Are you tired of having bunnies with your harvest? Here’s how to keep rabbits out of your yard and off your most wanted list. Installing a fence around your garden takes time and money, but if you build it well it will keep rabbits (and many other pests) for years to come. To build a rabbit-proof fence, climb at least two feet tall (three is better), and bury another 6-8 inches of fence material underground.
White picket fences are pretty, you will find that a fence made of wire mesh or chicken wire does a better job of keeping rabbits out. If you prefer the look of a fence, simply wrap the inside with wire mesh. Not interested in fencing in your garden? Then consider these other options:
Animals mark their territory, and you can too. Spread pet hair or human hair around the perimeter of your yard to fool rabbits into believing there is a predator nearby. Another option is to treat the area with fox or coyote urine. Both are commercially available in the form of granules and sprays. Simply spread them on the outside of your garden and reapply throughout the season (especially after heavy rain) to make sure the scent stays strong.
A Warning: Many gardeners recommend spreading used cat litter around the edge of their yard.
While this is probably an effective deterrent to the rabbit, it is not a safe practice. Cat poop contains bacteria and may contain parasites. Dispose of trash properly so your family doesn’t get sick.
Anyway, you need to fertilize your plants, so go with something that rabbits hate. Both blood meal and bone meal are repellent to rabbits (which do their best to stay away from predators). Just know that these fertilizers may not be a safe option if you have pets that spend time outdoors.
Rabbits have likes and dislike in food, just like you and me. Use it to your advantage by planting the things you don’t like outside your garden and the things you like inside your garden (where you are least likely to find them). Some plants they don’t like / can’t eat:
And some plants that you want to take steps to protect:
Note: Rabbits have individual preferences, just like humans. Use your own experience to tell you which plants you need to protect.
Prevent rabbits from entering your garden by planting things that feel sharp or prickly underfoot – squash and cucumbers are good examples. For maximum protection, try to design your garden so that prickly vegetables are planted alongside rabbit favorites. Then go a step further by covering with sharp materials like pine cones or eggshells (which are also a great fertilizer).
Rabbits love clover, wild violets, and many other common weeds. Let them grow on your lawn, and rabbits may not bother with your garden. Some gardeners have discovered that planting peas, beans, beets, and other favorite rabbits in another part of your yard helps keep rabbits away from your “real” yard.
Shrubs and piles of overgrown thickets provide the perfect habitat for rabbits. Take some time to tidy up, making your garden less attractive to four-legged gatherers. Do you know where rabbits live? Complete their burrow to encourage them to move on.
Rabbits are most active at sunset. Let your cat or dog out at night. They’ll solve their rabbit problem in a hurry by chasing or snacking on them.