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How to keep rabbits out of your garden

Cute bunnies can be destructive in your garden.
Cute bunnies can be destructive in your garden.
Robert Gyöpös

During the summer and early fall it seems that there are plenty of rabbits in Baltimore, even in spots around the city. If there is a little bit of grass or a park, there are the small brown and white rabbits native to our area. While they may be cute to the average person many gardeners consider them pests. As we head towards fall they may come out and snack on your late season crops like spinach or lettuce. Here are a few organic rabbit deterrent tips.

First, you can try some simple organic ways to repel the rabbits. Rabbits are said to dislike lavender and catnip, so try planting some. Also, black pepper, cayenne pepper and bone meal repel many critters, including rabbits. Rabbits come out to graze in the evening so scatter the pepper or bone meal around in late afternoon so it doesn’t wash away if it rains during the day. If you only grow flowers consider rabbit proof blossoms like iris, red-hot poker, narcissus, foxglove, bellflower, daylily, sedum and globe flower. Also, if you have a cat you can let it out in the garden and let nature take over.

If your rabbits are special pests you may need some kind of barrier around your plants. The simplest would be to get a floating row cover. But, you can also make a chicken wire cage to put around your garden bed. Get chicken wire with small openings – one inch or smaller. It will need to be sunk about two inches under the ground and should be about two feet high. Or, you can make a barrier out of anything that the rabbits won’t want to step over. Some use sharp sticks stuck haphazardly around the plants.

If rabbits are a pest this season add rabbit barriers to your garden planning this winter.

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