Humane, Rabbit-resistant Landscaping Tips

By Evelyn Long

Rabbit-resistant landscaping

Rabbits are adorable, fuzzy creatures. Easter wouldn’t be the same without them, and many pet owners marvel at how intelligent and trainable these creatures can be. However, they have a dark side, costing approximately $600 million in crop damage for farmers annually.

This effect might not be nearly as dramatic for homeowners, but it can still mess with their gardens and flower beds. As cute as bunnies might be, their place is in the forest and field. Help homeowners keep their property safe with these humane, rabbit-resistant landscaping tips.

1. Make a munchable buffer zone

Keeping rabbits out of a vegetable garden can seem like a task akin to mucking the Augean stables. Before getting in the weeds with rabbit prevention, perhaps it’s time to consider the path of least resistance by building gardens and landscapes that coexist with nature.

Rabbits adore foods such as clover, lettuce and carrots. The easiest course could be to share. Plant a buffer zone of clover and other nibble-friendly plants around the other species that need protection, then incorporate some of the tips below — such as wire or physical barriers — to further guard homeowners’ favorite plants.

2. Keep grassy areas trimmed short

Rodents and other small animals like rabbits look for long grasses to build warm nests for winter, meaning they can survive, multiply and feast on freshly planted flowers in the spring. Lawn maintenance is still important throughout the fall to keep grasses trimmed so rabbits know to look elsewhere for a cozy home.

Homeowners can also look into more sculpted or hardscaping options close to their home to make maintenance less time intensive. Replace expanses of lawn with garden beds by placing heavy-duty mulch to house decorative rocks and plants. This means less mowing and more attractive curb appeal to boot.

3. Look for rabbit-repelling plants

Why not keep the family food stash fresh by taking a layered approach? Just as rabbits adore some foods, they shun others. Therefore, consider planting a barrier of plants they don’t like behind nibble rows, dividing usable produce from that shared with woodland kin.


Consider some of the following species, which also add beauty to the garden:

  • Foxgloves: This plant, from which scientists derive the heart medicine digitalis, does double duty in the garden. It repels rabbits while drawing bees and other pollinators, letting them work their magic on crops.
  • Lavender: This plant is heavenly when dried and placed in a pillowcase to help aid sleep. It also makes a relaxing tea for the evening while keeping bunnies at bay.
  • Mint: Mint is a useful herb homeowners can use in cooking.
  • Rosemary: This edible plant also contains antimicrobial properties for treating minor cuts and abrasions.

4. Create physical barriers

Physical barriers can also keep bunnies at bay. The most common is chicken wire fencing. It’s readily available and relatively inexpensive. Wrap it around plants to keep bunnies from munching — they’ll often find ways under a full perimeter fence.

Another trick is to stick plastic forks around the bases of plants that rabbits should not touch. When the curious rabbit goes up to take a nibble, the unpleasant prick deters them from a second attempt.

5. Mix up some DIY repellent

Do your clients need some tactics they can try any time? Although it won’t be as effective in the long-term as physical barriers and landscaping maintenance, they can take some action in a pinch. Another humane idea to make landscaping rabbit resistant is to use all-natural DIY repellent.

Here are three recipes to try:

  • Tabasco sauce, dish detergent, crushed garlic and water.
  • Crushed black pepper, sliced chili, raw egg and water.
  • Chili powder, fresh eggs, milk and water .

Mix selected ingredients in a spray bottle. Spritz generously all over plants rabbits should not disturb.

6. Humanely trap and release

What if a homeowner ends up with a family of rabbits who seem quite comfortable in their yard? These critters may get up to some amusing antics, but keeping them around can do damage to a well-kept garden.

In such cases, property owners might want to invest in a humane trap, capturing the rabbits within and keeping them safe until enclosed. Then, take them to a woodland area far from home and release them.

Homeowners and their landscapers put a lot of hard work into their landscaping. No matter how adorable these creatures are, they don’t want bunnies wrecking it. Instead of suffering depleted crops, use the humane, rabbit-resistant landscaping tips above. Help your clients enjoy a more beautiful lawn and garden without harming these friendly four-legged critters.

Evelyn Long is a writer and editor focused on home building and construction. She is the co-founder of Renovated, a web magazine for the home industry.

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