How To Deter Rabbits From the Vegetable Garden

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You have worked really hard to grow and maintain a beautiful vegetable garden.

You then go out and find it has been nibbled to pieces by a pesky rabbit.

Although rabbits are cute and adorable, they can be ferocious when it comes to dining on your vegetables.

Here are a few tips to help deter those pesky rabbits from your vegetable patch.

Rabbit

Install A Rabbit-proof Fence

You can install a good fence around the perimeter of your garden made out of chicken wire, or similar fencing. This is probably the most expensive and most labor intensive of deterrents, but also the most effective. Remember to bury the fence 6 to 12 inches below ground so the rabbits can’t dig under it. This will also help to keep out any moles as well.

Deter Rabbits With Chili Powder or Blood Meal

You can sprinkle chili powder in a circle around plants to help deter rabbits away from your vegetable garden. The rabbits will get the chili powder on their whiskers and nose and usually stay well clear of your plants. You can also sprinkle blood meal around the perimeter of your garden. The rabbits will take offense to the smell and stay far away. Don’t worry – it doesn’t smell bad to humans. Both items will need to be reapplied after rain or heavy watering.

Use A Homemade Repellent To Deter Rabbits Away From The Garden

Mix 2 tablespoons of cayenne pepper, 2 tablespoons of garlic powder, and a squirt of dish detergent with 20 ounces of warm water. Shake the mixture well to incorporate. Let it sit outside in the sun for a day, then put into a sprayer and apply to plant leaves. This homemade rabbit repellent will have rabbits running the other way. The mixture will need to be reapplied after rain or heavy watering.

Use A Humane Trap To Capture Rabbits

You can humanely trap the rabbits then release them in another environment similar to the one they were in. This can be effective for a small number of rabbits. Personally, I would use this as a last resort. Although I don’t want the rabbits in my garden, I enjoy having them in my front yard. I don’t want to evict them, just deter them away from my vegetable garden.

Divert Rabbits Away From Your Vegetable Garden

One idea that works well to deter rabbits from the vegetable garden is to use a diversion. Take some cabbage or lettuce that you are not going to eat (it’s rotted or no good for consumption), and place it in a corner of your yard away from the garden. The rabbits will go after them for food instead of the vegetable garden.

Use A Liquid Fence Rabbit Deterrent

Liquid Fence makes a great deterrent to keep rabbits and other animals away from your yard and vegetable garden. It’s a natural product that is bio-degradable and safe for pets and children. Just place the Liquid Fence around the perimeter of your garden. It may need to be reapplied after rain or heavy watering.

Pets Are Great For Deterring Rabbits Away From The Vegetable Garden

One of the best ways to deter rabbits away from your vegetable garden is a barking dog or a cat. I have two small dogs in my yard (really they lay around the house most of the time) that love to chase rabbits, squirrels, or anything else that moves. Maybe the fence isn’t so expensive after this one, huh?

If you have some tips on deterring rabbits away from your vegetable garden please share them!

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Comments

  1. I haven’t had much success with Liquid Fence, but I use Havahart’s DeFence and it’s been much more effective at keeping the rabbits out of my garden. I grow organic vegetables, so Defence works the best for me since it’s certified for organic gardening use. From my experience, home repellents never work well.
    Here’s what I’ve been using:
    http://www.havahart.com/store/animal-repellents/5600

  2. You can also buy a battery-powered electric fence from FiShock.com. Powered by 2 D batteries, the shock is potent enough to deter varmints and pets, but does them no harm (I had a serious problem with possums and cantaloupe loving Shelties. Plus my cats thought my raised beds were huge cat boxes.)

    • That’s a great idea, Glenn! Just don’t forget it’s there and get hit by it yourself ;-) LOL

    • I agree. We got the electric fence and it saved our garden last year. It was really simple to install. We’ve seen a few animals get zapped and they are completely fine afterward but they avoid your garden like the plague!

  3. I’ve had good luck with planting marigolds around my garden border. Planting marigolds has the added benefit of harvesting flowers for making healing salves and foot soaks.

    • Veronica says:

      I have used marigolds for years around my garden and also in my greenhouse…it works great on keeping the slugs away…as well as other unwanted pests! plus they look wonderful as a border around all those ‘sweet’ veggies!

      • I planted marigolds too(they were called Inca Marigolds) and confirmed with the lady at the greenhouse that they were the correct variety of marigolds. Can you share what kind of marigolds they are and whether they have to be a continuous border around the veggie bad or can be separated by 12 inches?

  4. I used to sprinkle dried blood meal around the plants or around the perimeter of my garden to get rid of the wild rabbits. Blood meal can be found at most garden centers. Rabbits do not like the smell and will generally avoid the area. Thanks for the new ideas.

  5. I’m lucky that I’ve never been bothered with rabbits in the garden up to now. However, our street is now home to a family or two which run up and down the street and sleep on the lawns. I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before they find their way round the back into the garden. I’ll be saving this article just in case.

  6. Jon Geiselman says:

    My father has told me that baby powder sprinkled on the plants will keep rabbits away. Been doing for two years, no problems.

    • Hi Jon! That’s a very interesting tip! Thank you very much with sharing it with us :)

      I guess rabbits don’t like the smell of the baby powder?

      • I ran out of garlic powder and tried baby powder the other night. The rabbits ate 13 of my new corn seedlings.

  7. hope this works
    have a huge garden outside of yard so dogs couldn’t get to the rabbits but hop Chilli Pepper works really well!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    :D :) :P :r

    NiNi

  8. I have an EASY and INEXPENSIVE way to keep rabbits out of the garden and birds from eating your cherries……works like a charm!!!!
    Go to
    http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/8151839/keep_rabbits_and_birds_away_from_your.html?cat=32

  9. DO NOT purchase Liquid Fence to keep rabbits away from your garden. IT DOES NOT WORK! After spending approximately $120 on this product I called the company and asked about their “money back guarantee.” I only wanted the money back from the most recent purchase ($42). Well, customer service tells me they have a special spray product to deter rabbits and would send me a bottle (worth far less than $42). They failed to mention if they sent this product it would render the “money back guarantee” on the concentrate invalid. Used this product as directed; IT DID NOT WORK! Rabbits ate away 2 miniture rose bushes and have started on the azaelas. Wrote an email to customer service asking what type of documentation they would need to proceed with the money back guarantee. Now they tell lme that since they sent me another product to try, the guarantee was no longer valid.

  10. Chili powder worked good until we had rain everyday for a week straight. My green beans were all goners. My mom has used for used for years Marigolds and /or moth balls in plastic bottles with holes. I tried the moth balls and a couple of childrens pinwheels (worked for my neighbors) and my green beans came back, well most of them. Now I just need to keep my 1 1/2 year old from tromping them while he is trying to play with the pinwheels.

    • I would be leary of suggesting mothballs in the garden,especially if you have dogs. Mothballs are extremely poisonous to dogs(& cats). Dogs may mistake the plastic bottle for a toy.Even limited exposure to mothballs can poison them.

  11. Thank you so much for the article! I am a newbie and this is the first year my husband and I decided to garden. I am very excited about the idea of having my own fresh veggies to eat and can for the winter, but I have bunnies that run through mine and my neighbors yard. Thanks everyone for all of the ideas and tips, I have planted marigolds all around my garden hoping to not have to go and buy a fence. I will have to get some pinwheels, if nothing else they will be pretty! :)

  12. Shoot the damn things…!

  13. I have tried a rabbit repellant no luck. Tried moth balls, no luck. Now I am spraying vinigar on my hosta’s. The baby rabbits have destroyed all my beloved cone flowers. Just combed out my cats & will try putting their fur around my plants trying to save them.

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