Rabbits are, without a doubt, cute furry pets to have around. But for gardeners, they are an absolute nightmare. They eat anything from cabbages to carrots, petunias, and broccoli.
But besides erecting a fence, are there other effective strategies to keep these animals out of the garden?
Emphatically, yes! We will walk you through some of them in this guide. Happy learning!
Rabbits are adorable pet animals but destructive garden pests that devour trees, flowers, veggies, and other garden vegetation.
Although many people use fences to keep them away, you may also use other methods to frighten them. Some of these include:
- Raising your garden bed
- Using individual plant cages
- Making your garden plants unappealing
- Cultivating rabbit-deterring plants
The following headings will consider practical ways to keep rabbits away from gardens without a perimeter fence. We will also answer other common queries about handling rabbit infestation in gardens.
9 Ways To Keep Rabbits Out of Garden Without a Fence
Rabbits love the same vegetables as humans and can even go as far as eating non-edible crops. So, it would help if you found a way to keep these scurry pests out of your garden, with or without a fence.
If you don’t have a fence, keeping these unwanted visitors may be difficult but not impossible.
Below, we will show you how to frighten away rabbits from your garden without a fence:
1. Make Your Plants Unappealing
Rabbits come after your vegetable because they love the taste. So, to drive them away, you must make your crops unappealing.
Sprinkle some deterrent on the ground or directly on your crops. Once these vegetables taste different in the mouth of rabbits, they will retreat and look for an alternative food source.
Garlic and hot sauce are popular deterrents, but use them with caution. They can change the taste of the plants you try to preserve when used in large quantities.
You can make a spray solution by combining cayenne pepper, garlic powder, liquid soap, and water to reduce this effect.
Mix these ingredients in a spray bottle and spray on the crops that attract rabbits the most.
Alternatively, you can place black stones around your favorite crops. Once the sun is high, these stones will feel hot to the touch.
For rabbits, risking the hot stones to munch on vegetables will no longer be worth the effort.
2. Scare the Rabbits Away
Another effective strategy is to scare off rabbits before they get the chance to invade your garden. There are three major ways to achieve this – through the senses of touch, sight, and sound.
Some gardeners swear by the power of sight to deter rabbits from gardens. This involves using visual deterrents placed strategically around the garden to scare rabbits.
For example, metal pinwheels are shiny, and their movements spook rabbits. Other examples are plastic owl structures and rubber snakes.
When using scare structures like plastic owls and rubber snakes, ensure you move them around once in a while. This way, the rabbits don’t get too used to them and realize they are unreal.
If they meet the visual deterrents in the same spots, they will eventually discover they are fake and resume invading your garden.
To scare rabbits away using their senses of touch and sound, get some motion sensors and motion-activated sprinklers.
A motion sound sensor can set off an alarm once it detects rabbits in your garden. This loud sound will startle rabbits and send them away, scrambling.
On the other hand, a motion-activated sprinkler releases gusts of water at every intruding rabbit. This will scare the rabbit and cause it to flee in panic.
There is something these scare tactics listed above have in common. Not only are they humane, scaring animals away without injury, but they are also very effective.
3. Create Individual Plant Cages
If rabbits target specific plants in your garden, you can shield these specific crops in individual cages.
These individual cages are an alternative to building a complete fence.
Here is how to make a DIY plant cage using hardware cloth, a wire cutter, and other household equipment:
- First, measure the hardware cloth until you get the length you want and cut it in a straight line.
- Next, combine each end to form a cylinder shape and fasten them together.
- Place this over the desired plant and bury it in the ground to create a rabbit-deterring cage.
4. Try Raised Garden Beds
Elevating your garden beds can place your cherished crops out of reach for rabbits. However, note that rabbits are good vertical jumpers. So, make these garden beds up to 36 inches high.
Although 24 inches is a fair height for your raised garden beds, you are better off with the safer option.
