To some, rabbits are harmless, beautiful pets, but to gardeners, they can become their worst enemies. Rabbits can be a nuisance in your vegetable garden. Rabbits will feed on almost all types of plants.
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They burrow the soil and might uproot them in the process. They may also kill trees entirely by damaging their barks. Below are some of the tips on how to keep them out of your garden.
Table of Contents
- How to Identify If Rabbits Are Attacking Your Plants
- What Are The Damages That Rabbits Cause In A Garden?
- How to Keep Rabbits Out Of Your Garden Using Ivory Soap
- What Other Methods Can One Use To Keep Rabbits Away?
- Frequently Asked Questions
How to Identify If Rabbits Are Attacking Your Plants
Rabbits will mostly get into your garden at night and will hide in closely planted vegetation. Mostly, you will not spot a rabbit running across your yard. Here are some things that can help you know that the rodents are responsible for the damages in your plants
1. Rabbit Pellets
Rabbits will leave fecal materials in the form of pellets in your garden. The pellets are usually round.
There are several breeds of rabbits. Some are black, while others are white. Some fur may fall off from their bodies to your garden.
What Are The Damages That Rabbits Cause In A Garden?
1. Damaging Plants
Rabbits will eat vegetables, young trees, and grass. They particularly love tender plants. Just like people, they also have their favorite plants. These include beets, spinach, and carrots.
2. Damaging Garden Equipment
Apart from feeding on plants, rabbits will also chew various garden equipment like irrigation systems and hoses. If the damages are significant, you might have to replace some parts of your system.
How to Keep Rabbits Out Of Your Garden Using Ivory Soap
The use of ivory soap is one of the safest and cheapest methods to keep rabbits away. Get a grater to grate the soap. Don’t use your kitchen graters, as you will have to throw them away.
Grate the soap and place the small pieces in a container, and tightly seal it. If left open, ivory soap will lose its smell, reducing its ability to repel abilities. The stronger the scent, the more effective it will work.
Spread the pieces around your plant, especially the most affected by rabbits. It does not cause harm to plants and is safe to use even on edible ones. Spread the soap frequently, as it loses its smell fast. After some time, rabbits will not get anywhere near your garden.
Ivory soap can be helpful when dealing with garden pests such as rabbits. A typical soap bar is made up of the following ingredients:
- Sodium tallowate
- Sodium cocoate or sodium palm kernelate
- Sodium chloride
- Magnesium sulfate
What Other Methods Can One Use To Keep Rabbits Away?
1. Use Chili Powder
Sprinkle chili powder around your garden to keep rabbits away. They can’t stand its smell and will stay away from your garden.
2. Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne pepper is another homemade repellent to deter rabbits from getting into your garden. Crush some pieces of cayenne pepper and add water. Add olive oil to the mixture and put it into a spray bottle. Spray the mixture on your plants.
The plants will not get harmed by the pepper. However, if you are going to pick the leaves or fruits, wash them thoroughly to get rid of the pepper taste. Use gloves when preparing and spraying your plants, to prevent it from getting into contact with your hands.
You can also buy ground pepper from stores and sprinkle it on your plants.
If you have young kids or pets, ensure they don’t come into contact with the sprayed plants as they may cause eye irritation.
Apply homemade repellents frequently, as they may get washed by rainwater.
3. Erect a Fence
You don’t need to erect a very high fence to keep rabbits away from your garden. Apart from preventing rabbits from getting into your garden, a fence will also keep off other animals from getting into it. Use a metal mesh to fence your garden, since rabbits may chew on fences made from other materials and get into your garden.
4. Use Garlic and Pepper Repellent
Crush garlic and peppers. Add them to water with dish soap and let the mixture sit for two days. Pour the mixture in a spray bottle and sprinkle your plants with it.
5. Grow Rabbit Repellent Plants
Thankfully, some plants cause irritation to rabbits, and they will always avoid them. They include
Rabbits do not like the strong scent of lavender and will avoid your garden if you grow it. Lavender does not require special maintenance practices and will grow even in infertile soils. It is a perennial and will live for years and years, as long as it’s provided with ideal growing conditions.
Get lavender seeds from reliable dealers. It does not require a lot of water to grow. Apart from repelling rabbits, lavender will make your garden beautiful, and provide you with fresh spices which you can use to prepare delicious meals, or sell them.
Grow parsley along the boundaries of your garden to keep rabbits away. Plant them directly in the soil or in pots. Parsley is also a herb, and it adds flavor to different dishes such as salads and meat. It is hardy and will also repel other pests such as mosquitoes. Grow parsley in well-drained soils and water it at least once in a week, when it has fully matured.
Bougainvillea is another plant that rabbits hate and will avoid where it is growing. It is also an ornamental flower that makes any space they are growing in magnificent. Bougainvillea does well in a sunny area and won’t tolerate shade. It is available in different colors, including white, pink, purple, and red.
You can grow it on the ground or on pots. When growing in pots, use potting soil, and add peat moss. When growing directly in the garden, ensure the soil is well-draining. If it has a low PH, add limestone to lower the acidity since it negatively impacts the plant negatively, .it does not require frequent watering. Instead, it thrives with minimal, deep watering.
Add fertilizer to the plant once in a year. since Bougainvillea is not a heavy feeder.
Rabbits can cause massive damage to a garden. The best way is to prevent them from getting access to your garden. They feed on several varieties of plants and will be a nuisance, especially if you live near a forested area.
Frequently Asked Questions
Whether it’s legal or illegal to kill rabbits in your property depends on your area’s rules and regulations. In some places, it is allowed, while in others, it’s a crime.
Rabbits can transform various diseases to humans if they bite or scratch them. If a rabbit has ringworms, then it comes into contact with you, you will get them too. Ringworms cause hair loss and skin problems.
You may also get cryptosporidiosis if you come into contact with the waste material of an infected animal.
Rabbits will rarely cause infections in pets, even if they consume their waste materials.
In some countries, various laws may restrict one from domesticating a wild animal. If your country allows, you can try your luck to domesticate it, although it can be quite challenging. The rabbit might totally resist domestication, even after training it. Catching a rabbit without harming, it can also be difficult.