They’re cute and fuzzy until they’re destroying the garden you’ve worked so hard to maintain. Then they become your worst enemy. Rabbits can wreak havoc on a garden. They eat the vegetables, strip the bark off of trees, chew up your garden hoses, and generally make themselves unwelcome. How can you keep these fluffy marauders from mutilating your garden? We’ve outlined a few tips and tricks to keep the rabbit away, so the only one enjoying your vegetables is you. But first let’s answer the question “do marigolds keep rabbits away?”.
Do Marigolds Keep Rabbits Away?
Marigolds are often mentioned as a natural deterrent to rabbits as well as deer. Many gardeners swear by them, but the sad reality is, marigolds will not keep rabbits away. In fact, many times rabbits see them as just another snack. What about the people who swear by them? There are definitely other factors in play. They may live in an area with predatory animals such as fox or owls which keep the rabbit population down.
Or their yard may not have any nesting areas that would encourage rabbits to establish themselves. While they may not keep the rabbits away, marigolds do make a lovely addition to any garden, but how do you keep the rabbits out of your marigolds?
How To Keep Rabbits Out Of Your Garden
Marigolds may not work as a rabbit deterrent, but there are solutions to your rabbit problem.
A strong fence is the best way to keep rabbits from destroying your hard work. A chicken wire fence that extends at least 2 feet high, and starts about 6 inches below the ground is best. At this height, rabbits cannot jump over it, or burrow under it. Chicken wire can also be placed around trees to prevent gnawing. While gnawing on trees may not seem like a major problem, it can eventually cause long term damage to the tree. Here’s a great option for chicken wire on Amazon.
2. Make Your Yard Unappealing
The best way to keep rabbits out is to make it unappealing for them to wander to your property in the first place. Remove any low branches, or welcoming shrubs that might encourage rabbits to nest there. Thin out any dense vegetation, fix any holes you may have in outbuildings. If you haven’t already secured your woodpile to keep snakes out, make sure that is on your to-do list. Rabbits will also set up housekeeping in an uncovered woodpile.
3. Welcome Predators
Natural pest control is best. While you shouldn’t rush out and buy a black market hawk, encouraging predatory birds to visit will help keep the rabbit population down. Keeping your lawn mowed so prey is easy to spot, and installing a raptor perch will encourage predatory birds to visit your yard. Installing a nesting box is a further invitation to birds of prey. Find a large one like this nesting box on Amazon, designed for saw-whet owls, screech owls, and kestrels.
4. Use Fertilizer As A Repellent
You can multi-task by using fertilizer to keep the rabbits away. Using a blood-meal or bone-meal fertilizer will deter rabbits and deliver nitrogen and other nutrients to your plants. Rabbits will shy away from the smell of blood and stay away from your garden. Be sure you research which fertilizer is right for your plants so you don’t cause damage while attempting to prevent it. A popular brand of Blood-meal can be purchased here.
5. Liquid Fence
Liquid Fence is a deterrent that you apply in your yard to keep deer and rabbits away from your garden. It contains ingredients such as egg, thyme oil, and garlic. It is advertised as being rain resistant and should work for several weeks after application. It can be purchased as granules or a spray. It is safe for use around children and pets and has no negative environmental impact. You can find Liquid Fence for rabbits on Amazon.
6. Make Them An Area
When dealing with nature, sometimes it’s easier just to work with it. You can keep rabbits from your garden, by distracting them with a portion you’ve made just for them. Seeding one area of your lawn with extra clover should satisfy them enough to keep them from wandering over into your vegetable or flower garden. Doing this in conjunction with a fence will deter them since they will have an easy food source.
When gardening, pests come with the territory. Don’t allow your enjoyment to be stolen by something the size of a rabbit. Sometimes the best method of pest control is the least stressful method, particularly when dealing with an animal as tenacious as a rabbit. Find the solution that strikes a balance for you, and enjoy your garden.
Try not to resort to poisons to rid yourself of rabbits. If a predator catches the rabbit after it has consumed poison, it will be poisoned as well. Poison also poses a risk to children and pets.