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5 Ethical Ways to Keep Rabbits Out of Your Garden

Rabbits love vegetation. Here's how to keep rabbits out of your garden safely and sustainably.

how to keep rabbits out of garden
Written by
Samantha Bailon
A universal truth: rabbits are adorable. But in the eyes of a gardener, they're also something of a menace—a very cute yet mischievous thief of crops and surrounding vegetation. Fortunately, learning how to keep rabbits out of your garden is an ethical process—one that protects your plants while keeping your furry friends safe, too.
how to keep rabbits out of your garden
If your garden has been picked apart, examine the crime scene to determine if rabbits are the culprits. Rabbits are most active at dawn and dusk, so if you sit quietly you may even be able to catch them in the act to confirm your suspicions. If not, though, look for gnawing along the stems and edges of leaves, as well as footprints or fecal matter in the surrounding soil. By taking the time to assess the situation, you can save yourself the energy of protecting against the wrong
Rabbits share the
same intelligence
as a dog or cat, and when hungry, they won’t all be scared by loud sounds or shiny objects; instead, they'll act on instinct and find creative ways to break in. But once you’ve identified signs of a visiting rabbit, there are simple steps that you can take to prevent their return without having to trap them or involve any animal control companies.
Here's how to keep rabbits out of your garden ethically.

5 Ethical Ways to Keep Rabbits Out of Your Garden

how to keep rabbits out of garden

1. Invest in a Rabbit Fence

For an obvious rabbit repellent, consider installing a
rabbit fence
. This is a durable solution tall enough to prevent jumping and deep enough below ground (about six inches) to discourage digging.

2. Secure your Garden with Chicken Wire

You can also use
chicken wire
to safeguard your garden. If you want to minimize your time and material usage, try wrapping the plants the rabbits are most interested in.

3. Plant Unappetizing Plants for Rabbits

Rabbits can be picky eaters, too. If you want to avoid bunnies without getting your hands dirty, be mindful of the veggies and plants you grow. They will avoid plants with fuzzy leaves, milky sap, thorns, and strong scents (think basil, mint, rosemary, cucumbers,
, and onions).

4. Build Raised Garden Beds

If you’re between seasons or just beginning your garden journey, consider installing raised garden beds to make it more challenging for rabbits to feast. You should also add a rabbit or chicken wire to keep them from digging underneath.

5. Disassemble Rabbit Nests 

Look for any long-footed imprints in the soil and follow the trail—this can lead you to the rabbit's nest. While disrupting or catching rabbits is not a conscious or practical move, you can disassemble the nest to help encourage the rabbit to hop along elsewhere. Just make sure that this is your last resort—and there are no newborns in sight!