A Rabbit In The Garden
(Image credit: LorraineHudgins)

How to keep rabbits out of gardens is a problem that has been puzzling gardeners since the very first person put a seed in the ground. While some people may think rabbits look cute and fuzzy, any gardener who has dealt with a rabbit problem knows they are anything but. Keeping rabbits out of a garden is a challenge but it can be done.

Tips to Keep Rabbits Out of Garden

Here are some things you can try to keep rabbits out of the garden:

Smells Rabbits Dislike

One easy way to have rabbit control in gardens is to add things to your garden that the rabbits will not like to smell. Try sprinkling dried blood around the garden to keep rabbits out of the yard. Or pour some coyote, fox, or wolf urine around the perimeter of your garden. Hair from these same animals also works well for rabbit control in gardens. The dried blood, animal hair, and animal urine are available at your local garden center. You can even try training your dog to pee near (but not in) your vegetable and flower beds to help with keeping rabbits out of a garden. The smell of the blood or the urine will tell the rabbit that this is a dangerous place and to stay away.

Garden Fences for Rabbits

A rabbit fence for gardens can also help with keeping rabbits out of the garden. The fence does not need to be high, just 2 to 3 feet (61-91 cm.) tall, but you should bury the fence up to 6 inches (15 cm.) under the ground as rabbits are very good diggers. The easiest way to add a rabbit-proof fence to the garden is to dig a trench around the bed, install the fence in the trench, and then backfill the trench. A rabbit fence for gardens does not have to be expensive. You can use the cheap chicken wire and that will work just fine for keeping rabbits out of a garden.

Rabbit Traps

There are two types of traps used for rabbit control in gardens. One is a humane trap and one is a trap that will kill the rabbits. Which you use depends entirely on who you are and how much you hate rabbits. Humane traps tend to look like cages that are designed to lure the rabbit in and keep it trapped until someone comes to relocate it. Traps that kill are typically designed to kill the rabbit quickly and relatively painlessly. These don't technically keep rabbits out of the yard but it does ensure that they will not come back.

Plant Cages

You can also build plant cages from chicken wire to cover plants that rabbits find particularly tasty. Plants like lettuce, peas, beans, and other tender leaved vegetables are favorites of rabbits. Build cages to deter the rabbits. The nice thing about this option is that it will also deter other pests, like deer. While rabbits are difficult garden pests to deal with, once you learn how to keep rabbits out of gardens they can once again become the cute, fuzzy critters that everyone else loves.

Heather Rhoades
Founder of Gardening Know How

Heather Rhoades founded Gardening Know How in 2007. She holds degrees from Cleveland State University and Northern Kentucky University. She is an avid gardener with a passion for community, and is a recipient of the Master Gardeners of Ohio Lifetime Achievement Award.