Undoubtedly, rabbits appear cute and furry on TV, but in real life, they can be quite problematic, particularly for garden owners. They can invade and destroy it by grazing on vegetables, flowers, and plants. And the fact is they are hard to spot. If you have been unfortunate to experience a rabbit’s invasion in your garden, you need to take immediate action. The reason is they multiply quickly. In just two years, female rabbits give birth to more than 1,000 offspring. Having a lush green garden, how would you know that rabbits have trespassed your garden? Below we will discuss some common signs that show rabbit invasion. We will also reveal effective methods, explaining to you how to keep rabbits out of the garden.
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Signs of Rabbit Invasion
Before you take any measures to keep rabbits out of the garden, you need to be sure tey’re rabbits. You can observe some signs in your orchard that can affirm their presence. To start with, find pea-sized droppings in your garden. These indicate rabbits came into your garden for a while. They can either be in piles or scattered.
Rabbits prefer to eat soft and young plants instead of old and tough ones. Moreover, rather than leaving messy and scattered holes in the plants like insects, they deal damage in large chunks. Check your garden for pests if the plants have passed the seedling stage.
Groundhogs and woodchucks enjoy eating the same plants as rabbits and can trick you into learning about how to keep rabbits out of the garden.
You’d also see occasional uprooted plants because rabbits like young seedlings such as Swiss chard and pea plants. Digging in the ground is another indication of rabbit presence. Furthermore, keep a lookout for tufts of fur lying around, as they can affirm your suspicion, as well.
Strategies to Keep Rabbits Out of your Garden
After ensuring that rabbits have invaded your garden, it’s time to learn: how to keep rabbits out of the garden. Rabbits can be tricky to spot and even harder to catch due to their size and agility.
However, we have compiled four strategies on how to keep rabbits out of the garden. Let’s explore each one in detail.
The first strategy in our list of how to keep rabbits out of the garden demands the usage of rabbit repellent. This chemical solution drives away rabbits from your garden. You can apply it to vines, plants, and trees in the garden most vulnerable to attack from rabbits.
However, beware! These repellents can release an unpleasant smell and cause stickiness wherever you apply them. Therefore, avoid applying these repellents on food plants and vegetables, as their smell and toxicity can make the plants inedible.
Also, read the directions carefully and apply the repellent as required. Most of these need frequent applications to deliver the desired result.
Don’t have a repellent but am worried about how to keep rabbits out of the garden. Consider making a homemade repellent. Rabbits don’t like various smells. By mixing some ingredients, we can arrive at a repellent that can work in your favour.
You can apply the homemade repellent by spraying it on plants. However, you’d have to re-spray the solution frequently, especially after it rains.
Use the following ingredients to make this homemade repellent:
1-) 3 Onions
2-) 1 Large Garlic Clove
3-) 3 Chili or Hot Peppers
Begin making the repellent by grabbing a dish and mixing garlic, onions, and peppers. Once blended, add enough water to allow the mixture to rest on the surface overnight. Make sure to add at least one gallon of water to the mixture.
The next step is to gather the repellent in a spray can and apply it to inedible plants. When spraying the solution, be careful to consider the height rabbits can reach and only cover areas within their vicinity.
The repellent is necessary, especially in the spring season when plenty of tender and fresh plants emerge in the garden. Rabbits like feasting on such new and soft plants and can be annoying to handle.
With the help of a repellent, you do not have to worry about how to keep rabbits out of the garden. Now you can focus on the health of your plants.
Another effective method in our how to keep rabbits out of garden guide is fencing. Not just for rabbits, fencing is a handy solution for any other wildlife trespassing into your garden. The choice of material to form the perimeter is crucial. Consider getting a chicken wire with 0.5 – 1.0 inches mesh for the body.
Remember that rabbits can jump high, so make the fence at least 2 feet high. They can also dig into the ground and enter your garden. For this reason, the fence should extend at least 6 inches into the ground to avoid rabbits tunnelling into your property. Furthermore, you can use electric net fencing to shun rabbits entering the garden.
3-) Rabbit Repelling Plants
Seeding rabbit repelling plants is the third solution in our how to keep rabbits out of the garden guide. Just as humans have different tastes, rabbits also do not like everything found in the garden. Therefore, you can seed these plants to steer them off.
Different strategies exist to place these plants. These include planting them on the perimeter or close to the plants that rabbits love. Additionally, you can just scatter them around the garden to avoid nibbling.
Rabbits don’t generally like plants that produce a strong smell and are prickly. However, make sure the plants you purchase or seeds are rabbit repellant. You would not want to spend money, time, and effort on plants that the rabbits can easily invade and destroy.
