Other than a fence,what can be done to keep rabbits out of vegetable gardens?
Other than a fence what can be done to keep rabbits out of vegetable gardens?
Minnehaha County South Dakota
Rabbits love vegetables! In areas where there are only a few causing moderate damage, repellents have sometimes been used successfully to reduce damage. You could try finding some. There are some that are environmentally safer than others that I recommend you try before other types. For best results, use repellents and other damage control methods at the first sign of damage. Always follow the directions for application on the container exactly. Remember that some repellents are poisonous and must be stored and used safely.
Most rabbit repellents are contact or taste repellents that render the treated plant parts distasteful. Taste repellents protect only the parts of the plant they contact; new growth that emerges after application is not protected and heavy rains may necessitate reapplication. Odor repellents protect plants within a limited area, and do not need to be touching the plant. Remember that you may be contaminating your crops with some repellants.
The very best ways to protect a backyard garden is to put up a fence. A 2-foot, chicken-wire fence with the bottom tight to the ground or buried a few inches is sufficient. Wire mesh that is 1 inch or smaller will keep young rabbits from getting through. A more substantial fence of welded wire, chain link, or hog wire will keep rabbits, pets, and children out of the garden and can be used to trellis vine crops. The lower 1.5 to 2 feet should be covered with small mesh wire. A fence may seem costly, but with proper care it will last many years and reduce damage caused by rabbits and other animals. Good luck!