Deterring Rabbits from Flower and Vegetable Gardens
There appear to be mixed messages about some remedies to deter rabbits from flower and vegetable gardens. I must say that I was a believer myself, but I never actually took the time to properly investigate. Marigolds are the deterrent in question. An article in SFGate (2020) under Home Guides describes study results from Iowa State and Texas A & M University which reveal that the myth about planting Marigolds in and around a garden to deter rabbits is simply not true, but I’m getting mixed signals myself. Kirchhoff continues that the best deterrent for rabbits is a wire fence.
Yummy!! I guess some of us do like these yummy flowers!!
OK, who’s the wise guy that closed our favorite restaurant? Hmmmmm!!!
Although bunny rabbits are cute and furry, they do wreak havoc with veggie and flower gardens. So, upon research, some home remedies that have been reported as successful are described below. Give them a try for yourself and pass on what you find successful. The home remedies mentioned below are organic and do not harm the rabbits you want to deter.
A meeting of the minds!!! Ok, time for an ingenious idea, do you have any?? What? You’re supposed to be the mastermind here!!
What in the world is this guy screaming about?? I don’t do that to him when he’s eating!! Humans!!
The following homemade rabbit repellent sprays were documented by Clark in (Tips Bulletin, n.d.) who also mentions that most of the ingredients for the repellents are common items in your home.
The following rabbit repellents that are safe for your vegetables and flowers were obtained from:
Clark, J. (n.d.). Homemade Rabbit Repellent. Tips Bulletin. https://www.tipsbulletin.com/homemade-rabbit-repellent/
For the first three repellents, put all, of the ingredients (from one repellent recipe, either 1, 2, or 3) into a spray bottle and then spray the solution on and around the gardens where you want to keep the rabbits out. Here are three formula:
- Tabasco sauce, dish detergent, crushed garlic, and water
- Crushed black pepper, sliced chili, raw egg, and water
- Chili powder, fresh eggs, milk, and water
The 4th, following recipe, has different instructions which follow the list of ingredients: This 4th repellent recipe calls for: teaspoon crushed red pepper, 1 tablespoon dish soap, 5 garlic cloves, 1 gallon of water, 1 empty milk jug. Place all, of the ingredients into the empty gallon container, first making sure to peel the garlic cloves, and then shake the container well so that all, of the ingredients, are mixed. Now, to ensure that the water soaks up all, of the ingredients thoroughly, place the container in a sunny area for at least two days. When you are ready to use the repellent, shake the container well and then apply it to the plants that you want to keep the rabbits from eating. It may be easier to apply more evenly if you have a spray container, just make sure that it has not previously had any toxins in it.
This may take a few weeks before the rabbits get the hint and stay clear, so during that time, reapply the repellent about every 5 days and/or after the clearing of any heavy rainfalls (Clark, n.d.).
Moving forward, Clark (n.d.) also notes that rabbits can be deterred from eating your plants if there are specific tastes and smells present that they don’t like. One taste that rabbits don’t seem to like is a combination of chili powder and fresh (raw) eggs (or something else with a resilient, or buoyant flavor) mixed with some water that can be sprayed onto your plants (n.d.).
I’ve personally had success from putting chili powder, paprika, and dried cayenne pepper directly onto plants. And, although I have not used this, placing blood meal around the border of your garden works well because of its obnoxious odor that rabbits do not like, buy it may also be too pungent for people. Clark mentions a better odor barrier option which is to plant or place such plants as mint or lavender because they have quite strong scents for rabbits causing them to leave that area alone (n.d.).
When all else fails, Jaques says to stop fighting it and go ahead and attract those cute little bunnies, just attract and draw their attention to a different area. Try planting a clover and/or alfalfa patch just for the bunnies. But make sure to plant it away from your gardens (Gardener’s Path, 2014).
Hold on, I think I have an idea for dinner!!
See that field of clover, doesn’t it look scrumptious?? Come on, hurry, I’m starving, and that field is calling our names!!
So, there we go, happy people, happy plants, and happy bunnies. Please check the following sites for more rabbit repellent ideas and recipes that are organic and safe for animals and people.
Pinterest is also a great site for homemade rabbit repellents and ideas.
Clark, J. (n.d.). Homemade Rabbit Repellent. Tips Bulletin. https://www,tipsbulletin.com/homemade-rabbit-repell;ent/
Jaques, L. (2014). Rabbits are Cute for Easter But They Can Wreak Havoc in Your Garden. Gardener’s Path; Animals and Wildlife Tags.
Kirchhoff, H. (2020). Will Marigold Repel Rabbits & Deer From My Vegetable Garden? SFGate: Home Guide.
Iowa State University’s Agricultural Extension and Outreach Service: Marigolds (n.d.)
Texas A&M University Agrilife Extension: Earth Kind Nematode Control During Summer Months (n.d.)