How to Keep Rabbits Out of Your Garden Naturally was created from a simple question asked in a gardening group. I had no idea there were so many ways to keep rabbits from eating your hard-earned bounty.
If you’re looking for more ways to help you manage your garden, you can find solutions on pest control with How to Grow an Insect Repellent Garden and Gardening for Beginners – Tips and Tricks will help you on your journey.
What I loved about the solutions was that the gardeners decided to live in harmony with nature. They came up with humane ways to protect their tender plants yet cause no harm to the rabbits.
You go through all the hard work of dreaming up your perfect garden. Then comes the hard work of getting it to grow the ideal amount of fruit and vegetables, only to have it eaten up by rabbits and other little critters. What’s a rabbit-loving gardener to do?
Did you know that rabbits can have up to 4-6 litters annually? That’s a significant rabbit population to handle. On average, wild rabbits live 1-3 years.
What are rabbits favorite plants in a vegetable garden?
Knowing what plants they love is an essential step to keep rabbits out of your garden. You’ll know which plants are the most vulnerable to becoming a free rabbit buffet.
Rabbits love to munch on many different types of vegetables and flowers. Their favorite plants are leafy greens, beans, carrots, beets, and young peas.
Are there any plants rabbits don’t like in a garden?
The crops that rabbits don’t enjoy are squash, cucumbers, peppers, corn, tomatoes, and potatoes.
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Here’s How to Keep Rabbits Out of Your Garden Naturally:
Remove Brush Piles, Branches, and Leaves
One of the first things to do when you’re looking for ideas on how to keep rabbits out of your garden is to remove their shelter.
Rabbits don’t like to travel too far from their protective coverage.
Removing debris piles of branches, leaves, and brush near your garden will eliminate their safe space and is an effective way to help repel rabbits away from their food source. You will also want to mow down tall grass.
Rabbit Proof Fencing with Chicken Wire Mesh
Building physical barriers like fencing are essential to keep all wild animals out of your garden. It’s my top recommendation to prevent determined rabbits from eating your tender shoots.
To keep pests out of your garden, including deer, it’s best to build a 6-foot fence around your garden. If you’re just trying to keep rabbits out, your fence should be at least 3-feet tall.
Because rabbits will burrow under the fencing, you’ll want to dig a 12-inch trench around the fence line and add 1-inch mesh. Make sure to angle the bottom of the fence 6-inch outward. After you add the fencing, fill in the ditch with dirt.
You could also look into solar electric fencing for your garden beds. I found one on Amazon here.
Reviews of the solar fence show that buyers loved the ease of this idea to help with their rabbit problem.
It’s a known fact that rabbits adore clover. Some garden group members found that planting clover in their yards deterred the rabbits from going into the vegetable garden. They can coexist peacefully.
Create a second garden just for rabbits
Growing a separate garden dedicated to rabbits warms my heart. This idea was my favorite answer for how to keep rabbits out of your garden. Several people created two different vegetable gardens, one for nature and the other one for them.
They used proper fencing around their garden but left the second garden open. The animals were happy to munch on their own personal buffet and left the other vegetable patch alone.
Dog and human hair
Both human and dog hair deter rabbits from the garden. Simply mix the hair with straw and distribute it along the perimeter of the garden area for a natural repellent.
Home gardeners ask their salon or groomer for excess hair to use in this idea.
Motion activated sprinklers
Rabbits hate to get wet, so installing motion detector sprinklers will send them running. Here’s one of those motion-activated sprinklers on Amazon.
Plants that repel rabbits
Some plants are a natural deterrent to rabbits. Rabbits have sensitive noses, so planting the right plants they dislike is an easy way to keep rabbits at bay.
Here are a few questions I got recently about rabbits and plants:
Do marigolds keep rabbits away?
Yes, Heirloom French Marigolds are one of the plants with a strong odor that repels rabbits.
Marigolds also repel some of the most lethal bugs in a vegetable garden, so it’s a good idea to plant lots of marigolds around the perimeter of your garden.
You can find out here how to save marigold seeds so you only have to invest in your marigold plants once.
Do rabbits eat lavender?
There’s something about lavender that makes rabbits turn up their noses at the thought of eating these herbs. They don’t like the strong scent or taste of lavender. Here are some other garden plants that act as natural repellents.
- Heirloom French marigolds
- Mexican sage
- Shasta daisy
- Wormwood – one of the best plants to repel rabbits
Sprinkle a mixture of blood meal, ground black pepper, and a dash of cayenne pepper around the garden’s perimeter to repel rabbits.
A blood meal contains a high percentage of element nitrogen, so take care not to put too much inside your garden.
I read an idea in a vintage gardening book a long time ago that said “rabbits don’t like spicy salads.” That piece of advice always stayed with me.
The suggestion in the book was to wet your plants and then sprinkle red pepper on them. You buy cayenne pepper in bulk and reapply it often.
Using cayenne pepper will work well for flower gardens that aren’t in a protected area.
Rabbits also don’t like wood ashes. If you have a fireplace that you regularly use, this would be an excellent inexpensive idea to try.
Sprinkle the wood ashes around the plants. You will have to add more ashes to deter rabbits after it rains because it will lose effectiveness.
Visual Deterrents and noise makers
Hanging things in your garden that make noise and move in the wind will work for a while. Eventually, rabbits will learn that hanging aluminum pie pans, and wind chimes won’t harm them and they will return when they feel safe.
Snakes are definitely something that rabbits are afraid of encountering. Rubber snakes are one of the inexpensive rabbit repellents to try.
Using fake owls is another option.
Irish Spring Soap
I was surprised how many people suggested using Irish Spring Soap as an idea for how to keep rabbits out of your garden.
Gardeners either drilled a hole in the soap and added string or chopped up the bars and placed them in mesh bags. They then hung the soap on posts in the garden.
Several people swore by this method and said it was the most effective way to repel rabbits.
Tender saplings like fruit trees are one of the hungry rabbit’s favorite things to munch on. To prevent rabbit damage, wrap the saplings with a plastic pipe or purchase a commercial wrap at garden centers.
We’ve reached the end of How to Keep Rabbits Out of Your Garden Naturally. I hope you enjoyed it.
Let me know in the comments below what your favorite ways are to keep rabbits out of your yard.
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