Monday, May 3, 2010

How to Stop Rabbits from Eating Your Flower Garden

Rabbits eat  the tender parts of flowers.
Rabbits eat the tender parts of flowers.
Robert Gyöpös
Rabbits can seem cute, but they can wreak havoc on your flower and vegetable GARDEN. While most people associate rabbits with vegetables like carrots and lettuce they will also eat the tender young parts of most plants. In the flower garden they can destroy seedlings, flower buds, and BULBS like TULIPS. Use repellents, traps, fences and natural predators to keep rabbits out of your flower garden.

  1. Step 1

    Make a chicken wire fence. Use chicken wire with openings that are one inch or smaller. The fence should be at least two feet high and extend a few inches below ground. Dig a trench around the flower bed and sink the chicken wire about six inches into the ground.

  2. Step 2

    Repel the rabbits with organic materials like bone meal cayenne pepper, or black pepper. This is best scattered around plants just before sun sets, as the rabbits will come out and eat in the evening.

  3. Step 3

    Trap the rabbits with a humane trap, like a Hav-a-heart. Consult your local humane society for areas where trapped rabbits may be released.

  4. Step 4

    Incorporate plants that rabbits don't like into your landscape. Both lavender and catnip are said to repel rabbits. Some say marigolds keep rabbits away but others report that rabbits eat them like any other tender plant.

  5. Step 5

    Plant rabbit resistant flowers. These include daylily, bellflower, autumn crocus, foxglove, sedum, globe flower, aster, red hot poker, iris, and narcissus.

  6. Step 6

    Attract animals that will scare away the rabbits. Not only will catnip repel rabbits, but it will also attract cats, which will scare away the rabbits.

  7. Step 7

    If the flowers are still seedlings, use floating row covers. These won't be attractive once the plants grow, but they will easily protect plants that are still young and tender-a rabbit's favorite food.

  8. Step 8

    Create a barrier that the rabbits don't like stepping into. Stick many sharp sticks in the ground near the plants and they will not want to negotiate the area.

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