Plus, these raised garden beds are easier to work with. Since they are way above ground level, you don’t need to bend to nurse your crops.
5. Cut Down Potential Rabbit Burrows
Rabbits can birth over ten bunnies in one litter. If you let them procreate in your garden, you will deal with more rabbits than you can manage.
So, inspect your garden to ensure it is not a perfect breeding spot for rabbits. Rabbits love to nest in overgrown grasses and bushes.
If your garden looks overgrown, cut those grasses down.
But if you spot an active burrow or nest, do not attempt to cut it down alone.
Instead, inform your local pest control agency. They should know the safest ways to handle the best and relocate the rabbits away from your garden.
6. Plant Crops That Rabbits Don’t Like
Another way to deter rabbits from your garden without a fence is by planting crops rabbits cannot stand.
Although the concept of planting rabbit-proof crops is a myth, some crops rabbits can’t stand because of their strong smell.
If you plant these crops, they will stop coming around your garden.
These crops include garlic, basil, int, onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, corn, and peppers. However, knowing which plants the type of rabbits invading your garden dislike is where the job lies.
So, you will have to undertake some trial and error to figure out what plant the type of rabbit in your garden hates.
Younger rabbits, for example, are less picky than full-grown rabbits. These bunnies have a developing palate and can eat almost any plant that the others won’t touch.
So, verify what kind of rabbits invade your garden before using this strategy.
7. Plant a Small Bunny Garden
You can build a small patch far from your garden to distract rabbits from your precious crops. On this patch, you can grow crops rabbits love to eat, like nutritious weeds and clover.
Or, grow some of the crops rabbits target in your garden here. This will give the invading rabbits a garden and protect your crops from harmful pests.
8. Make Use of Coffee Grounds
One may also use coffee grounds to repel rabbits. Rabbits dislike the intense aroma of coffee grounds and will always stay away from it. So, if you have some in your cabinet, bring it out.
To apply, scatter some around your plants and watch these unwanted pests say goodbye to your garden.
Besides their rabbit-deterring properties, coffee grounds can also help fertilize your garden. It composts organically over time and provides extra nutrients to your plants.
So, with this method, it is a win-win for you. Your unwanted visitors will leave, and your crops will grow better.
9. Request Help From Your Pet Animals
Owning a pet dog or cat is another excellent strategy to keep rabbits out of your yard without a fence. Rabbits regard these household pests as hunters because they like chasing after them.
You can use this to permanently end rabbit infestation in your garden.
If you don’t have a pet animal and would not want to keep any, there’s something else to do. Visit a pet groomer and collect a gunny bag filled with dog and cat fur.
Prepare enough pieces and scatter them in your garden, especially around the plants these rabbits love to invade.
The aroma of the fur will fool the rabbit into believing that there is a predator around.
However, you will need to change the furs now and again. Whenever furs become wet, they lose their odor and efficacy.
Any gardener knows that rabbits have an appetite for fresh vegetables and berries. To make matters worse, these animals reproduce fast and can start a full-blown infestation in no time.
Thus, spotting rabbits in your garden is not a good sign, and you must take urgent steps to stop them.
Erecting a perimeter fence around your garden is one sure way to protect your garden against these annoying animals.
However, suppose a fence is not available. We discussed nine effective and DIY-friendly alternatives to using a fence.
These include using pet animals, planting rabbit-repellant plants, and scattering coffee grounds.
Try out some of these strategies and settle for whichever works best for your infestation problem. For better results, we recommend you combine multiple methods at once.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Forks Good Rabbit Deterrents?
Planting plastic forks into the ground with the sharp ends sticking out can deter rabbits from entering your garden.
When they attempt to invade your garden, they will step on these forks and run off in fear of danger.
Can Predator Urine Scare Rabbits Away?
Most animals are scared of their predators or anything that looks like or smell like them.
For this reason, predator urine is one of the cheapest and most effective ways to keep rabbits off your garden.