Rabbits Are One Of The Most Voracious Garden Pests
Rabbits, cute as they are, are among the most voracious of garden pests.
There are several ways of keeping rabbits out of your garden. Some are temporary and one is permanent. We will start with the permanent one, a fence.
The most long-lasting and trouble free way to keep rabbits out of your garden is to instal a critter fence. Choose the type that best suits your needs.
1. THE WIRE MESH CRITTER FENCE This fence must be at least three feet high and the mesh or wire openings must have gaps of no more than 1 1/2 inches squre. The bottom of the fence must be burried to keep animals like raccoons from digging holes big enough for rabbits to enter. This also keeps out raccoons.
If you already have a fence, you could attach a few feet of regular screening to the bottom area.
2. THE COMBINATION OF CRITTER AND DEER FENCE
If you have problems with rabbits and deer, you may wish to install a combination fence. This fence must be six feet high for the deer, but combine a bottom portion of small gap critter fence.
3. THE ELECTRIC FENCE
An electric fence is not as cruel as some think. The charge is very low, and can be adjusted to the size of the animal. It is the surprise value of the fence that deters animals. An electic fence will keep out, and in, almost any animal. Deer don't just suddenly decide to jump your fence. They usually graze along it and a touch is enough of a deterent. Smaller animals like rabbits will touch the fence when trying to enter and one lesson is usually enough. If you have a dog, or dogs, the electric fence will keep them in, and out of harm's way. If you are at all 'handy', you can instal your own fence, critter, deer, or electric.
*NOTE I am well aware that a highly-motivated deer can clear a six foot fence, even from a standing start. Fortunately there is little that motivates this behavior.
If you have only a few plants that are in danger or just don't wish to instal a fence of any kind, there are other ways of detering rabbits.
4. HOME-MADE RABBIT DETERRENT SPRAY
This was suggested to me by an elderly friend who had used nothing but, for many years. I used it on a few plants that grow outside my fence and it works, not just on rabbits, but deer as well.
Beat one raw egg, and to it add four cups of water. Let the mixture stant until it smells foul. Add one tablespoon of tabasco sauce. Mix well and spray liberally on the plants in peril. You will need to reapply every week or so and after every rainfall.
If you problem is deer, make another batch, but add cayenne, in place of the tabasco.
Some claim a mixture of 2 cups of vinegar and 1 tablespoon of liquid chili is effective. This I have not tried.
5. DRY MIX RABBIT CONTROLS
All of these work fairly well, if sprinkled on and around the plants. Unfortunately they need to be reapplied after you have harvested vegetables, or cultivated.
Mix some hair clippings (you can get these from any hair salon, barber, or pet salon) with hot pepper flakes, or garlic powder.
You can also try unused kitty litter. One neighbor swears this has saved her roses from deer. No word on it's success with rabbits. And now, perhaps the best rabbit-control devise of all 'dogs'.
Dogs, will ensure that even the larges garden is kept free of rabbits. My two will raise the alarm if a rabbit is even in the vicinity.
The only drawback of dogs is that they must be on duty 24/7. Although this is not an option for me since neither of mine cares for night duty, it may be a perfect option for someone else.