How to Rabbit Proof Planting

Overview

Rabbits may seem cute to most, but gardeners know better. Rabbits can destroy a garden like little else. They disrupt and eat plants, dig holes in the dirt and even bite holes into fences. Creating a truly rabbit proof garden takes quite a bit of work and may require multiple attempts to get it right. This is especially true of areas containing a large population of the animals. At the very least, steps can be taken to decrease the likelihood of your plants, vegetables, trees and flowers succumbing to their destructive ways.

Step 1

Surround young, newly planted trees with a plastic guard or hardware cloth to protect the bark. According to the University of New Hampshire Extension, tree guards are easy to construct at home with metal hardware cloth and fine-gauge wire and snipping shears. See the Resources section for more information.

Step 2

Surround your garden or flower bed with a rabbit-proof fence. This requires planting chicken wire, with holes no larger than one inch in diameter, one foot into the ground. Bend the bottom 6 inches of wire outwards. Also make sure that the fence is at least 4 feet high.

Step 3

Plant flowers and other vegetation that rabbits find distasteful. These include onions, garlic, crocus, forget-me-nots, tulips and alder. Plant these especially around the edges.

Tips and Warnings

  • Some gardeners may be tempted to hunt the rabbits laying waste to their lawn. This is illegal in most cities and towns. Check local laws before you consider this alternative.

Things You'll Need

  • Chicken wire
  • Shovel
  • Fence posts
  • Rabbit proof plants
  • Tree guards

References

  • Garden Cottage Nursery: Rabbits & Your Garden
  • University of Wisconsin Biological Systems Engineering Department: Tree Guard Zipper Press Release
  • University of New Hampshire Extension: Tree Guards for Tree and Shrub Protection
Keywords: rabbit proof planting, plants rabbits hate, flowers trees vegetables, garden animal infestations

About this Author

Mark Rhyman has been working as a freelance writer since 2005. His work has appeared in numerous online and print publications, such as "Kotori" magazine and "Inside Lacrosse." He has his bachelor's degree in English with a concentration in creative writing from the State University of New York at Brockport.