Do you love rabbits, but fear the damage they can do to your garden?
Have you tried everything to keep them out with no luck?
TheGardeningDad.com is here to save the day!
After working with experts in the field, and listening to other gardeners and farmers best techniques, I have created How to Keep Rabbits out of Garden (15 Easy Tips).
The list below contains EASY and CHEAP DIY Tips that ACTUALLY WORK!
How to Identify Damage Caused to Your Garden by Rabbits
There are numerous types of animals, insects, and pests that can destroy your garden.
So how do you know when it is a rabbit?
Since rabbits generally eat at night this can be a difficult question to answer.
You will know a rabbit has caused damage to your plants when the following has happened:
Type of Plant Damage
Depending on the season, the type of plant damage caused by rabbits will be slightly different.
In the spring, rabbits will eat the tender growth of newly emerging plants.
In the summer, rabbits will eat broad-leaf weeds, clover, grasses, leaves, shoots, roots, and so much more.
And in the winter, rabbits will typically eat the bark of tree, shrubs, and cones.
Regardless of the season, the plants nibbled to the ground with a clean cut.
If the leaves are torn with rugged edges than it is damage caused by a deer
You also know plant damage is caused by rabbits if the cut is at a 45-degree angle and no more than 20 inches from the ground. Rabbits typically cannot reach plants higher than 20 inches.
If a plant looks uprooted or if the plant itself is missing then it typically means a deer damaged it.
If you want to learn more about how to identify plants that have been damaged by deer and how to keep deer out of your garden then I recommend reading:
One of the easiest ways to determine whether a rabbit has been visiting your garden or yard is rabbit droppings.
If the droppings your yard match the picture below then you know you have a rabbit problem.
Other signs of Rabbits
You will also know if a rabbit has been in your garden or yard based on several other factors.
One major way to determine if a rabbit has been in your garden is by its tracks.
Please note that this is only effective in the winter.
Typically, in the spring or summer, the ground will be too hard for tracks to imprint into the ground.
Another way to determine if a rabbit has been in your yard or garden in the winter is if the bark on the base of your tree is removed.
Again, this is harder to determine because deer can cause the same damage.
If the bark is removed within 20 inches from the base of the trunk of your tree there is a good chance it was caused by a rabbit.
If you want to be one hundred percent certain if a rabbit is destroying your garden then I highly recommend setting up a
Game cameras do an excellent job of taking high-quality images and videos during the day and night of all different types of animals.
The best part about game cameras is that they can survive any type of weather and are reasonably priced!
15 Ways to Keep Rabbits Out of Your Garden (Least Expensive to Most Expensive)
1. Choose Your Plants Wisely
The easiest and cheapest way to keep rabbits out of your garden is to not plant vegetation they like to eat.
In general, Rabbits will tend to eat these plants first:
- Any young plant (1 year or less)
- Any soft or tender plant (think smooth leaves that are easy to tear)
- Beans, Broccoli, Lettuce, Peas, Carrots
- Pansies, Petunias
- Strawberries, Raspberries, Blackberries
These types of plants are high in nutrition and are easy to eat. In early spring and late summer, this is the exact type of food rabbits need to grow and prepare for winter.
The more of these plants you have in your yard unprotected the more rabbits you will likely attract.
If you want to plant some vegetable or herb, fruit, or vegetable then I recommend:
- Onion, Rhubarb, Garlic, Oregano, Basil
- Older and taller plants
- Figs, Blueberries, and Grape Vines
2. Keep Your Yard Clean
This tip is as cheap as you can get and also relatively easy.
If you want to deter rabbits from getting into your garden then prevent them from creating a home in your yard.
Simply stated, this means mow your grass, remove any dead shrubs or grass piles, and reduce highly dense areas. Rabbits love covered areas, so this will help them find shelter and food elsewhere.
3. Buy a Dog
If you want to consistently keep rabbits out of your yard and get bonus points with your gardening family then buy a dog.
By letting your dog play in your yard it helps deter rabbits in several ways.
First, dogs mark their territory which deters rabbits from staying very long. Next, they will bark and chase after deer. It typically only takes one or two times for a dog to chase a rabbit for it to never come back.
4. Apply Individual Plant Nets
Sometimes your best option to prevent your plants from being eaten is to apply individual plant nets.
Rabbits won’t typically eat plants with netting on. They fear getting caught in it and it is harder to eat such plants.
Applying the plant net is easy. Just place the net entirely over your plants and secure it on the ground with something substantial. If you are looking for the best rabbit netting our there, then I recommend: De-Bird Garden Netting.
5. Use Deer Wrapping Around Small Trees
If you have small or young trees then I recommend applying deer wrapping around them before late fall.
In late fall and early winter, rabbits love eating bark from the bottom of these trees. The problem with this is once you notice it, it is too late.
If you want to help prevent this problem then I recommend Dimex EasyFlex Tree Trunk Protector.
Not only is this tree wrapping cheap and effective, but it’s so easy to apply that anyone can do it.
I promise you it will literally take you two minutes per tree! You can’t beat that!
