How To Keep Rabbits Out Of Your Vegetable Garden

Rabbit

Rabbits may look all cute and fluffy but you will come over all 'Mr McGregor' when you find that they are destroying your vegetable garden. If it is the bunny wabbits or all of your food supply then the rabbits have got to go. But how on earth do you keep those determined little bounders out and keep their numbers down? Unfortunately, if you have a rabbit plague on your hands, there are probably no cheap or swift options for keeping them out entirely.


Some people say that rabbits will be deterred by strong smells, and this may be the case in some situations. Some people with one or two troublesome rabbits find that planting barriers of garlic, and a range of strong smelling herbs is enough to keep them from the cabbages. Other rabbits, however, seem more determined and even pungent scents like peppermint do not always, it seems, keep all rabbits away. Still, if you have a small incursion, this may be something to try. Others say that human urine may help, so pee on your borders if you will... it can't hurt. Others have tried strong spices, though again, these do not seem to work in all instances. Some such organic solutions seem to work for a while and then become less and less effective over time as the rabbits get used to the new situation.


Rabbit FenceTo keep rabbits from your vegetable area, the only fail-safe solution is a sturdy wire fence. Electric fencing is an oft-employed option if the situation is bad. Unfortunately, a fence to the ground will not work as rabbits will only burrow under it. Your fencing will need to go down at least a foot into the ground and then come out from the fence at right angles under the surface. If creating a new, small vegetable area in a very rabbity area, it would be best dig out the area to a depth of a foot or so and lay wire all underneath and up the sides before filling in the soil on top again. Of course, for larger gardens this is not really a feasible option, so simple fences may help to deter the rabbits somewhat. Trees and large shrubs that risk becoming ring-barked can also be surrounded with wire or other protection to act as a deterrent.


WeaselIf you get rabbits in the environment where you live then it is likely that you will continue to get them. They are a natural part of the ecosystem in the UK and you are going to have to learn to live with them, on the whole. Rabbit numbers can be kept down, however, by their natural predators. Domestic dogs and cats can sometimes catch rabbits, as can foxes. Other natural rabbit predators are weasels, ferrets, stoats, badgers and some birds of prey. By encouraging and aiding natural predators in your garden you can help to keep the ecosystem more balanced, which will help keep your vegetables more safe.

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