Dealing with rabbits in the garden can be a challenging task. Still, with proper planning and understanding of their behavior, you can keep your garden healthy and thriving.
- Fencing: One of the most effective ways to keep rabbits out of your garden is by using a fence. A fence that is at least 2 feet tall, with the bottom buried 6 inches underground and angled outwards at a 45-degree angle, is best. Chicken wire or PVC coated fencing are good options.
- Repellents: Repellents such as cayenne pepper, human hair, and commercially available rabbit repellents can be used to discourage rabbits from entering the garden.
- Plant selection: Choosing plants that rabbits are not attracted to is another way to reduce damage. Many plants at the nursery state if they are rabbit resistant on the label. Examples of such plants include daffodils, lavender, and many herbs. Just note that “rabbit resistant” does not mean “rabbit proof”.
- Netting: Another option to protect your plants is to use netting, either over individual plants or over a larger section of the garden. This is usually enough to keep rabbits at bay. Make sure it’s taught and 6-12 inches away from the plants you want to protect.
- Traps: Live traps can be used to capture and relocate rabbits, but this should only be done with proper permits and in accordance with local regulations. Many states prohibit the relocation of animals without a commercial permit.
- Habitat modification: Removing brush piles and overgrown weeds near the garden can reduce the number of hiding spots for rabbits, making it more difficult for them to access your garden. Rabbits are naturally worried about predators, and reducing hiding places can make a big difference.
- Pets: If you have a dog that loves to chase rabbits, then take advantage of this gift and let your dog help.
- Natural predators: Encouraging natural predators, such as hawks and foxes, to visit your garden can also help reduce rabbit populations.
- Continuous monitoring: It is important to continuously monitor the rabbit population and assess the effectiveness of your management techniques. Making changes as needed will help ensure the health of your garden.
Effective rabbit management requires a combination of different techniques and an understanding of their behavior. Fencing, repellents, plant selection, netting, habitat modification, pets, natural predators, and continuous monitoring can all be used to reduce the impact of rabbits in the garden. With proper planning and implementation, you can keep your garden healthy and thriving.