Rabbits are great animals to see in the wild. But rabbits can wreak havoc on a vegetable garden. Eating vegetables before they can be harvested or chewing plants until they are dead.
If you are a vegetable garden owner you likely want to keep rabbits out of your garden while making sure the rabbits are not harmed in any way. Here are a few tips for a humane wildlife deterrent.
Cover Your Vegetables
There are a few humane fencing options to keep rabbits out of your garden including garden fabric, pop-up tents, and chicken wire fencing.
It is recommended that you dig a fence under the garden about 6 inches deep to make sure the rabbits cannot dig under the fence to get to the garden. Rabbits are also great jumpers and can easily hop a fence that is too low. Fencing should be around 6 inches high to keep rabbits out or cover the garden completely.
A fence can be created with a few simple products from a hardware store. Check out this great DIY fence how-to.
Limit Hiding Places
Rabbits love to hide and breed in family gardens as they feel safe and have lots of food for the whole family. Rabbits like to hide in dark cave-like areas or under shrubs with dark areas that surround the yard.
Monitor these areas and make sure you are using repellents or open the space up to keep rabbits from feeling comfortable in your backyard. This is especially important in the winter as rabbits do not move far from their comfort zone.
Scare Them Off
Using loud noises or products that scare off a rabbit is a great and humane way to keep rabbits from feeling comfortable in your garden. Products like automated noise machines, sprinklers, or fake animal statues (like owls) work great at humanely keeping rabbits out.
Using products that naturally repel rabbits can keep them off your plants but will not harm the rabbits if they smell or eat a small amount of the repellant. There are a few natural products that repel rabbits like pesticides including:
- Talcum powder
- Powdered red pepper
- Irish Spring Soap sprinkled around the outer edge of your garden
Rabbits love clovers and violets as well as dandelions and other common weeds. You can plant things rabbits prefer to eat at the edge of the garden or leave a few extra weeds in your garden to entice rabbits to avoid the plants you want to keep pristine. Rabbits prefer certain types of vegetables and fruits and young plants over those that are well established.
Some vegetable rabbits love:
Trap And Relocate
Use simple fence traps with food as bait. Once the rabbit is caught find a nice open field area or local sanctuary in your neighborhood to let the rabbit loose.
Be careful when relocating a rabbit as there is a chance the rest of the family is nearby. Monitor your garden rabbit for a few days before trapping to see if there is a family. Rabbits breed quickly and removing one rabbit will not solve the problem if others are around.
While rabbits are wonderful animals to see in nature they are tough to live with when you are trying to grow fresh vegetables for yourself and your family. There are many great ways to keep rabbits out of your yard or remove rabbits from your yard without harming them. Take the time to research your area and make your garden humane for all local wildlife.