6. Apply Rabbit Spray
Do you have a rabbit problem? Do you have a deer problem?
Why not solve them both.
I use and recommend to everyone I talk to Liquid Fence Deer and Rabbit Repellent Spray
My favorite part about this product is that it is easy and non-toxic. Best of all is that it has a money-back guarantee!
Based on scientific studies, using rabbit spray helps prevent rabbits by up to 75% more than other methods.
When using this type of spray I recommend applying it all year round.
Just spray the repellent either on or around your plants (depending on if you will eat them). Do this every 90 days and make sure that there will be no rain for at least 24 hours after application.
7. Catch and Release
Sometimes no matter what you do to deter rabbits it just doesn’t work.
If that is the case for you then I recommend to catch and release rabbits.
I have personally used on occasion and recommend the OxGord Live Animal Trap.
Because I don’t like trapping animals, I use this as a last resort.
What I love about this product is that it is easy to set up (takes 1 minute) and is effective.
After setup, all you need to do is place one of the plants that rabbits like in it and you are all set.
Once you catch your rabbit I recommend releasing it 5 miles away from your property. The reason for this is because rabbits and other animals have been known to travel great distances to get back to their shelter.
8. Add Predators to Your Yard
A unique way to deter or remove rabbits from your garden is to add predators to your yard.
So what exactly does that mean?
It means adding plants, food, and shelter to attract foxes, owls, hawks, and snakes. All of these creatures are natural predators to rabbits.
Not only will these creatures help minimize rabbits impact, but they can also provide other benefits to your garden.
Beware though, these creatures can also bring unwanted or unexpected consequences to your garden.
9. Add Decor to Deter Rabbits
Rabbits are a lot like birds in the fact that they do not scare easily and can quickly adjust to their environment.
If you want to scare rabbits from your yard then I personally recommend adding decor to it.
Specifically, I would use the following items to scare rabbits:
I would recommend placing one or two of each the owl and snake decoy in your garden. This will help deter rabbits from trying to enter it from different spots.
In addition, rabbits do not like fast, shiny objects. Placing a shiny ribbon around your plants or fencing will also help deter rabbits.
If you are interested in learning about how to deter deer from your garden then I recommend reading:
10. Build a Raised Garden Bed
Tip #10 is something that everyone can do no matter where you live.
Rabbits like flat, easy areas to access. They like this because it allows them to leave the area as quickly as possible if a predator comes by.
Because of this rabbits tend to visit Raised Garden Beds much less.
My recommendation to deter rabbits from visiting your garden is to build a raised garden bed.
If you are interested in building a raised garden bed then I recommend reading my article:
11. Use Rabbit Repellent Stations
Tip #11 is more expensive, but also more effective.
Rabbit Repellent Stations sends harmless shocks through rabbits who come close to your garden. By doing this, it created a mental barrier that quickly prevents rabbits from visiting again.
If you want the best product and one well worth your money then I recommend purchasing:
12. Plant Your Garden in Pots
I have to admit that this tip requires work and can quickly add up.
But this tip is also failproof.
If all else fails and rabbits keep getting your garden then I recommend planting everything in pots and keeping them out of rabbits reach.
The reason I recommend pots is that it is harder for rabbits to climb into them and get out. This does not mean that rabbits will not try.
If you totally want to prevent rabbits from eating your plants then place your pots on your deck, patio, or even inside.
13. Install a Fence
Installing a fence may sound like a costly and time-intensive project.
But it doesn’t have to be.
One of the most effective ways to keep rabbits out of your garden is to fence it in. You can also even fence individual plants too.
If you want to kill two birds with one stone then I recommend purchasing a fence that is between 4 and 8 feet high.
Also, I would make your life as easy as possible and purchase a fence like YardGard Fence.
YardGard is one of the best companies for fence. They produce durable and long-lasting fence at a reasonable price.
14. Install an Electric Fence
This tip is usually extreme for deterring rabbits from your garden but is an effective way to help keep all animals out.
If you have consistent problems with rabbits and animals destroying your garden then I recommend installing an electric fence.
Eletric fences work like rabbit repellent stations, but are more effective.
They send an electric shock through the animal and is nonharmful for both small and large animals.
15. Hunt Them!
This may not be the most expensive, but it is my least favorite.
With that being said I know everyone has their own opinions and I respect everyone’s opinion.
If you live in an area where hunting is allowed then I recommend removing rabbits this way!
Rabbits are beautiful animals that are fun to watch, but they also can be a nusance to your garden.
While it is hard to keep them out consistently, it is not impossible
If you want to keep rabbits out of your garden consistently then I recommend using a mix of the following:
- Choose your plants wisely
- Keep your yard clean
- Buy a dog
- Apply individual plant nets
- Use deer wrappings
- Apply rabbit spray
- Use a trap
- Add predators to your yard
- Add decor to deter rabbits
- Build a raised garden bed
- Use rabbit repellent stations
- Plant your garden in pots
- Install a fence
- Install an electric fence
- Hunt Them
What is your favorite rabbit deterring tip?
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