To assist you in this regard, we’ve compiled a list of the plants rabbits dislike:
- Black-Eyed Susan
- Lemon Balm
- Japanese Maple
- Virginia Creeper
- English Ivy
In addition to repelling rabbits, these plants add to the look of your garden by producing beautiful flowers and spreading pleasant fragrances. In short, rabbit repellant plants can help keep rabbits out of the garden, while also aesthetically adding value to your lawn.
4-) Force Them to Build Home Elsewhere
The final strategy in our how-to keep rabbits out of the garden guide is to force them away from your space. You can follow multiple ways to drive rabbits out to build their home elsewhere.
Compromise their Comfort
Rabbits love comfortable places to build their home, and by making them feel vulnerable, you can drive them out of your lawn. That’s why rabbits only hang around the edges of the garden and do not venture out into the middle.
Therefore, the first step in knowing how to keep rabbits out of the garden is to get rid of all the hiding places around the edges. The fewer fixtures they have to seek refuge, the less likely they can bother you. Keeping rabbits out of the garden begins with removing piled leaves and brushes, and filling their burrows.
You might not see an instant impact, but with fewer places to hide in, rabbits eventually seek other areas to settle.
Seed Their Favorites in another Spot
Another measure worth investing time in is seeding their favourite plants in a place away from your garden. The plants, which the rabbits like a lot, attract and drive them into your garden in the first place. So, why not plant these flowers and vegetables away from your garden as a decoy.
Preparing a patch of alfalfa or clover may satisfy their demand for fresh food and keep them away from your garden. To help you know which plants to seed away from your garden, here’s a list of those they love:
- Morning Glory
- Rose Moss
- Iceland Poppy
- Blueberry and Blackberry
However, planting rabbits’ favourites in another spot can be tiresome and time-consuming. Furthermore, it’d require constant monitoring and maintenance to uphold its effectiveness. If the patch you had planted went bad or rabbits ate all of it, they’re likely to appear again in your garden.
Scare Them Off
Stop worrying about how to keep rabbits out of your garden! Scare them off in natural and unnatural ways. Unnaturally, you can use frying pans and tie them with strings or ropes to float above the ground level in your garden. Furthermore, the use of pretending owls and scarecrows does the trick. All these objects mostly scare off rabbits, as they’re afraid to go past them.
However, a time will come when rabbits would eventually figure out that these objects do not offer them any harm. It is when they invade your garden once again. To tackle this, we have to look toward more permanent and natural solutions. An effective natural method is to let your pets roam the garden.
Larger animals such as cats and dogs generally scare rabbits off. Having your pets patrolling the lawn means rabbits would think twice even before lurking around your garden’s edges. Allowing live scarecrows to roam the garden would drive out the existing rabbits from your property. It will also force the newcomers to build homes elsewhere.
Expect Them to Visit Again
Whatever measure you take, rabbits will eventually show up again in your garden. Therefore, always keep an eye out for them and find ways to keep rabbits out of the garden.
Here are some common reasons why they keep reappearing.
Everyone knows rabbits for their breeding habits. Expect rabbits to reappear in your garden in the first half of the year. Their mating season begins in February and ends in August. Rabbits look for a safe location for this period, and if your lawn provides them with the desired shelter, they’ll populate it again.
Although rabbits are agile, unlike large animals, they are small and defenceless. That’s why safety is their priority wherever they live. They might return to your garden if it provides enough corners and nooks to seek refuge.
Furthermore, gardens are the perfect spot for rabbits to dig their burrows and hide from prying eyes. Particularly, when rabbits have baby bunnies with them, they’ll return to your lawn and burrow down into the ground for their safety.
3-) Weather Conditions
Expect rabbits to return to your garden in the summer, as well. That’s because they need shelter from the hot weather. Rabbits find it hard to get food in the wild due to the hot weather. Hence, what better place to search for food than a garden?
Moreover, the garden also provides them with a never-ending water supply. During hot weather, rabbits also return to lawns to benefit from the water resources. It forces you to rethink, how to keep rabbits out of the garden.
4-) Unprotected Garden
The major reason why rabbits keep returning to your garden can be the lack of protection. Rabbits can return to uncovered gardens and wreak havoc again. Think of the protections as long-term measures.
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We all love rabbits for their cuteness and furriness. But in a garden, they are not welcoming. Known for their tininess and agility, they can destroy your garden within days. Therefore, you should know how to keep rabbits out of the garden to ensure your plant’s good health.
Different measures to drive rabbits out include fencing, usage of repellants, avoid seeding their favourite plants, and forcing them to build homes elsewhere. However, beware that rabbits can return to your garden anytime. Therefore, always keep an eye out for their signs to avoid damage to your lawn.