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Rabbits

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Don't let their cute faces fool you; rabbits can do a lot of damage to your garden when your back is turned. It only takes a couple to completely decimate a vegetable garden or flower bed.

How to Identify Rabbits in your Garden

Rabbits are voracious eaters and leave clean–cut damage. Check the leaves and stems of your plants for cleanly cut damage; insects and other pests usually leave jagged edges on damaged plants.  

These low mowers graze close to the ground and sniff out the first tender young shoots and crop them short. They love to munch on flowers, clover, peas, lettuce, beans, and more. Once your plants have passed the seedling stage, they are usually safe from rabbit damage.  

How to Get Rid of Rabbits

  • It's best to keep rabbits from crossing into the garden to begin with, and many old-time remedies rely on spreading various products around the perimeter of the garden such as dried blood or dried blood meal or human hair. "Sprinkle dried blood on the surface around all your plants as early in the season as you can, and repeat after a heavy rain," advises Riger-Hull. Note: If you have dogs, don't try this method because they might be attracted to the scent and start digging up your garden.
  • As their twitching noses indicate, rabbits sniff a lot. Try sprinkling dried sulfur around or on your plants. Rabbits also dislike the smell of onions, so try planting these around your garden to further deter the furry creatures.
  • Irish Spring soap shavings placed in little drawstring bags around the garden will also help to keep rabbits away.
  • Spray your plants with a mixture of 1 teaspoon Lysol and 1 gallon of water.
  • Some people protect plants with individual "collars" of tin cans or screening so that the plants may reach a less vulnerable size. Put the collar around each stem for protection.
  • Some of the deer techniques related to odor are also said to work against rabbits. Deter rabbits with commercially-available deer repellents that contain a mixture of dried bovine blood, sulfured eggs and garlic.
  • Do not rely on repellants alone. The most effective way of keeping out rabbits is chicken wire fencing. A 3/4–inch wire mesh fence should work; bury it 8 to 12 inches deep and it needs to be only about 30 inches high. 

Plants That Rabbits Dislike

Rabbits find the same type of plants unpalatable as deer do. Choose plants such as forsythia, lilac bush, marigolds, zinnias, daffodils, lavender and snapdragons. This will reduce your rabbit population. Here are more plants that rabbits dislike:

WOODY PLANTS
Azalea (Rhododendron sp.)
Boxwood (Buxus sp.)
Bush cinquefoil (Potentilla fruticosa)
Butterfly bush (Buddleia davidii)
Cotoneaster (Cotoneaster sp.)
Japanese maple (Acer palmatum)
Mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia)
Rhododendron (Rhododendron sp.)
Tatarian dogwood (Cornus alba)
Tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera)

PERENNIALS
Adam's needle (Yucca filamentosa)
Creeping phlox (Phlox subulata)
Foam flower (Tiarella cordifolia)
Lamb's ear (Stachys byzantina)
Meadow rue (Thalictrum rochebrunianum)
Peony (Paeonia hybrids)
Perennial salvia 'East Friesland' (Salvia x superba)
Primrose (Primula x polyantha)
Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia)
Sedum 'Autumn Joy' (Sedum)
Speedwell (Veronica sp.)
Spring cinquefoil (Potentilla verna)
Stokes' aster (Stokesia laevis)

ANNUALS
Four o'clock flower (Mirabilis jalapa)
Geranium, zonal and bedding (Pelargonium x hortorum)
Mexican ageratum (Ageratum houstonianum)
Pot marigold (Calendula officinalis)
Spiderflower (Cleome hasslerana)
Vinca (Catharanthus roseus)
Wax begonia (Begonia x semperflorens-cultorum)

BULBS
Daffodil (Narcissus sp.)
Hyacinth (Hyacinth orientalis)
Persian onion (Allium giganteum)

VEGETABLES
Asparagus
Leeks
Onions
Potatoes
Rhubarb
Summer squash
Tomatoes

HERBS
Basil
Marjoram
Mint
Oregano
Parsley
Savory
Tarragon

Do you have any tips for controlling rabbits in your garden or yard? Please post below!

