8 Deterrents For Rabbits In The Garden: Securing Your Harvest Against Unwanted Guests

As a gardener, you put a lot of time and hard work into nurturing your plants and creating a thriving garden.

So it can be frustrating when rabbits find their way into your garden and treat your hard work as their personal buffet.

A cute rabbit eating lettuce in the garden

Fortunately, many solutions can protect your harvest from unwanted guests while maintaining your garden's aesthetic and ecology.

Securing your garden against rabbit intrusions doesn't have to be a constant battle.

We lined up some of the most tested ways to prevent rabbits from taking your harvest.

Understanding Rabbit Behavior

Rabbits are known for their ability to reproduce rapidly, and their populations can become a significant issue in your garden.

It's essential to understand their behavior to effectively deter them from ruining your harvest.

Rabbits are timid creatures and are usually cautious when exploring new areas.

They prefer dense cover and avoid open areas where they might feel exposed and vulnerable.

Therefore, one key to deterring rabbits is to eliminate hiding spots near your garden, such as tall grass, brush piles, and debris.

Rabbits feed mostly during dawn and dusk, early in the morning, and late afternoon to evening.

Knowing their feeding schedule can help you plan when to inspect and maintain your garden.

Little red-eared rabbit on the green grass, eating leaves in summer.

If you spot any signs of rabbits, such as droppings or nibbled plants, act promptly to address the issue.

One thing to keep in mind is that rabbits have a preference for specific plants.

They tend to avoid plants with strong aromas or dense hairy leaves, like lavender or wormwood.

Incorporating some rabbit-resistant plants into your garden design may help deter them.

However, no plant is completely immune, and the feeding habits of rabbits can change depending on availability and alternate food sources.

When it comes to shelter, rabbits don't dig their burrows but utilize abandoned dens from other mammals.

It's crucial to seal off any potential hiding places and nesting sites near your garden. For example, if you find rabbits under your deck, consider enclosing the area.

Deterrents For Rabbits In The Garden

Rabbits may be cute and cuddly, but they can wreak havoc on your plants, quickly devouring them and leaving your garden in disarray.

Here are effective approaches for keeping these critters at bay, from physical barriers to deterrents that make your garden less appealing to rabbits.

Physical Deterrents

1. Fences

Fencing is a highly effective way to keep rabbits out of your garden. A fence that stands 24 to 36 inches tall should be sufficient to deter them.

To prevent rabbits from crawling underneath, bury the bottom two to three inches below the ground or pin the fencing to the soil with U-shaped anchor pins.

A rabbit looking at the vegetables from the fence

In-ground gardens can be protected from rabbit damage by using fine-mesh fencing materials.

For added security, use a double layer of chicken wire fastened to fence posts, bending the wire down in an "L" on the outside away from the garden. This will make it more challenging for rabbits to dig their way in.

Check out this 24-inch tall garden fence on Amazon.

2. Net Covers

Netting can also provide a protective barrier between your garden and hungry rabbits.

Covers made from lightweight materials like bird netting or deer netting are easy to install and remove when necessary.

Net cover for plants in the garden

You can use net covers as a temporary solution to protect your plants while they're young and most vulnerable.

When choosing a net cover, ensure that the mesh size is small enough to prevent rabbits from squeezing through.

Secure the netting to the ground using U-shaped anchor pins or by burying the edges to ensure that rabbits don't sneak their way in.

With these physical deterrents in place, you can enjoy peace of mind knowing that your garden is safe from unwanted guests.

View this protective netting for plants on Amazon.

Natural Deterrents

3. Plant Choices

To keep rabbits away from your garden, consider the plants you choose.

Planting vegetation that rabbits dislike can make your garden less attractive to them.

Interplanting these plants with more desirable ones can discourage rabbits from visiting the area.

Wooden crate with a variety of fresh green potted culinary herbs growing outdoors in a backyard garden

Some vegetables that rabbits tend to avoid include asparagus, leeks, onions, potatoes, rhubarb, squash, and tomatoes.

Also, they typically steer clear of herbs such as basil, mint, oregano, parsley, and tarragon, as well as flowers like cleomes.

Additionally, rabbits usually ignore plants with strong aromas or densely hairy leaves.

For example, you could try incorporating aster, blue flax, lamb's ears, lavender, or lavender cotton into your garden.

