Wildlife in the Backyard--Rabbits
No matter where you live, odds are there are rabbits running around your yard or neighborhood. Problems with rabbits are enormous and where there is one, you can bet there are more. Unfortunately there are not many plants that rabbits won't at least try once, however there are some plants that will work to deter rabbits from coming and eating all your plants.
Plants Rabbits Won't Usually Eat
Many young rabbits will try anything that is a new growth. They tend to nibble on anything their noses run into before learning which ones are tasty and which ones are not. This list is not all inclusive and not completely rabbit resistant, some rabbits may still try to nibble these plants.
- Dusty Miller (however at my house these are usually the first to go)
- Bleeding Hearts
- Day Lilies
As far as vegetables and fruits go there are not many that rabbits will avoid. However planting Marigolds or Nasturtiums in the garden could help deter rabbits from coming in and eating your vegetables and fruits. Many herbs are also safe from rabbit destruction. It's good to remember that what rabbits eat here is not necessarily what they will eat at your house and vice versa.
Keeping Rabbits Out
Before finding ways to keep rabbits out of the garden, maintain your yard in a way that will keep rabbits from moving into your backyard in the first place. Keeping the grass and shrubs short and trimmed will keep them from burrowing and making homes in and on the edge of your yard.
Keeping rabbits out of your garden can be hard, however putting up a simple fence just high enough that they can't jump over is the easiest way to deter rabbits. However rabbits are great diggers and my eventually dig under the fence to get to the plants. Raising the flower beds higher will also keep them from being able to burrow under and jumping into.
If you're like me and are looking for something a little more eye pleasing you can plant the flowers, herbs, or vegetables that rabbits tend not to eat on the outer edges of your garden as a barrier. Most rabbits will not venture further in to find tasty plants.
Other remedies including spreading human hair or Irish Spring soap around the plants rabbits are eating. The hair is great for the soil and the soap will not harm the plants.
Can't beat them join them:
If you enjoy having the rabbits around and just want them out of your garden you can plant alfalfa and clovers to give them a food source away from your garden. Things such as bird feeders and water sources encourage rabbits and other wild animals to come and feed in your yard. When placing these in the backyard, plan the placement away from the gardens but close enough that you can still enjoy them.
There is no sure way of keeping rabbits from destroying everything you plant, however taking small measures like planning what plants you wish to have and where to plant them could save you some hassle later. Keeping in mind what animals might like your plants as well as how you can keep them out of your gardens can greatly reduce animal destruction and allow you to freely enjoy your garden without the need of having to replant and re-plan your gardens.