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How to deter rabbits from the garden?
We have a TON of bunnies in our neighborhood. We used to not have a problem with them in our garden, but lately, they have been sneaking in. Any suggestions on keeping them away?
Thanks for all of the tips! I am going to try the coyote or fox urine to start, I think. Not too expensive for a first attempt. We have considered raised beds because of the issue-maybe a project for next Spring!
We have a dog! The rabbits don't seem to mind and sneak in during the night!
- Oakland, OR
A rabbit fence surrounding your garden will certainly keep them from sneaking in. The fence can be a 3 foot tall chicken wire fence or hardware cloth that is buried 6 to 10 inches deep, or a 2 to 3 foot tall electric fence. We have a 3 foot wide by 35 foot long raised vegetable bed adjacent to the south side of our home. The raised bed is bordered in the front by a 2.5 foot tall electric fence that not only keeps out the rabbits but also the deer. I can disconnect the charge when working in the garden and then reconnect when I'm done.
As far as other options go, some may work for you and some may not. You might start with rabbit repellents, which can be found online, at garden centers and home improvement stores. The key ingredient varies, with some containing the urine of a predator such as a fox or coyote, some that contain garlic, dried egg or blood, or plant essential oils. The repellent can be sprayed on your lawn and also is available in granular form that you shake on the area prone to rabbit damage.
Another option is to sprinkle blood meal (available at garden centers and farm supply stores) around the perimeter of your lawn. Just keep in mind that blood meal is a high-nitrogen natural fertilizer. You can also grow your own rabbit deterrents by planting the perimeter of your garden with plants they detest, such as lavender, marigolds, garlic and catnip. Finally, you can always get a dog. Good luck!
- Joliet, IL
I've heard over the years that mothballs do pretty good. I was even going to try coyote urine purchased online, right before my skunk and opossum problem was resolved, in my case... Recently I've heard that the fake owl also does pretty well. Good luck in any case, Julie :)