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Comments

I am a newer garden grower of

By SWanner

I am a newer garden grower of my own. This is my first full year of growing with a small space urban environment to grow in with a huge rabbit population. Had a lot of trouble at the start with the young vegetation. I first started with putting chicken wire around half cause the other half had chain link fence. Now they have resorted to squeezing through the chain link fence. I have to small dogs and they love chasing them. My garden size is 4'x 30'(limited on space). We started with (6)larger sized tomatoes, (6)roma, (4)carrots, (4)bell peppers, (4)sweet peas, (4)cucumbers, (4)zucchini, (4)yellow squash, (4)yellow beans, (4)bush beans, (4)green beans, (4)broccoli, (4)basil and (1)spear mint.
RABBITS ate (1)broccoli, (1)carrot, (4)sweet peas, (1)cucumber, (1)zucchini and now they are hiding under the tomatoes and taking bites out of the ripe fruit. So as for the above list of disliked vegetation it blows that out of the dirt. LOL
I will have to try onions next year.

The bunnies are eating the

By Yogurt Starter Nursery

The bunnies are eating the wicker off the furniture on my deck. They climb two steps, come onto the deck and when we are not there, munch away. We placed mothballs only to see them trot right over them. Also tried ammonia soaked rags and spray furniture with Lysol, to no avail. Every week we find a new hole dug under the deck [we have filled previous holes with mothballs and rocks, now there is one going under the house!

Rabbits need to chew a lot

By Almanac Staff

Rabbits need to chew a lot because their teeth grow constantly. They are probably attracted to the wicker since it is similar to wood twigs. You might try placing a large pile of twigs similar in diameter to your wicker nearby on the lawn. Also, you might try rabbit repellents such as sprinkling dried urine of predators (available at garden centers); scattering fur of a dog or cat around the area (replenish every so often); or installing motion-detector sprinklers (available online, such as from Havahart). Depending on the layout of the deck, you might also consider fencing (which can also help to keep the animals from setting up shop under your deck).

Although it was once a common home remedy to use mothballs to repel wildlife (indoors or outdoors), it is no longer recommended. Mothballs can be toxic to beneficial insects, animals (including pets), and humans (especially children), and will leach chemicals into the soil. They contain pesticides and are meant to be enclosed in a small airtight space indoors to control insects that eat natural fibers; if used outdoors, their fumes will dissipate (which might be partly why the rabbits trotted right over them).

Hope this helps!

Parsley does not deter

By Alice123

Parsley does not deter bunnies - it's an aphrodisiac & they are all over it. That's the first thing they go for in my garden (I have two pet rabbits & was looking at things NOT to use trying to deter cats that foul in my garden). The second thing is mint, they love it! Also, my Yucca & the primroses.
Hope that helps :-)

I have rabbits, groundhogs,

By Esther Kinney

I have rabbits, groundhogs, chipmunks, squirrels and who knows what else. The rabbits live in the garden - I watch my step so I don't step on the babies. The trick I have found to be most effective is to provide plenty of food for the animals as well as for myself. They like a lot of the plants we call weeds so let some weeds grow, especially when the veggies are just getting started. I do put chicken wire around my peas but 2' high is enough to send the rabbits to easier pickings. I don't know if the resident rabbits won't allow newcomers or why it is that the rabbit population stays about the same from year to year. Anyway, we get along - I just expect to find a few things munched on. Also, I don't discourage the few snakes that live in the yard. Nature will keep a good balance if we don't get in the way.

A rabbit ate a jalapena

By Diane Clevenger

A rabbit ate a jalapena pepper right off my plant today. You wouldn't think they would even like them.

