How to Keep Rabbits Out of the Garden
How to Repel Rabbits
Peter Rabbit decided my garden was his salad bar this year. Saying his adventures haven’t made me happy is understating the problem by a long shot. My search on how to get rid of rabbits has been extensive ever since.
The bunny caused more problems than just eating my veggies. One morning one of our dogs chased him through the garden and ran through the plants as the bees were pollinating them. Poor Elsie had a reaction to the bee stings and we ended up with a $50 vet bill. It could have been more expensive. Thank goodness that is all our vet charged. By then I could have shot the rabbit, I was so tired of him. The only animal I've ever killed was a sick bat and a snake and that made me feel terrible enough. I couldn't kill a bunny! So on my search I went.
It turns out the carrot munchers aren’t a problem when the plants are older. They like the soft and tender new sprouts of plants. If you can get through this, you may not have to worry about them after the early summer. For me this was true because my beans grew back even after he had eaten the blossoms and baby beans and he never touched the second growth. He had no interest in the broccoli once the leaves were more mature. Peter was out munching on the neighbors grass every evening when I thought he’d be going for better fare.
How to Keep Rabbits Out of the Garden - What I learned
1. Rabbits don’t like dog or human hair, because they smell the scent and think they are near. I am going to spread all of the dog hair I get when I brush them and empty dog hair on the garden all year. The hair contains nutrients that are good for the soil, so this one is a good idea.
If you don’t have a dog, you should be able to get human hair from your beautician or barber.
2. Don’t plant marigolds. It turns out this is an old wife’s tale. The rabbits love the marigolds. You’ll find photos all over the internet of rabbits munching the flowers.
3. Use a fence around the garden. We have a chain link fence and it didn’t work, because Peter Rabbit would run right under it. It need to have holes as small as chicken wire and reach deep enough into the ground to prevent the rabbit from tunneling.
4. Rabbits are not supposed to like Gopher Bane or Artesimesia. I haven’t tried this, but you are suppose to surround the plants you’d like to protect with these flowers. If it doesn’t work, they will look pretty anyway.
5. You can buy Liquid Fence at a garden center. I didn’t do that this year, because I didn’t want to spend the $7 or so. Afterwards I wished I would have. The Liquid Fence will need to applied after every rain. If the dog hair doesn't work, this will be my next approach.
6. Get a cat that is a good mouser, just don’t watch when they catch the bunny. They’ll cruelly play with them just like a mouse.
7. Someone suggested a rubber snake. I tried this once to keep birds out of my strawberries. The birds weren’t afraid at all. The only thing I scared was my Granddaughter that screamed so loud, the entire neighborhood was alerted.
9. You can get animal urine at a sporting goods stores. Coyote urine is suppose to be best, but will need to be reapplied every time it rains.
10. Get a wire box trap. Lure the rabbit in with some lettuce or carrots. Once he's inside you can let him out somewhere miles from your garden.
11. Spread blood meal all around the perimeter of the garden. Squirrels and rabbits don't like it. Reapply every time it rains. The blood meal is good for your garden and isn't expensive.
12. As a last resort, shoot the rabbit and have some meat for supper. The bunnies feed in the early morning and early evening hours, so you just need to watch for them then. I just can't shoot something as cute as a bunny.