One day, you stroll into your garden to see a little rabbit munching your plants as if they were his daily food. Though you try to scare him away, he’ll only stare at you as if you’re disturbing his feast.
If there is no repellent or physical barrier in place, rabbits will enter your garden beds or even hop into your raised beds and consume the vegetation they prefer.
Garden rabbits are a very typical problem for gardeners. If you’re one of the unfortunate people who have rabbits in their backyard, you’ve come to the correct place. We’ll give you some tips on how to keep rabbits out of your garden beds.
Table of Contents
- Keep rabbits out of garden beds with these tips
- Why not use a chemical repellent?
- Why do rabbits get in your garden in the first place?
- How can I tell if rabbits have entered my garden?
- Final thoughts
Keep rabbits out of garden beds with these tips
There are many methods for keeping rabbits out of your garden, but many of them involve causing harm to the rabbits. That’s something we don’t want right now. Yes, no one wants a rabbit in their yard, but it doesn’t mean we’re going to harm the poor creature.
Here are seven methods for keeping the fluffy rabbits out of your garden.
1. Build a fence
When dealing with any animals, erecting a fence is the best option. This may not be a viable option for many individuals, but if you can do it, go for it. It’s the most effective barrier against rabbits, fowl, and even snakes.
Because rabbits are skilled jumpers, choose chicken wire with a 1-inch mesh and a height of at least two feet.
If you want to ensure the rabbits don’t dig under the fence, extend it 4–6 inches below the ground. You may also anchor it to the ground by tightening the bottom edge.
2. Get rid of nests
The first thing you should do if you discover a rabbit nest in your yard is remove it. After that, you’ll want to rule out the possibility of the rabbits nesting again.
Remove any potential nesting sites, such as thick foliage and low shrubbery branches. Also, if you have any wood stacks, remove them as well.
There might also be plants growing along your fence. It should be removed since rabbits may utilize it to get access. Finally, block any gaps beneath the buildings that may be exploited for burrowing.
3. Get rabbit-proof plants
Planting rabbit-proof plants in your garden is another option. There are some plants that rabbits dislike being near. You can use them to remedy your rabbit problem if you’re trying to add a few additional plants to your garden.
Plants having strong odors, such as hot peppers, garlic, mint, basil, and spicy basil, are disliked by rabbits. Some rabbits also despise marigolds, but you never know if the rabbits in your yard dislike or adore them. Mint is the greatest choice since it has a pleasant odor for humans, repels rabbits, and can be utilized in teas and gourmet specialties.
However, there is one thing to bear in mind. Rabbit babies aren’t as smart as their parents. Because they won’t know which plants to avoid, you can discover them stealing your repellent plant. If you have an issue with a newborn rabbit, you should try one of the other options.
4. Protect your plants
If you cannot erect fencing due to a variety of factors, you can instead protect the plants separately. Even if the rabbits get inside the garden, they won’t find anything to eat. Installing 14-inch mesh chicken wire in a cylindrical form around the plants you wish to preserve is the simplest method to do it.
The wire will keep any undesirable creatures out, whether it’s a shrub, a tree, or even a vine.
You may also use hardware cloth instead of chicken wire. The crucial thing is to bury the stuff far enough into the earth to prevent rabbits from tunneling beneath it. It will be enough to dig six inches into the dirt.
5. Use visual tricks
Rabbits are intelligent but not as clever as humans. While a rubber snake will not fool a person, it can help an invading rabbit. You may employ a variety of visual tactics to keep rabbits out of your garden.
You might hang a metal pinwheel at a low height to attract the bunnies’ attention. The movement and screeching sound it creates will terrify them.
You may also use a rubber snake or a hawk figurine. The rabbits will be fooled into believing they are genuine, and they will avoid your garden.
6. Create a repellent spray
You may prepare a variety of DIY rabbit repellent sprays that will keep rabbits away without harming them.
The following are the components of an efficient spray:
- 2 tbsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp liquid soap
- 2 tbsp garlic powder
- 5 cups water
Pour all your components into an old spray bottle and give it a good shake to blend them. Spray it on the plants in your garden that rabbits are known to attack. The plants will not be harmed, but the rabbits will be kept out.
Keep in mind, however, that your pets should not eat this mixture. It’s advisable to keep your cat or dog inside while you’re spraying if they like to roam the garden a lot.
7. Get predators
If you’ve exhausted all other options and are anxious to get the rabbits out, you can hire predators to do the job for you. I’m not a fan of this alternative; releasing a fox or a snake in my yard isn’t something I’m looking forward to. When nothing else works, you’ll have no choice but to improvise, and it won’t seem so crazy.
Foxes, owls, snakes, and even dogs are predators that will drive rabbits away. If you have a family dog who isn’t afraid of rabbits, you may set him loose in the garden and chase them away. In this instance, a dog breed with hunting tendencies will be excellent.
8. Grow plants that rabbits don’t eat
Rabbits typically avoid potatoes, tomatoes, maize, chives, and Swiss chard.
Rabbits aren’t interested in these sorts of plants, therefore growing them in your garden will significantly impact them.
