Rabbits love to eat young, tender produce. They are experts at devouring your precious seedlings and leaving you nothing but their tiny pellets behind. When you start planting, expect many of the cute and cuddly little fellers to start trying to find a way into your garden space. To keep them out of our bounty, we’ve developed a three-part process that is easy and effective – check it out:How to Keep Rabbits out of Your Vegetable Garden #weekendfarmer Click To Tweet
Video Transcript for “How to Keep Rabbits out of Your Vegetable Garden”
Brian Clapp, WeekendFarmer.com This is our backyard – and in addition to the kids toys like hula hoops and jump ropes, we also have a whole lot of these…bunny rabbits, they are just about everywhere. Every year we get more and more and they are always chomping on our grass and plants, but you know what, we’ve done an incredible job of keeping them out of our well-thought out backyard garden space.
We’ll share a couple of tips we’ve tried and tested which will successfully keep rabbits out of your vegetable garden.
The good news is keeping rabbits out of your backyard garden space is much easier than preventing deer or squirrels, we take three preventative steps and have never had problems with rabbits making it inside our garden.
The first step is a physical barrier.
You’ll notice this fence is not tall, it’s only 2 feet high because rabbits can’t climb or jump over it. Bottom line, you don’t need a monster fence to keep the rabbits out.
What we have done is line it with a 1/2 by 1/2 inch wire mesh, now that is important, because if you look over here to our other fence – this has 4 x 2 inch gaps, which doesn’t sound all that big, but a full sized rabbit will get through that space without any problem.
The 1/2 by 1/2 mesh keeps them out every time.
Another key step – make sure go down below grade with your wire mesh. Rabbits can’t jump over it or climb, but they can dig underneath. If you get your wire mesh about 6 inches to a foot deep, you’ll keep rabbits out of your vegetable garden.
The next step we take is growing nasturtiums, which are a plant that rabbits can’t stand. This is a natural method to deter the rabbits from your backyard garden space. The good news is nasturtiums provide multiple benefits, they attract hummingbirds, they attract bees and they are an edible plant, both the leaves and the flowers add a peppery accent to your cooking especially in salads and soups.
I like to plant it on the inside of the fence protected from other vegetarians roaming the countryside, but still obvious enough to act as a deterrent to the rabbits. Nasturtium spreads and grows quickly, matter of fact I grow them from seed and they grow so fast it will cover a 2-3 foot area along my fence in no time. Place a few sporadically along your fence line and the rabbits won’t bother coming through.
Bu we still take one more step and it’s way over there…
We are now on the far side of our yard. Now, I like the rabbits, they’re pretty cute running around in the yard so I don’t want to hurt them, I’ve got no beef, I just want them out of my garden. So what I do… I feed them…just somewhere else.
We’ll take this wasted spot about 30 yards away from our backyard garden and we’ll plant radishes, carrots, leafy greens like Swiss Chard and other rabbit delicacies. We plant it out of the way and in the open, they’ll eat it and get satisfied over here which keeps them distracted from our garden.
If you give them an easy path to their own fulfillment they aren’t going to bother with your fence or the nasturtiums, they’re going to take the easily available route and not cause problems in your backyard garden space.
If you take those three steps and implement them in your garden space, rabbits won’t be the problem you imagine them to be.