that mint can quickly consume a lot of space if not controlled and contained. Hence, be sure to place them in pots.
Some Useful Tips
To ensure that only the strongest varieties survive, make it a habit to thin the seedlings. By doing that, you are giving enough room for healthy plants and providing them with the essential nutrients they need. Also, use containers that have good drainages and the soil has to be moist. It is also a great idea to alternate the positioning of plants in every square foot so as to prevent pests and disease from infesting your crops.
By now, you already know the basics of growing foods for your pet rabbits. Thus, it’s about time to spend a while with them and be a responsible owner. How? Grab a copy of the eBook below.