Organic Gardening For Dummies, 2nd Edition
Book image
Explore Book Buy On Amazon

Rabbits nibble the foliage of almost any garden plant, returning day and night to finish the job. Rabbits tend to eat vegetables and flowers in spring and summer; sprouting tulips are a favorite spring treat. In fall and winter, they favor twigs and bark and can cause considerable damage to landscape trees and shrubs.

Here are some techniques to foil rabbits:

  • Fencing: The best way to keep rabbits away from your plants is to fence them out. Because they burrow, a fence must also extend underground. Choose a 4-foot-high, chicken-wire fence with 1-inch mesh. Bury the bottom foot of the fence, bending the lowest 6 inches into a right angle facing outward.

  • Trunk protectors: Protect tree trunks with a cylinder of 1/4-inch hardware cloth or other wire mesh. (Larger mesh works for rabbits, but the 1/4-inch size protects trees from gnawing mice, too.) The material should be a few inches away from the trunk and extend high enough that rabbits standing on snow can’t reach above it. You can also get commercial tree guards.

  • Repellents: Repel rabbits with hair gathered from hair salons and dog groomers. Sprinkle it around the boundary of a garden and replenish it every few weeks. You can also purchase commercial repellents that are made to spray on the ground or directly on plants. Because most of these sprays repel by taste, use them only on ornamental plants, and follow label directions carefully.

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book authors:

Ann Whitman is the author of the first edition of Organic Gardening For Dummies.

Suzanne DeJohn is an editor with the National Gardening Association, the leading garden-based educational nonprofit organization in the U.S. NGA's programs and initiatives highlight the opportunities for plant-based education in schools, communities, and backyards across the country. These include award-winning Web sites garden.org and kidsgardening.org.

The National Gardening Association (NGA) is committed to sustaining and renewing the fundamental links between people, plants, and the earth. Founded in 1972 as “Gardens for All” to spearhead the community garden movement, today’s NGA promotes environmental responsibility, advances multidisciplinary learning and scientifi c literacy, and creates partnerships that restore and enhance communities.
NGA is best known for its garden-based curricula, educational journals, international initiatives, and several youth garden grant programs. Together these reach more than 300,000 children nationwide each year. NGA’s Web sites, one for home gardeners and another for those who garden with kids, build community and offer a wealth of custom content.

This article can be found in the category: