Rabbits are adorable, no question, but you wouldn’t want them rummaging around in your yard. Rabbits are herbivores, so if they get into your garden, your plants will almost certainly become their next meal. The good news is that there are natural rabbit repellents available.
Building a fence is the most typical method of keeping rabbits out of the garden. However, this is not the only option. In this article, we will focus not just on repelling rabbits from your garden, but on rabbit-proofing your harden with several methods that will come in handy when rabbits show up in your yard.
How To Fence Your Garden Against Rabbits
Many people’s initial choice is to erect a fence around their garden. It makes sense to explore this alternative because it will not only keep rabbits out but also many other animals depending on height.
If you’re thinking about installing a fence to keep rabbits out, there are a few structural features to consider. These include the fence’s height, the material used to construct it, the design, and the installation.
You must build a fence that is higher than a rabbit’s maximum jump height. One that a rabbit won’t be able to break down or gnaw through. The fence should also be placed in such a way that there is no way for rabbits to get in.
Now, let’s discuss some of the major factors you should consider when building a fence to keep rabbits away.
How High Can Rabbits Jump?
The highest height at which rabbits can jump varies. Most rabbits can jump up to 2 feet. However, certain species can safely jump as high as 4 feet. Keep in mind we are only talking about a rabbit’s vertical jump heigh. However, when it comes to horizontal height, rabbits may jump as far as 9 to 15 feet.
What does this have to do with your fence you ask? Well. this means you’ll need a fence at least as tall as a rabbit’s maximum vertical jump of 4 feet. On top of that, it is also recommended that the fence be installed as deep as 6 inches into the earth.
If you’re using a wire mesh fence, you could also bend the base outwards. This will prevent them from entering the garden even if the rabbits try to burrow their way in. Also, make sure that the mesh size does not exceed 2 inches because some rabbits are small enough to squeeze through a mesh greater than 2 inches in diameter.
Best Fence Types For Keeping Rabbits Out
You should consider employing one of these types, a barrier fence, an electric fence, or a tree guard, in order to keep rabbits away.
When you merely wish to protect a few plants, a tree guard option is the best choice. They work well on short shrubs, immature plants, and tree trunks. If you do decide to use a tree guard, keep in mind that it needs to be taller than the plant for which it is intended.
Install the tree guard so that there is at least a 2-inch radius between the fence and the plant. This area will keep the rabbit from reaching the plants from outside the fence. Also, be sure you bury the fence’s base 2 – 6 inches deep to guarantee it’s robust.
You can get a tree guard made out of any of these materials: HDPE, vinyl, aluminum, and treated jute. They are all good options and will give enough protection against rabbits.
Electric fences can also be used to keep rabbits out of your garden. Just layout 8 – 10 lines of electric wires 2 – 3 inches above each other. The benefit of using an electric fence is that it is simple to pack up and store until you need it again.
Picket fences have a country feel to them, but they may simply help in keeping the dogs out. If you have cats or other animals stalking, crawling, scampering, or burrowing around, you will need something more robust. Taking the effort to build the correct fencing barrier will save you a lot of trouble in the long run, and once it’s up, it should last for a long time.
Chicken wire is a reasonably inexpensive alternative for garden fencing. But if you don’t like the aesthetic of a wire fence, or if you’re constructing an urban garden and your neighborhood ordinance requires fencing, there are still appealing DIY alternatives that are also inexpensive.
A cute and yet functional way is to choose a cottage picket fence or a rustic wood fence and only line the lower section with wire, up to as high as you need it on the inside. If you live near the woods, you can even utilize sticks from branches for a more rustic look.
Sure, they won’t survive forever and will rot, but they’ll keep you covered for a while, especially if you attach them with some substantial supports. Then, as pieces wear out, it’s rather simple to replace them. They are simply “placeholders” for stapling the mesh.
If you opt to build your own fence, your local home improvement store is likely to be your best bet for all of your materials.
Another way you can safeguard individual plants is by wrapping chicken wire around them. That could be effective for rabbits and to deter other burrowing animals. Just bury a bowl-shaped piece of hardware cloth 6 – 10 inches beneath the plant’s main root system. This is not the most appealing method, and it requires more effort, but it works for the few special plants that are under attack.
Natural Rabbit Repellents
Natural repellents are not barriers, but rather natural compounds that rabbits dislike. Rabbits are herbivorous, yet they do not want to consume every plant they come across. Certain plants are rarely eaten by rabbits and they can work as a deterrent. Some of these plants are oregano, begonia, basil, catmint, and lavender.
You could plant some of these around your garden if you will not use a fence to keep them out. However, if you are unable to cultivate rabbit-resistant plants, there are a variety of different natural methods you can employ to keep rabbits out of your garden.
Talcum powder and Epsom salt are two of the other alternatives. Below, we’ll go over some of the most prevalent natural repellents.
Using Epsom Salt As Rabbit Repellent
The advantage of utilizing Epsom salt as a rabbit deterrent is that it provides several benefits.
To use Epsom salt as a repellent, simply sprinkle it on the leaves and other portions of the plants. You can also dilute Epsom salt if you want to use it on plants that are sensitive to it. Rabbits will be deterred from attacking your plants by the scent and maybe the bitter taste of Epsom salt.
On top of that, there are some additional benefits to utilizing Epsom salt in your garden. Epsom salt is a great source of magnesium, and utilizing it in your garden will help you increase your total yield. It can assist in boosting fruit production, leaf growth, and fruit and foliage quality.
To guarantee that the effect of Epsom salt is maintained in your landscape, it must be replaced regularly since the majority of the Epsom salt you applied would be washed away by storms and regular rainfall. As a result, you must ensure that the Epsom salt is replaced throughout these times.
Use Garlic Keep Rabbits Away
As previously said, one of the most effective characteristics of plant repellents against rabbits is their odor. Everyone is familiar with the pungent odor that garlic emits, and while we enjoy its spicy odor, rabbits prefer not to smell it. Furthermore, while people enjoy the flavor of garlic, rabbits prefer to eat other vegetation. Garlic, for these reasons, may be useful in deterring rabbits.
You can make the garlic cloves into a spray or a powder. If you decide to make a spray out of them, spritz it on your plants. If, on the other hand, you make a powder out of them, you can apply it to the soil or the plant.
You can also mix them with pepper powder or pepper spray and use them as mentioned above. Garlic also has the added benefit of repelling other pests such as mosquitoes.
Can Mothballs Deter Rabbits?
Mothballs are sometimes used to keep rabbits and other rodents away from gardens. The problem with this is that it is not always effective and they are prohibited in some locations. They are also dangerous to your health, the health of your children, and the health of your pets.
The mothball component might be absorbed by the soil or plants in your gardens, and the consumption of such plants might result in neurological problems, hemolytic anemia, and even cancer. In a nutshell, you’d be better off without mothballs in your garden. They are unlikely to keep rabbits out and may endanger you and your family.
While there are various strategies for keeping rabbits out of your garden, none are as effective as installing a fence. Rabbits will always find a way to avoid these other repellents. However, if you have a fence built to the proper specifications, the chances of a rabbit getting through it are quite minimal.