Methods to Keep Rabbits Away from Your Garden

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Lawn & Garden

Despite their cuteness, rabbits can be a nuisance in your vegetable garden. They have a particular fondness for peas and beans, but they will consume other vegetables and plants too. Here are a few ways to prevent rabbits from entering your garden.

  • Construct a fence around your garden using chicken wire, at least 2 feet (61 centimeters) tall. If jackrabbits are present in your area, increase the height to 3 feet (91 centimeters). To prevent rabbits from burrowing underneath, bury the bottom few inches (at least 5 centimeters) of fencing under the ground. Ensure that the mesh openings are no larger than 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) to prevent rabbits from squeezing through [source: Olkowski].
  • Install an electric fence.
  • For individual trees and plants, use a mesh cylinder placed at least 2 inches (5 centimeters) away from the plant. Instead of mesh, tree guards made of jute bags or aluminum foil, either commercial or homemade, can be used [source: Olkowski].
  • Repel rabbits by using scents they dislike, such as dried blood or the urine or feces of their natural predators. Dried blood and fox urine can be purchased at garden supply stores. Fox blood can be sprinkled on cotton balls and tied to your garden fence. After rain, it must be reapplied [source: Utt].
  • Spread vinegar, liquid chili powder, or hot pepper flakes around your garden. Vinegar-soaked corncobs can also be placed around the garden. Re-soak the corncobs every two weeks and after rain.
  • Scatter human hair around the garden. Apart from deterring rabbits, the hair will break down into nutrient-rich fertilizer. Simply request a bag of cut hair from a hair salon [source: Utt].
  • Plant clover or plantain weeds near your garden, as rabbits will prefer these over your vegetables [source: Utt].

Some gardeners use mothballs or moth flakes to deter rabbits. However, these aren’t safe to use around vegetables or if you have children around [source: Utt].

FAQ

1. What are some common methods to keep rabbits out of your garden?

There are several ways to keep rabbits out of your garden, including fencing, planting rabbit-resistant plants, using repellents, and creating physical barriers.

2. How high should a rabbit fence be?

A rabbit fence should be at least 2 feet high, but 3 feet is recommended to ensure rabbits cannot jump over it.

3. What are some rabbit-resistant plants?

Some rabbit-resistant plants include lavender, marigolds, snapdragons, and mint. However, it’s important to note that no plant is completely rabbit-proof.

4. What kind of repellents can be used to keep rabbits away?

There are several types of rabbit repellents, including sprays, granules, and electronic devices that emit high-frequency sounds. However, these methods may not be 100% effective and may need to be reapplied regularly.

5. How can I create physical barriers to keep rabbits out of my garden?

Physical barriers can include chicken wire fences, netting, or even a simple row cover made of lightweight material. These barriers should be securely anchored to the ground to prevent rabbits from digging underneath.

6. What are some signs that rabbits have been in my garden?

Some signs that rabbits have been in your garden include chewed or damaged plants, droppings, and rabbit tracks in the soil.

7. What can I do to prevent rabbits from digging in my garden?

You can prevent rabbits from digging in your garden by burying a chicken wire fence at least 6 inches deep around the perimeter of your garden.

8. Can rabbits be trapped and relocated?

It is not recommended to trap and relocate rabbits. Rabbits are territorial and may not survive in a new location. In addition, it may be illegal in some areas to trap and relocate wildlife.

9. Are there any natural predators that can help keep rabbits away?

Natural predators of rabbits include foxes, coyotes, and hawks. However, it is not recommended to rely on natural predators to control rabbit populations.

10. Are there any plants that attract rabbits to my garden?

Some plants that may attract rabbits to your garden include clover, alfalfa, and carrots. Avoid planting these near your garden or use them as a lure away from your main garden area.

11. How can I discourage rabbits from chewing on my plants?

You can discourage rabbits from chewing on your plants by spraying them with a homemade solution of water and hot sauce or planting strong-smelling herbs such as rosemary or thyme.

12. How often should I check my garden for signs of rabbits?

You should check your garden regularly for signs of rabbits, especially during the spring and summer months when they are most active. Taking preventative measures early can help deter rabbits from entering your garden in the first place.

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