How to To Stop Rabbits From Eating Green Bean Plants

Overview

You're not the only one who enjoys plump, fresh beans harvested from your backyard garden. Rabbits often prune bean plants down to the ground, eating both the plant and its bean pods, according to the University of Wisconsin. Defend your garden and your future bean harvest by using a combination of physical and chemical controls to keep rabbits from ruining your bean crop.

Step 1

Deter rabbits by modifying your landscape to make it less attractive to the animals. The University of Minnesota suggests removing tall stands of grass or shrubs and piles of debris where rabbits may hide. Keep a wide, open border of 20 feet around your vegetable garden, since rabbits are wary of crossing large open spaces.

Step 2

Setup a fence around your vegetable garden. This is the best protection for your garden, according to the University of Illinois. To successfully keep out rabbits, the university suggests a 3-foot fence of chicken wire. Bury the fence's bottom 6 inches, bent at a 90-degree angle, to keep the pests from digging under the fence.

Step 3

Erect wire fencing around your bean plants alone if fencing your entire garden is too expensive, according to Iowa State University. Encircle each bean plant with chicken wire, keeping the wire approximately 2 inches from the plant itself. Just like with a garden-wide fence, the encircling wire should be 3 feet high.

Step 4

Spray your bean plants with a rabbit deterrent spray. This is ideal only when the plants aren't producing beans, since such deterrents leave a nasty taste on any surface upon which it's applied. Use any of the many sprays available at garden stores. North Dakota State University recommends using one formulated with capsaicin, an all natural extract from peppers.

Tips and Warnings

  • Hunting the rabbits can effectively decrease the animal population in your landscape, but should only be exercised by individuals who understand how to use guns. If you're a hunter, consult your municipality before trying to hunt the rabbits in your garden. Various rules and regulations may govern the use of firearms in residential areas.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning equipment
  • Fencing
  • Jalapeno peppers
  • Vegetable oil
  • Blender
  • Spray bottle

References

  • "Wildlife Pest Control Around Gardens And Homes"; Terrell Salmon; 2006
  • University of Illinois: Protecting Your Garden From Rabbits
  • Iowa State University: Rabbits in the Garden
  • University of Minnesota: Rabbit FAQs
  • University of Wisconsin: Protecting Your Garden From Rabbits

Who Can Help

  • North Dakota State University: Rabbits
Keywords: garden rabitt control, rabbit pest control, rabbit problems

About this Author

Josh Duvauchelle is an editor and journalist with more than 10 years' experience. His work has appeared in various magazines, including "Honolulu Magazine," which has more paid subscribers than any other magazine in Hawaii. He graduated with honors from Trinity Western University, holding a Bachelor of Arts in professional communications, and earned a certificate in applied leadership and public affairs from the Laurentian Leadership Centre.