While rabbits are cute to look at, especially as babies, they can really damage both your vegetable and flower gardens. If you’re looking for how to keep rabbits out of the garden, I have some tried and true ways to keep your garden safe from rabbits.
How To Keep Rabbits Out Of The Garden
What You'll Be Needing:
If you garden, you’re sure to have some garden enemies. As you prepare for your garden every year, keep in mind that if you plant the rabbit’s favorite veggies and flowers, they’ll come for a visit. What do they like? Lots of your veggies and flowers.
Plants that rabbits eat
You may wonder what are the rabbits’ favorite plants to eat. They LOVE fresh veggies from your garden. Bunnies will always nibble on these:
- swiss chard
- and more
Rabbits don’t just love your fruit and vegetable garden: they adore many of your beautiful flowers! Here are just a few:
- con flowers
- etc. the list is very long
If you plant any of these flowers and veggies, you’ll need to find ways to keep rabbits away from your garden. I asked my Facebook followers what they do to keep rabbits away from the vegetables, and got lots of ideas. I’ll share them below, but first, let’s see what plants rabbits hate.
Plants that rabbits hate
If you plant flowers and vegetables that rabbits love, you’ll struggle to keep them away from your garden. But you can plant some plants that rabbits won’t eat: herbs and flowers that are heavily scented and are known to be avoided by rabbits. Here are just a few:
- bee balm
- lemon balm
There are many other plants rabbits won’t eat, but these are a few you can plant right away while you research what else to plant.
1. Electronic rabbit repellent
Hoont Powerful Solar Battery Powered Ultrasonic Outdoor Pest and Animal Repeller This is by far my favorite method of keeping rabbits away from my garden.
It’s inexpensive, and it not harmful to anything in my garden: just keeps critters away (not only rabbits but also squirrels, skunks, rats, raccoons, mice and so much more).
There are many models on the market today, but I prefer this solar battery-powered ultrasonic outdoor animal & pest repeller – it’s motion-activated and makes it almost hands-free (I prefer to move it around the yard occasionally to make sure I cover all areas.
If you struggle with unwanted critters in your garden and around your home, you need to give this a try.
2. Use a rabbit proof garden fence
Probably one of the most efficient ways to keep rabbits out of your vegetable garden is to build a fence around the garden. It doesn’t have to be too tall unless you want to protect your garden from deer too.
Chicken wire works well for this: just make sure you bury the bottom of the fence into the ground so that the bunnies can’t crawl under.
A similar idea is to use floating row covers at night (that’s when rabbits love to roam the garden).
3. Use plants that repel rabbits in your garden
Rabbits love young, fresh, delicate veggies, but they don’t care much for strong scented herbs and flowers.
Plants that keep rabbits away
Here are some plants that deter rabbits. Plant a few of them around the garden to keep the bunnies out.
- marigolds – planted all around your garden will create a rabbit barrier (they hate the smell of the marigolds)
- spicy globe basil – keep the bunnies out and make lots of pesto throughout the summer
- Christmas basil also works well
4. Outdoor pets can help keep rabbits away
Our beloved pets are very helpful in keeping bunnies out of the backyard. It’s not only the fact that they’ll chase the rabbits away, but the smell of the dog or cat hair and urine is enough to keep them away.
5. Remove the optimal conditions for rabbits
Rabbits will only stick around places where they can take cover from predators. Keep your garden area organized and free of garden debris. Piles of leaves, rocks, dry plants, buckets, etc make it easy for the rabbits to hide. Also, get rid of tall grass and low bushes.
6. Keep them away with these repellents
- There’s a product called Repels All. The smell keeps rabbits out and works for other critters too.
- You can also add used coffee grounds, eggshells, and banana peels around your garden and it seems to work for some.
- Using ground black pepper can work, and it will keep ants away too.
- Spray some Tabasco with water on your plants: they’ll nibble a bit, but stop once they taste Tabasco
- Use a natural deterrent for rabbits and small critters, like PLANTSKYD (it saved a friend’s roses and tulips last spring).
- Irish Spring bar soap: cut the bars into 4-6 pieces, wrap a string around it and hang on your garden fence low enough at the rabbit level. You can also hang them on spikes near veggies. Or, drop pieces of soap into old socks and place around the garden.
- Try an owl decoy: rabbits are scared of owls.
7. Scare the rabbits away
Use an old hose to wrap through the garden: it works surprisingly well. The bunnies think it is a snake, and no one wants to share space with a snake.
Place pinwheels around your garden: the motion from them spinning and the sound will keep rabbits away from the garden. They will also scare birds away (this will save your tomatoes too!!!)
Related: do you have squirrels eating your bird feed? Try one of these methods to keep them away from your bird feeders.
8. Catch rabbits in a live trap
This might be lots of work for some, and fun for others. It’s not a one-time method, so requires repeating periodically, as new rabbits move into your garden.
If you decide you want to use this method, make sure you have a place to take your rabbits to, but more importantly, make sure it’s legal to do this where you live.
Need a live trap? This one’s my favorite.
What bait should you use for the live trap? You have a few choices: rabbit pellets, carrots or cut up apples.
9. Embrace the rabbits
For some of us, rabbits bring a smile and we just want to coexist. Rabbits are hungry too, so we might put food out for them.
Plant what rabbits want. Do it away from your garden, and you’ll be able to keep your garden safe and enjoy the little hoppers in your yard too.
DYI rabbit repellent
You can make a homemade rabbit repellent from a few ingredients you’re sure to have in your house: add equal parts of the following ingredients in a gallon of water, shake well and leave in the sun for about 2 days.
- cayenne pepper
- garlic powder (or you can use fresh if you prefer)
- dish soap
After 2 days, strain the liquid, add to a spray bottle and spray around the plants you want to protect from rabbits.
If you’d like more choices, take a look at this video for another idea:
I hope you found here something that will work out for you in your fight to keep rabbits out of the garden. If you use different methods, please share in the comments: it could save someone’s veggie garden or flower beds.