Rabbits are cute, fluffy creatures until they invade your garden and start eating your plants.
This is when these tiny critters become annoying pests which have the potential to cause extensive damage to your landscape.
From flowers, vegetables, and herbs to small trees, bushes, shrubs, and even grass, they don’t spare anything in your garden.
While they nibble on a large variety of plants (it’s easier to list the plant’s rabbits don’t like than to name the ones they eat away), rabbits particularly like petunias, marigolds, and pansies, and are addicted to broccoli, beans, carrots, beets, and lettuce.
Here are some more garden plants rabbits find attractive:
- Centaurea cyanus (bachelor’s button)
- Ipomoea purpurea (morning glory)
- Portulaca grandiflora (rose moss)
- Lathyrus latifolius (sweet pea)
- Gypsophila paniculata (baby’s breath)
- Crocus hybrids (crocus)
- Hydrangea quercifolia (oakleaf hydrangea)
- Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel)
- Actinidea arguta (kiwi)
- Pisum sativum (peas)
- Spinacia oleracea (spinach)
- Beta vulgaris cicla (Swiss chard)
- Fragaria ananassa (strawberry)
Know what makes these pests even worse?
In addition to feasting on your landscape, rabbits also urinate there, causing brown patches in the grass and flowerbeds.
Rabbits love young and tender plants, which means the mature plants and trees in your house are pretty much safe from these ferocious garden eaters.
What Damage Do Rabbits Cause to Your Gardens?
If it is your first experience with pest rabbits, you may not have an idea about the damage and destruction they may cause in your garden.
Simply put, they can wreak havoc on your beautiful, manicured garden, in a very short period of time.
In addition to chewing on fruits, vegetables, flowers, leaves, and even grass, they also dig into the ground and urinate in your garden, causing patches of brown grass.
How to Know If Rabbits Are Eating Your Garden?
Rabbits are often hard to spot because they usually come out of their burrows to feed on your plants, at night.
Also, they are very good at camouflaging.
So, although rabbits are known as one of the most common garden pests, it is important to verify they are the real culprits behind your destroyed landscape before you take measures to repel them.
Here are some telltale signs you should look for to confirm the presence of these mischievous and harmful garden pests:
- Tiny piles of round, pea-sized fecal pellets
- Diggings in the ground
- Missing or uprooted seedlings and tender shoots, particularly those of pea, Swiss chard, and pepper plants.
- Clean-cut vegetation and leaves, which often looks as if razor-trimmed
- Tufts of rabbit hair or fur, particularly on nesting areas under bushes or tree branches.
- Patches of burned or browned grass caused by the rabbit urine
4 Ways to Keep Rabbits Out of Your Garden
As soon as you know rabbits are the culprits behind your ruined garden, you should take immediate measures to keep them away and protect the remaining plants (if there are any).
Here are some tried and tested ways to keep these annoying critters away from the garden you set up with immense love, care, and hard work:
The easiest method to prevent rabbits from causing damage to your lawn is to block their access by building fences.
While fencing works fine for house gardens, in most cases, make sure the fences are buried at least 8” – 10” inches deep into the ground otherwise rabbits would easily dig under them and enter your lawn once again.
Make Sure Your Garden and Yard Are Not Rabbit Friendly
Another way to protect your home from these little invaders is to make your outdoor areas as lees rabbit-friendly as possible.
For this, make sure to regularly clean your lawn and yard and eliminate (or at least minimize) things they could use as hiding spots.
Remove any strands of weeds, dense shrubs, a brush of wood, woodpiles, and gardening equipment, and mow the lawn regularly to prevent grass from growing too big.
Remember, open and clear spaces are much less attractive to rabbits and other pests than the cluttered and unkempt ones.
Scare Them Away
One of the best tactics to scare the pest rabbits away is to let your pet dog or cat run free in the yard or garden.
Setting up a flashlight, an ultrasonic device, aluminum pie tins, and fake owls for some time are some other useful ways to ward off these garden pests.
Use Good Ol’ Repellents
There are some smells and tastes which rabbits do not like.
Use it to your advantage i.e., to fend off these enemies of your garden.
There are different types of rabbit repellents:
Essential oils based repellents work great for rabbits as they have strong scents are rain-resistant, and also last long.
Repellents containing potassium salts or naphthalene are also good choices.
Follow the instructions and directions on the pack while using commercial products.
Alternatively, place medium-sized piece(s) of cloth soaked in ammonia around your garden.
Plants as Repellents
As mentioned above, rabbits do not like some plants.
They act as a barrier between these pests and your lawn, so planting them around the borders of the garden is a good idea.
Plants for keeping rabbits away include:
- Japanese maple
- Adam’s needle
- Russian sage
- Four o’ clock flower
- Persian onion
Place some garlic, sulfured eggs, cat litter derived blood meal, or pet or human hair around your vegetable garden, flower beds, and shrubs, in a circle, to keep the rabbits away.