We all know the story of Peter Cottontail. A rabbit who finds mischief by sneaking into a garden to eat all the delicious vegetables. This is a tale that many gardeners have experienced themselves, with them finding their gardens ravaged by this cuddly critter. There are, however, many ways in which you can save your garden from these cute pests.
Fences - if you build it, they won't come
The first, and most obvious solution to any rabbit problem, is to construct a small fence out of either a wire mesh or netting. The fence should be buried at least 6 inches underneath the soil and bending the material away from the plants to prevent rabbits from simply burrowing underneath the fence. Fences should also be constructed so that they are at least 2 feet in height, to prevent rabbits from jumping over. You should also routinely check the barrier to see if bunnies have managed to create openings. Fences can be quite effective at deterring bunnies from eating your plants, but they sometimes can be unattractive.
If a man-made fence or barrier is too much of an eyesore, there are a few methods that minimize visual impact on the garden. Scenting your garden with the smell of predators can be enough to keep the bunnies away. Using the blood or urine of foxes, coyotes, and other predators can be effective. There are also other natural repellents that work, like vinegar, soap, or chili powder. The problem with some of these repellents, is that they can be washed away by rain. Bunnies also can become accustomed to these scents and ignore them. The same can be said about visual scare tactics. Fake owls, aluminum pans, and flashing lights can all be used to help deter rabbits from your garden, but may only work for a short time once the bunnies realize that they pose no real threat.
If you do not want to mess around building fences, and constantly spreading repellents, there are a few natural planting methods that can be employed.
plant them dinner, or not
There are two ways in which you can plant your way to victory over rabbits. The first deals with planting things that they do not like to eat. These plants, including corn, tomatoes, mint, oregano, geraniums, vincas, and basil, can all be grown to help protect the plants in the rest of your garden. There are no guarantees that this will work, however, because rabbits could find the other plants that you would not want them to eat.
The other way to discourage bunnies from eating your plants would be to encourage them to eat certain plants. By planting a small area with plants that bunnies love including, peas, rosemary, or beans, you may find that the bunnies will leave the rest of your garden alone. There again is the chance that bunnies may eventually bypass these plants and move towards something else.
Overall, there are many different methods of preventing rabbits from taking over your garden. Whether it is through construction of a barrier, using predators in your favor, or providing the next meal for our furry companions, using some combination of these methods will greatly reduce the impact bunnies have in your garden.