Rabbits are cute, fuzzy, sweet and a bane to the vegetable gardener's existence. If you live in an area with wild rabbits, then you know that rabbits love to nibble on your carefully planned and tended vegetables. Is there any way to keep them out of your garden without trapping or harming them? There are many humane ways to deter rabbits from entering your vegetable garden and eating all of your hard work.
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Things you need
- Vegetable garden
- Poultry wire (enough to surround your garden)
- Dried blood
- Fox urine
- Garden hose
Plant only the vegetables they don't eat. In general, rabbits will not eat squash, cucumbers, tomatoes (although sometimes they will "taste" the stems), corn, potatoes or peppers. So go ahead and fill up your plot with these vegetables. The rabbits will stay away. But what should you do if you want to plant other, rabbit-tasty vegetables such as peas, beans and beets?
Build a fence. The most effective way to keep rabbits out of your garden is to block them out. Use poultry wire to construct a 2-foot high fence around your garden. It isn't pretty, but it works. Make sure it is tight to the ground, or even goes under the ground a bit as hungry rabbits can squeeze under it if there is even a little bit of space. Keep space in mind when looking at the openings in your fence as well. A baby or young rabbit can squeeze through even a small opening. Two inches is the safest bet.
Create a stinky smell. If you don't want to or can't build a fence, you can control rabbits with aroma. There's a yuck factor, but rabbits will stay away from dried blood or fox urine. Sprinkle these around the border of your garden. Both fox urine and dried blood can be found at your local grange or garden store. Be sure to reapply after rain. Another strong smell that deters rabbits is soap. Put a strong-smelling bar on the end of a stick and "plant" it in the middle of your garden.
Plant clover around your garden. Rabbits love clover, and will choose to eat clover instead of your vegetables. Since clover can spread rapidly and become a nuisance, however, you will have to decide if it's worth it.
Fool your rabbits. Cut pieces of a garden hose up to look like snakes, and spread them around the border of your garden. For fun, set up a chair and watch closely. The rabbits will hop around and in front of the "snakes," trying to get up the courage to go past them into the garden.
Tips and warnings
- Some gardeners swear by using vinegar or human hair sprinkled around the garden, but these are not widely accepted methods of rabbit control. Moth flakes will also keep rabbits away, but are harmful to humans and pets and should not be used around food.