The only thing I found to

By lrjsassy

The only thing I found to deter rabbits is cats. Started feeding 2 stray kittens & they stuck around. Mom now has a litter of 4 kittens & no rabbits or mice in site. I bought many different color coral bells to plant as I understand a deer & rabbit would starve before they would eat them.

Last year my tulips were

By BranSL

Last year my tulips were demolished be rabbits despite being surrounded by chives, covering in red pepper flakes, and finally using a horribly nauseating repellant. This year I figured would be the same but as I had several dinner parties and large family meals, my chives were trimmed every few days while the tulips were young. The bunnies didn't touch my flowers. They look great! My guess is that the strong smell of
the freshly trimmed chives all around the tulips
spoiled the bunny fun. Yay, finally a point on the gardener's side!

I have about 4 baby rabbits

By Please help

I have about 4 baby rabbits and a very small backyard so we let them ran around, they got into the Basil plant and ate about half of it, over the last 3 day they have been dying one by one, would this be why?? I hate going into the backyard and founding them like this, what could be it???

GMO plants may contain pest

By Mrs. Stephenson

GMO plants may contain pest control properties... rabbits and insects both fall in "the animal kingdom" so I hope it wasn't GMO basil that did this :-( this would mean it would be potentially harmful to humans as well! Also, rabbits can "scare to death" by as much as a dog barking at them. Are there any stressor that could have caused them harm?

Barely any plants are GMO.

By KMW

Barely any plants are GMO. Basil is not one of them. There are so few GMO foods, that no popcorn varieties are GMO whatsoever--and regular corn is one of the few crops that sometimes is GMO, along with canola, and soybean.

Are you referring to the

By Almanac Staff

Are you referring to the basil dying? Yes, rabbits eat basil!  We're not sure what to say here. Move the rabbits or move the basil.

aren't you afraid of Mad Cow

By beached blonde

aren't you afraid of Mad Cow from Blood and Bone meal. I know a person who's dad was a gardner and had died from Kreutzfeld/Jakob from just such fertilizers. dreadful.. There is no guarantee that when our own parents used such fertilizers that we aren't going to be subjected to such a fate as well. is Alzheimers really growing or is it bovine spongiform encephalopathy on the rise from the old days when we still ate marrow bones?

According to the Organic

By Almanac Staff

According to the Organic Consumers' Association, "Chances of getting mad cow disease from garden fertilizer are slim. Experts say scientific evidence is scant or nonexistent on the danger of such products made from rendered cow parts, but add there's an easy way to play it safe: Don't use them.
Safety concerns about bone meal have turned into something of an urban legend, according to Dalton Hobbs, spokesman for the Oregon Department of Agriculture, but he knows of no evidence that bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) can be contracted by inhaling bone meal dust.
"One would think there is a theoretical possibility, but that has not been documented as a form of spreading BSE," he says." Read more here:  http://www.organicconsumers.org/madcow/fertilizer1804.cfm

The rabbits at my home do not

By Mint?

The rabbits at my home do not eat the mint, but they sure love to hide in it!

Young bunnies love to nibble on my young tomato leaves.

Marigolds: There are many types of marigolds, so, you can have success with one sub-specie and not another.

Thanks for all the other advise. I will try to use it and see what happens.

Chives don't work for me. I

By aknannie

Chives don't work for me. I had a huge chive plant in a pot on my back steps, next to one of parsley. The chives are now down to a stump...they love it. The parsley is fine. They've eaten my sedum, roses, yarrow, daisies and more. They even chomp on the beach roses, which have thorns. They are not starving...every morning and early evening we see them all chomping on the clover in our lawn. But they don't touch the lavender, Russian sage or Bishop's weed (all purple, by the way).
Question about dried blood and dried bone meal: Do they attract other animals, like raccoons and coyote? Does blood attract carnivores?

That's a good question. Dried

By Almanac Staff

That's a good question. Dried blood and compost can really make a garden bloom. It repels small animals efficiently, thought it may attract carnivores like raccoons and opossums.

