Have you noticed your seedlings or small plants are eaten with seemingly no traces left behind? Have you seen rabbits in your yard and are wondering how to protect your garden from them before it is too late?
The good news is that no matter how destructive these small animals are you still have ways that you can protect your garden from them.
Why rabbits are bad for your garden
While rabbit waste is one of the best organic fertilizer options available, these little fuzzy creatures are bad news for your garden.
Rabbits love too much on tender new plants and a small family of rabbits can quickly and effectively eat an entire garden of seedlings in no time.
How to repel rabbits from your garden
Getting a dog is a great way to make your yard less appealing for rabbits and other wild animals. Not only will a dog alert you when there is a rabbit in your yard but your dog will make your yard much less interesting to rabbits so they go find another area to run around and nest in far from your garden.
Use hair from a haircut or even your brush sprinkled in your garden. The hair will break down over time and help to nourish the soil, but the best benefit of this is that the smell of human hair will repel wild rabbits easily. The same can be done with the hair from grooming your cat or dog.
Fake predators like robotic owls and even fake snakes can be a great way to repel rabbits from your garden. The rabbits do tend to figure these items out if you never move them. Set reminders to move and switch out your artificial predators from time to time to help keep the local rabbits on their toes.
Use noisemakers to make your garden less inviting to skittish rabbits. A great way to help protect your garden from rabbits is to use noisemakers that you can make on a budget. Run a string through your garden with tin cans tied to it. These metal objects will clank and clatter in the wind scaring off rabbits.
Using plants that repel rabbits is a great way to protect your garden. Rabbits are very susceptible to strong scents including herbs growing in your garden. Adding herbs like basil, oregano, and sage to your garden is a great way to help protect them from rabbits. Companion planting strongly scented plants with tender short plants that rabbits love is a great way to help protect your plants as they grow.
Try commercial repellents. If you want something done for you and ready to go you can find commercially based repellents that you can spray around your garden.
You can make your own rabbit and deer repellent spray by mixing red pepper and garlic into some water and spraying around the areas in your garden you wish to repel rabbits from. Replace this after each rain to make sure that the fragrance is still strong.
How to protect young plants from rabbits
Use wire mesh or chicken wire and a wooden frame to create a cover for your garden beds. This cover can be covered with plastic to make a minute greenhouse to protect your tender young seedlings from a surprise frost or to encourage more growth or used as is to simply keep rabbits out of your plants until they are larger and a bit less appealing.
Use raised garden beds with chicken wire fencing. Raised garden beds are a great way to make it a challenge for rabbits to get into your garden. For this, you need beds that are high enough to be a challenge to jump into with no jumping points along the outside that could help them get up.
Add fencing with wire mesh along the bottom. Adding a fence around your garden with a wire mesh bottom will help to protect your plants from rabbits. For even more protection you can plant things that repel rabbits like strongly scented herbs on the outside of your garden fencing to act as a repellent that will help to prevent them from looking for a space they can get in on.
Install garden spikes around your garden beds. You can find garden spikes that can be placed around your garden beds in most garden sections and online. These are simple plastic strips that have spikes pointed out that will deter rabbits when they are gently poked while trying to get past.
These spikes are also great for other garden pests like cats. These will not hurt the rabbits because they are not sharp and rabbits do not come down onto them with enough force to hurt them. You can create your own garden spikes to help protect your garden from rabbits by burying plastic forks with the tines pointed up out of the soil.
Consider growing a garden for the rabbits
One way to help protect your garden from rabbits is to grow a garden away from your vegetable garden just for the rabbits. If you provide a garden for a food source that they do not have to work hard to get, they are likely to not even try and will simply enjoy the bountiful garden space you planted just for them.
For this option look for rabbit-friendly wild and native plants so you can leave the garden bed to care for itself and provide for your visitors without extra work on your part. This is a great way to help out with wildlife conservation in your area as many native plants are endangered.