9. Use blood meal or bone meal to fertilize your plants
Blood and bone meal are natural fertilizers that work well as rabbit deterrents.
Rabbits are herbivores who dislike the odor of blood or shattered bone.
They won’t want to dig on soil that has been nourished with blood meal or be near the stench of these slaughterhouse waste products.
You may also try adding dried red pepper flakes to your plants — rabbits don’t like them.
Why not use a chemical repellent?
You might wonder why I didn’t include chemical repellents in my list, given that most people use and suggest them. For a variety of reasons, I feel they cause more harm than good.
For starters, they have an unpleasant odor when applied to trees and vines. They also create a sticky surface that is unattractive. Furthermore, they are pretty poisonous. With chemical repellents sprayed on the plant, it won’t be safe to allow your family pets to roam freely.
Not to mention that you won’t be able to spray any food plants in your yards, such as veggies or fruits. They’ll go bad, defeating the point of cultivating them in the first place.
Finally, chemical repellents aren’t a long-term fix. They only function for a limited period and must be reapplied. Some plants will be ruined if you use them too frequently. It’s best to avoid them and instead choose one of the other options.
Why do rabbits get in your garden in the first place?
It’s easy to see how snakes would find their way into a garden. It would look for chickens, birds, and mice to eat, so why do rabbits come inside? Why are they troubling your garden if they’re not predatory animals?
There are a variety of reasons why rabbits may enter your garden. We’ll look at the various reasons why a rabbit could be visiting your home in the sections below.
Lots of food
Food is the crucial motivation for rabbits entering your garden. They understand that backyards are like an open buffet with a wide variety of plants to choose from. Rabbits have a reputation for being voracious eaters. They’ll eat your plants till they’re gone, and they could even consume flowers.
“Why don’t they forage for food in the wild and stay away from my garden?” you might question.
The answer to that question is relatively simple. They don’t have a dangerous animal breathing down their necks while they harvest food from your garden. In a crowded location like your house, owls or hawks are less likely to be observing them from tree branches, waiting for the appropriate opportunity to strike.
Your garden is a safe location for rabbits to obtain food, which is why they enter.
The rabbits won’t be able to access your raised beds if you have them in your garden. They’ll flee to wherever they came from if they don’t have an opportunity to gather food.
Rabbits are noted for being prolific breeders, with up to 60 pups born in a single season. Their breeding season begins in mid-February and lasts until the end of August. You should expect a lot of rabbits in your yard over those six months, seeking a secure area to mate and make pups.
It’s critical to get rid of them in this situation. Rabbits can give birth to dozens of offspring. You don’t want tiny bunnies to invade your garden. Bunnies, on the other hand, mature exceptionally quickly. They’ll start breeding themselves soon after.
The weather can influence the number of rabbits occupying your garden. For starters, when food is scarce in the wild, rabbits are more likely to sneak into gardens in the winter or during extremely hot summers.
Your garden may also serve as a source of water for them to drink. The rabbit’s search for water becomes more urgent during a drought.
Another issue with summer is the oppressive heat. When the weather gets too hot, rabbits are known to overheat. They’ll also become agitated, so they’ll look for an excellent spot in your garden to hide.
Furthermore, during wildfires, rabbits have no choice but to enter gardens in search of food. In that case, they may attempt to breed as well, as their natural habitat is no longer safe.
Rabbits aren’t hunter-gatherers. That means they’re easy prey for any predator passing through. The list is long, but wolves, foxes, and wild cats are the most common predators of rabbits. Rabbits are also eaten by various prey birds, the most prominent of which are hawks and owls.
Rabbits flee to nearby gardens and backyards to avoid predators’ hungry teeth and talons. They’re not as afraid of us as they are of wolves and coyotes because they know they’ll only find humans there.
It will be ideal for the rabbits if the garden has a fence that they can burrow beneath. The predator will be unable to track them in this manner.
How can I tell if rabbits have entered my garden?
You may be surprised to learn that you won’t always be able to catch the bunnies in action. Even if you don’t see any rabbits, it doesn’t imply they don’t visit your garden daily.
Rabbits are nocturnal animals. That implies they’re most active at dawn and night (when you’re most likely sleeping). As a result, there’s a reasonable probability they’ve been sneaking about in your yard without your permission.
There are a few things to check for to be sure, such as pea-sized droppings. If you notice them strewn over the garden, they were most likely left by a rabbit. Plants with cut ends are also common. Because rabbits have lower and upper incisors, they’ll seem like they were pruned.
Other rabbit indications to check for include excavated holes and hoses with chewing marks on them. There might also be a disappearance of young plants.
Even though it’s lovely to see little bunnies jumping about your yard, they can do a lot of harm in a short period. They’ll devour your plants and maybe build little burrows that will attract other small animals. It’s critical to get rid of them if you want to restore the beauty of your landscape.
Raising the garden bed and erecting a 2-foot fence around the edge can deter rabbits from nibbling your plants.
This fence will keep rabbits out of your garden, preventing them from eating your plants.
Hopefully, now that you’ve read this article on how to keep rabbits out of garden beds, you’ll be able to keep any rabbits that come your way at bay!