Rabbits dislike tomatoes?

By djh

Rabbits dislike tomatoes? They had no problem decimating my transplants at the beginning of the season.

The plant of the tomato is

By Almanac Staff

The plant of the tomato is toxic for rabbits, however, they will munch on the fruit.

They eat my tomato leaves and

By SC Planter

They eat my tomato leaves and the fruit as well.

I used blood meal and bone

By JoDell

I used blood meal and bone meal when tilling up my garden.
I watched three big.....rabbits go through the garden stopped middle ways and kept on hopping. lol
they all come out in the evening, some one had babies. but they have left my garden alone.!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I used two more bags a couple of weeks ago when tilling inbetween rows. Just for safe measure.
My garden looks great :-)

They have Basil and Parsley

By Thumper2013

They have Basil and Parsley on the dislike list of herb. We feed my girlfriends bunny basil and parsley and he seems to like them especially parsley often ripping it out of your hand with a little grunt (and no he is not starving). These are also listed on numerous sites on approved foods to give your pet bunny rabbit. I highly doubt these plants will deter rabbits from your garden they may be safe if they have a choice between these and a salad bar of nice crisp Romane or chards.

Since I have to use Seven

By Lilli's Granny

Since I have to use Seven dust anyway for bugs, the old time hardware store said to go ahead and put it on the new bean sprouts. Rabbits and such can't stand the acidic taste and I shouldn't have to replant this year. I've also heard of taking an old sweaty sock and putting it in a piece of hosiery tied to a stick, and put it in the ground. The human smell helps to deter the little critters.

Rabbits ate my green beans to

By Michael Moore 2

Rabbits ate my green beans to the ground. They allowed them to grow until just before running, then, bam! The next morning they looked like some one had taken a weed eater to them, only without the rubble of cuttings. I am thinking of planting pumpkins around the perimeter. I have to put them somewhere, just as well plant them where they will do the most good.

Some great advice here. Last

By tgrrl

Some great advice here. Last year my garden was blissfully untouched by the rampant rabbits coons skunks groundhogs and deer that live around us. I kept expecting my carrots to be mauled. But they never were I believe because I planted them along the very middle of the garden surrounded by herbs tomatoes and onions & potatoes. I think its a great method- this year I'm surrounding my garden with pumpkin vines to provide a natural barrier since before they were planted the little critters broke in and nearly chewed my collards and brussles sprouts to the ground! I think it'll work! Good luck gardeners!

Pinwheels are working for the

By fotonut

Pinwheels are working for the wascolly wabbit and birds

I plant Marigolds every 6"

By shelbel

I plant Marigolds every 6" all around the garden and a rabbit WILL NOT cross the marigolds, nor will deere, cats, dogs, mice etc. Smells like a skink downwind and works incredibly well

That is interesting - rabbits

By Yuliya

That is interesting - rabbits ate my marigolds! down to a ground!

I have lots and lots of

By KatyDid

I have lots and lots of them-they ate my marigold at 5 inches as well. They are afraid of nothing-I have tried everything including mothballs, The spray and everything-Now they have decided to hit my bushels out front-I am going to try an onion there right now. Everyone has great ideas unfortunately I have tried them all. I will let ya all know about the onion bc I am tired of these rabbits. they have taken up squatting under our shed and have more and more weekly as it seems. Wish me luck it maybe worth putting the onion out I want my bushes back- I have these rabbit- I ant them to just go away! Short of sitting out with a sling shot I will try anything,

If nothing else, you have

By Breda Hetherington

If nothing else, you have made me laugh. I feel your pain and share it. I call them my Sylvanian family and they fear little. I am going to try the onion suggestion. Thanks.

Yep, I planted marigolds in

By Ron M.

Yep, I planted marigolds in my front flower garden and the family of rabbits that live in my yard ate half of them two days after I planted the young plants. The war is on! :)

if you have a 4 legged

By JAMES09

if you have a 4 legged critter attacking your garden, to me that's a 3 or 4 course meal just waiting to be cooked! Take advantage of that & the pest problems will disappear.