Remember, no plant is guaranteed rabbit-proof, but these options may make your garden less enticing.

4. Natural Predators

Another way to deter rabbits from your garden is by encouraging their natural predators.

This will create a balance in the ecosystem and make your garden less of a safe haven for rabbits.

An owl sitting on the branch watching out for rabbits

Owls, hawks, and snakes are a few examples of natural predators to rabbits.

To attract owls and hawks, consider adding a perch or birdhouse to your garden.

You can also create hiding spots for snakes by adding logs, rocks, or brush piles.

Keep in mind, though, that having snakes in your garden might not be desirable or safe for everyone, especially if you have children or pets.

Chemical Deterrents

5. Homemade Repellants

Homemade repellants can be an effective and budget-friendly way to deter rabbits from your garden.

Many homeowners use items found in their kitchen, which can save time and money. For instance, consider these DIY repellants:

Garlic and chili spray

Create a mixture of minced garlic, crushed chili peppers, and water. Let the mixture sit for 24 hours before straining it.

Then, spray it on your plants to keep rabbits away. Reapply after rain as the mixture can be washed away.

Peppers and garlic on a cutting board

Egg and water mixture

Mix one raw egg with a quart of water. Place the mixture in a spray bottle and spray around your plants.

Rabbits are repelled by the scent and will avoid your garden.

Always test a small area of your plants before applying a homemade repellant to ensure it won't damage them.

6. Store-Bought Repellants

If you prefer store-bought repellants, there are various chemical deterrents available on the market. Some popular options include:

Liquid Fence

This product is designed to be sprayed onto plants as a long-lasting and rain-resistant solution against rabbits.

It uses a blend of putrescent egg solids and garlic to deter rabbits through scent and taste.

Read more: How To Effectively Use Liquid Fence Deer & Rabbit Repellent

Check out this deer and rabbit concentrated repellant on Amazon.


Available in granular or liquid form, Repellex uses a combination of all-natural ingredients like dried blood, garlic oils, and capsicum to deter rabbits.

Make sure to read the label for proper application instructions.

Check out this Repellex deer and rabbit repellant on Amazon.

Innovative Deterrents

As you venture into securing your garden and harvest from those pesky rabbits, consider these innovative deterrents to keep them at bay.

In this section, we will discuss two effective methods: ultrasonic devices and motion-activated sprinklers.

7. Devices

Ultrasonic devices are a non-invasive, environmentally friendly option to deter rabbits from your garden.

These battery-operated devices emit high-frequency sound waves that are inaudible to humans but uncomfortable for rabbits and other small animals.

By placing these devices strategically around your garden, you create an unwelcoming environment for rabbits without disturbing you or your neighbors.

Though results with ultrasonic devices can vary, they are worth trying if you are searching for a humane, chemical-free solution.

Keep in mind that some vegetation or physical barriers may reduce the effectiveness of the sound waves, so make sure to position the devices with a clear line of sight to the area you want to protect.

Try this solar ultrasonic animal repeller on Amazon.

8. Motion-Activated Sprinklers

Another ingenious deterrent for rabbits is the use of motion-activated sprinklers.

These sprinklers are equipped with sensors that detect movement in a designated area.

Sprinklers turning on in the garden

When a rabbit enters the area, the sprinkler activates, spraying a sudden burst of water that startles the unwanted guest and discourages it from feasting on your plants.

Not only do motion-activated sprinklers help keep rabbits away, but they also serve to keep your garden well-watered without any manual effort on your part.

It's a win-win situation! Just make sure to adjust the sensitivity of the sensors to avoid excessive water usage or any accidental activation by other harmless wildlife.

Check out this motion activated sprinkler on Amazon.

Healthy Gardens Can Easily Recover from Minor Rabbit Damage

By implementing these tips and solutions, you can successfully deter rabbits from your garden and secure your harvest.

Remember that a healthy garden can recover from minor rabbit damage.

By cultivating strong and resilient plants, you'll increase your garden's ability to bounce back and provide you an abundant harvest.

Taking these precautions ensures not only a thriving garden but also a harmonious coexistence with your furry neighbors.

Watch what this gardener did when she saw a family of bunnies in her garden bed: Bunnies In Bloom: When Mother Nature Hops Into Your Garden Plans

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