From munching your peas to eating your lily buds, rabbits may have quite a feast when reaching your garden. Thankfully, there are some simple ways to prevent them from doing that. From building a fence to where to buy Oxbow rabbit food and thus keep them full, here are a few effective methods to keep your garden safe without harming the rabbits in your area.
There are many reasons why the flowers and plants in your garden may be damaged whether you’re raising rabbits or not. In case you have no rabbits yet there are signs of rabbit activity in your garden, there are some safe ways to make sure they won’t target your flowers and plants for their next lunch.
Signs of rabbit activity
A garden full of plants and flowers is appealing not only to humans but to many animals and insects. From bees to squirrels and even raccoons, there are many beings interested in tasting the goodies in your garden. There are a few signs that will help you find out if what you’re dealing with has a pair of long ears, a short fluffy tail, and long, sharp teeth.
One of the first obvious signs that some unwanted visitor feeds on the plants and flowers in your garden is to wake up one day with no flowers or plants left. When the things that disappeared from your garden include pepper seedlings, peas, Swiss chard, and young vegetables, there are great chances for rabbits to have visited your property and damaged the garden while doing so.
Examine the plants that have been eaten only partially. Rabbits are well-known for their long, sharp incisors. When they feed, they will most probably leave a clean cut that will help you know who’s behind it.
Signs of rabbit activity also include pea-sized droppings scattered around your garden or gathered in small piles. You might also find tufts of fur caught on plants or branches. Plus, if you also have trees in your garden, you might notice chewed bark close to ground level.
In case your garden shows the above-mentioned damages or signs of animal activity, it is highly likely for rabbits to have visited your property. Even if you cannot recover the plants that disappeared, there are some simple steps to take in order to prevent rabbits from doing that again.
One of the best ways to prevent rabbits from reaching and eating your plants is to cover them. If installed properly, fencing and netting will create a barrier between your plants and unexpected visitors. Chicken wire and bird netting are a good option if you want to protect young plants or seedlings. You can simply lay it directly over the ones you want to keep safe.
For larger plants, though, try to build a cylinder using chicken wire. It should be large enough to make it impossible for rabbits and other animals to reach the foliage and the edges should be anchored. To enjoy the best results, make sure the wire features 1-inch or even smaller mesh.
Plus, bury it 3-6 inches deep and bend the portion that has been buried away from plants. Since rabbits are quite athletic and can easily jump, it is recommended to build a fence that is at least 2 ft high.
The market now offers self-supporting pop-up nets to protect plants from unwanted visitors. They are easy to install and come in a variety of sizes. You can also try electric fencing yet such options cost more and require special maintenance.
Remove rabbit habitats
One of the simplest and most effective ways to protect your garden against rabbits is to remove the plants or bushes they could use as a shelter. Rabbits will use large bushes and high grass to hide, live, and reproduce; therefore, clean your garden and rip out such bushes and habitats that could make hospitable areas for rabbits to live and hide.
Also, make sure there are no bush or tree branches too close to the ground as rabbits might use them to hide. Keep all rabbit habitats as far away from your garden or home as possible. For added protection, you could create a rabbit habitat somewhere at the edge of your property and even plant grasses, vegetables, and flowers they love to eat.
By creating a rabbit sanctuary away from your flowers and plants, chances to keep the rabbits away from your garden are greater. Don’t forget to cover any openings that could provide them with access to hiding places. They might hide beneath sheds, low decks, and porches.
In case you have an Oxbow rabbit that is curious and might explore your flower garden, it is best to make sure that you get the right food for your pet and provide the animal with enough of it whenever needed. By keeping your Oxbow rabbit full, the flowers may no longer seem that tempting.
To further discourage rabbits from eating your flowers and plants, you can also use rabbit deterrents. The market now offers a variety of such products that will repel rabbits yet their efficiency depends on a variety of factors.
Rabbits are different and that means that some of them might not be deterred by the repellents you’ve used. Moreover, if there are no other food sources available in the area and the goodies in your garden are the only possibility for the rabbits to feed, they might not hold back from tasting your flowers and plants even if you’ve sprayed them with a rabbit deterrent.
To enhance the repellent’s results, make sure you apply it as recommended. Most such products need to be reapplied regularly. Plus, pay attention to the ingredients used and choose products that are safe for your plants. You can even create your own rabbit repellent using a spoon of hot sauce in 1 gallon of water.
Most repellents have a strong unpleasant odor that will make rabbits hold back from advancing toward your plants. Such products may smell like garlic, so making a repellent at home using garlic might be a good idea.
You can also keep rabbits at bay by growing plants they dislike. There is a selection of plants that you can place next to the ones you want to protect and they want to eat. Rabbits tend to avoid flowers such as geraniums, cleomes, wax begonias, and vincas as well as vegetables including onions, leeks, squash, tomatoes, asparagus, and rhubarb.
Planting basil, oregano, mint, tarragon, and parsley around the grasses, bulbs, and flowers you want to protect is also recommended.
Using several rabbit deterrents is ideal as only one method might fail to work. One effective way to keep rabbits away from your prized plants is to let them know there are predators in your area and there are various ways to do that.
Although it might seem a bit gross, applying dog or human urine close to the plants you want to protect may help you discourage them from advancing. You can also use powdered fox urine to do that. By applying such products, you will let the rabbits know that predators frequent the area and that will prevent them from visiting your garden too often.
To create the impression that predators are around, you can also install fake owls yet this might be effective just for a short time. Once rabbits realize it is not a real threat, they will ignore it.
You could also set your dog free to get your message across and let the rabbits know predators are around or you could allow natural predators to remain active in your area. Owls, hawks, snakes, and foxes will surely scare rabbits. The downside is that some of these predators may create other damages to your garden.
If you don’t want to trap the rabbits but scare them instead, noise-emitting and ultrasonic devices are also a good option. There are many such devices available for sale these days and they are usually built to keep a variety of uninvited animals away from your place. They are safe for humans and easy to use.
Water-spraying motion detectors and flashing lights are also preferred since they involve no harsh chemicals and are safe and easy to use. Once these devices detect motion, they will spray water and thus scare the rabbits.
To be sure that rabbits won’t taste the flowers and plants in your garden, you might want to combine several methods of the ones mentioned above. Creating various barriers – whether they’re ultrasonic, physical, or olfactory – enhances protection against rabbits.