I'm not sure what it is that

By jessicashaw1982

I'm not sure what it is that is getting into my garden, but I found a pile of pea pods under my pepper plants. It has to be something that climbs since i have a fence up. And whatever it is, climbed up onto my hanging tomato and ate a cucumber. I'm tempted to put a camera out. The blood repelant doesnt seem to be working at all. Suggestions?

I have heard/read to sprinkle

By Lil

I have heard/read to sprinkle human hair around the perimeter of garden.( see your hairdresser) Also a motion detector light will scare the coons and critters. Human urine( your little boys will help) around perimeter. Nasturtiums in the holes of cinderblocks around the garden help avoid aphids. Plant tomatoes in 1/2 of cinder blocks and fill 1/2 block with 8-8-8. the fertilizer leaches the lime from the cinder block and this also helps avoid cutworms.
Put castor beans in mole holes. They love them and it will kill them. Be careful handling Castor beans, use gloves, they are toxic.

If you have dogs, springtime

By MAPLADY

If you have dogs, springtime means brushing /combing out winter coats. Try placing those fluffy clumps of their hair from the brush around the perimeter of your garden, also works for birds at the berry patch.

Hang Wind chimes to scare the

By Steven Vaughn

Hang Wind chimes to scare the deer an Pie Tins tied on a string on the bean trelis or fence works well on rabbits,squirrel's an Birds.

Ways to control rabbits:

By Teddy

Ways to control rabbits:

1. find their warren and plant a small garden for their use. When the babies are born the adults will not like to travel far to get food and they may leave your garden alone in early spring. Figure out the preference of the rabbits and plant only that in their garden.

2. Fencing is fine but it can be cumbersome and expensive. Interplant the prickly vine veggies (vine squash, pumpkin, vine zucchini etc.) throughout your garden. The rabbits dislike the prickers on the vines and in general will not pass through them to get to your beloved veggies in the center. This interplanting is very successful in the northeast where the research and experimentation was implemented and the entire garden interior was left alone while the veggies along the edges of the garden were nibbled.

3. Plant a living fence of raspberries, black berries around the garden edges and tie them down to the ground to create a prickly barrier. This must be done around the ENTIRE garden and will make getting into the garden difficult for the gardener but worth the effort if you have any rabbits, dogs, or other animals such as deer.

4. Plant an aroma barrier of chives, garlic chives, walking onions or seed onions. For some reason potatoes and rhubarb also work as an aroma deterrent.

A combination of all four of the suggestions above was the most successful but using only 1, and 4 of the suggestions above also proved successful.

5. Fox urine, dog and chickens feces can also be a deterent when spread around the perimeter of the garden. The problem with this type of deterrent is that it has to be re-applied after a rain or watering the garden.
Blessings!!!!

Well, like every other great

By Loralee W

Well, like every other great idea that worked for them, but didn't work for someone else, I have to say that planting prickly squash vines does not deter rabbits. (or ground squirrels, whichever it is that I have) They are eating my squash plants to the ground (along with my brussels sprouts and my almost ripe tomatoes!)
Loralee

We have a pet rabbit in the

By rlnaylor

We have a pet rabbit in the house, and for a while we tried to keep it in an area using a baby gate. It was too low at 2 feet and we moved it up. Our little jumper can clear and/or climb over the gate up to at least 3 feet.
If using a fence to keep the wild ones out of your garden, definitely bury it as suggested and make it up to four feet high. Also, you might try angling the top 1 foot of the fence away from the garden like a security fence. Rabbits shouldn't be able to climb over that.

Thanks! Had a garden last

By cdreamweaver1961

Thanks! Had a garden last year,the rabbits ate just about everything. They didnt start on the peas until they were ready to pick. They ate peas,and all! they prefered the purple hulls!am putting up a fence this time.

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