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Ideas for discouraging hungry rabbits?

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fern Apr 19, 2009 11:19 AM

Are there certain plants I can use as a border to discourage the rabbits from eating my young backyard crops? We have a very busy population around here. If really necessary I'll try wire fencing but would prefer not to.

Thanks!

I am so glad to see this new gardening board!

  1. s
    SQHD Apr 20, 2009 08:01 AM

    http://www.amazon.com/Contech-Electro...

    Your rabbits will be finding other gardens after this. I bought one specifically for rabbit deterrent and it works.

    2 Replies
    1. re: SQHD
      e
      emerilcantcook Apr 20, 2009 02:17 PM

      I used that one when I had a real garden (sigh). It works like magic. My only complaint was accidentally getting soaked when I entered the garden without de-activating the wee thing.

      1. re: emerilcantcook
        s
        SQHD Apr 21, 2009 06:18 AM

        Oh, I was good about remembering that it was there... my friends who decided to take a stroll in the backyard were not. :-)

    2. m
      MattInNJ Apr 21, 2009 06:46 AM

      Cats, at my parents house where we grow our garden (I live in an apt., may get one of those upside down tomato plants :P ) we have two killers patrolling the grounds at all times. We even have a dog to patrol the cats. Almost nothing gets eaten.

      2 Replies
      1. re: MattInNJ
        b
        bakinggirl May 4, 2009 01:25 PM

        That's funny, I was going to say a Jack Russell terrier will do the trick!

        1. re: MattInNJ
          k
          kevin47 May 17, 2009 12:31 PM

          "Almost nothing gets eaten."

          Except, of course, rabbits.

        2. Veggo May 4, 2009 01:30 PM

          We planted marigolds around the perimeter to keep the kwazy wabbits out.

          1. g
            gourmanda May 4, 2009 01:44 PM

            We have had success with a product called Liquid Fence. It's made from rotten eggs, no chemicals and stinks! Fortunately the smell can't be detected by humans after a few hours, but apparently varmints can still smell it and they tend to stay away. Otherwise I would suggest feral cats and/or hawks. Jack Russell's are also effective ;)

            1. n
              normalheightsfoodie May 5, 2009 12:07 PM

              We had a gopher problem in ouy yard and I used Cayanne pepper that I bought in bulk from COSTCO. It irritated their ability to sniff.

              look at the link below:

              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/616570

              1. d
                duck833 May 5, 2009 12:14 PM

                coyotes take care of the bunnies for us at our Scottsdale place, seems they are in a up cycle now, more bunnies than last year. Can hear the coyotes at night when they nail a bunnie or a neighbors cat or dog.

                5 Replies
                1. re: duck833
                  f
                  fern May 5, 2009 12:34 PM

                  ....thud.....

                  smelling salts, someone.

                  1. re: fern
                    s
                    SQHD May 5, 2009 01:20 PM

                    That's pretty funny! Thanks for the laugh!

                    Hey it's just nature at work...

                    And if you're in coyote country, you better be bringing your pets in at night or it's your own fault.

                    1. re: SQHD
                      m
                      mojoeater May 6, 2009 03:25 PM

                      We had coyotes come right up to our door in Los Angeles - yes, right in the middle of the city. The definitely kept the cats away.

                  2. re: duck833
                    h
                    harrie May 5, 2009 04:36 PM

                    We have coyotes in the area, but they don't seem to have located our groundhog friend yet......

                    1. re: harrie
                      Veggo May 6, 2009 03:42 PM

                      Oh, but they will. Groundhogs are daytime feeders, coyotes nocturnal. But groundhogs are as tasty as pistachios to coyotes, and come some dawn or dusk, there will be a meeting during a shift change...
                      To the original question of the OP, my ancestors have used marigolds to keep rabbits away since the Mayflower landed. I don't know of any other plant that does so well at repelling rabbits.
                      Are my posts invisible?

                  3. pikawicca May 5, 2009 04:43 PM

                    Get a dog.

                    1. c
                      CocoaNut May 6, 2009 03:01 PM

                      Fox urine works for squirrels - seems logical it'd ward off the bunnies also. I've also heard that some pests are offended by moth balls.

                      1. m
                        Muskrat May 6, 2009 03:48 PM

                        1) Shotgun
                        2) Check "Home cooking" folder for rabbit stew

                        Just make sure he doesn't convince you that it's DUCK season!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Muskrat
                          Veggo May 6, 2009 04:15 PM

                          Musk, heavy nostalgia on that one, summer 1974, 8 guys in an 8 bedroom house in Westwood, MA. Perpetual pot of stew with rabbit, squirrel, a few doves, veggies, 4 months running. If your ladle hit the bottom, grab a shotgun and pull some veggies from the garden and replenish. Borderless property. Nobody dogged it. Muscovites were too precious, canadiens were trash, so no poultry in the stew. The rabbits were a little flead up by labor day.

                        2. f
                          fern May 17, 2009 01:55 PM

                          Thanks for all the info and ideas. We haven't put anything in yet and don't even have a plan made!
                          I have decided not to buy anything that isn't edible for any of the beds or containers. I like the idea, we'll see how it goes. The house faces north so the pots by the front door might be a bit challenging...I was thinking of greens (kale, Swiss Chard...) but even though they'll take the lack of sun I don't think they last so well through the hot hot weather of July & August. Maybe I'll end up moving some hosta from the ground into those containers.
                          Anyway, there will be lots of tasty morsels all potted up and ready for the bunnies unless I take action. Will probably end up trying more than one thing.

                          Thanks again, I'll report back once I get things going.

                          1. m
                            morwen Jul 6, 2009 07:34 AM

                            Hope you haven't bought that wire fencing yet! For the cost of one roll of fencing ($35 for 3' x 25') we bought 2 rolls of netting (7' x 100' each) at our local home improvement store garden section. On our two 4' x 12' raised beds we drove in 2' lengths of rebar in the corners and middle sides and then bent plastic electrical conduit over them to make hoops, over which we spread the netting. We anchored the netting to the hoops loosely with zip ties and weighted the sides with rocks. When we work the beds we simply kick the rocks off and slide the netting up the hoops. No more bird and critter problems and the pollinators get through the netting easily. We made tipis with the conduit to fit over the baby fruit trees, covered and fastened the same way, no more deer strippage or rabbits girdling the trunks. We trellis our tomatoes, cukes, cantalopes, etc, drape the trellises with the netting, clothes pin the sides shut, rocks on the bottom, problem solved. For our strawberries and berry hedges, we stuck stakes (tree limbs we would have other wise trashed) of appropriate height in the four corners, draped the beds and clothes pinned the corners and weighted the bottom with rocks.

                            The rebar and conduit probably cost us another $30 so for a total of $65 we were able to protect our entire garden, fledgling orchard and berries. It would have cost us three times that in materials alone to fence just one of the raised beds ( we have to go 7' high to keep out the deer with a fence). The netting will last several years before we have to replace it and really, I don't mind the thought of replacing it because it's so much easier to handle and so cheap compared to fencing.

                            We have tons of rabbits along with other critters that consider the garden a buffet. The rabbits are so bold that I can walk within two feet of them before they bolt. The netting has worked unbelievably well for us, we've had no critter damage since putting it in place. I do believe though, that come fall it'll be time to start harvesting rabbits!

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