Rabbits Enjoy Nice Salad Bar in Our Garden

Rabbit ate plants at Happy Simple Living blog

If you’re a pea plant trying to grow in our garden this summer, you’ve had your share of challenges. First, you had to endure two snowstorms with hard freezes. Then, just as you were beginning to thrive and feel good about life, a rabbit snuck in the garden and ate most of your foliage and tender shoots. What’s a pea plant to do?

Because I’m trying to be a frugal gardener this year, after surveying the damage this morning I was determined to try and solve the rabbit problem without spending any cash. So I rummaged around in the shed and found some bamboo stakes that I drove between the openings in the wire fence, about four inches in the ground.

Deterring rabbits at Happy Simple Living blog

Bamboo stake fencing at Happy Simple Living blog

Then I placed a fierce looking owl (or tacky plastic owl, depending on your point of view) to guard the plants.

Fake owl to scare off rabbits at Happy Simple Living blog

Finally, I sprinkled some black pepper on and around the nibbled plants.

Black Pepper to deter rabbits at Happy Simple Living blog

I got this tip from the Rutgers website, which also recommended bone meal or, um, blood as rabbit deterrents. (They don’t say where one might obtain this blood, and I really don’t want to know.) I’ve also heard that cayenne pepper will do the trick. Other rabbit deterrents I’ve read about–but have no experience with–include spraying hot pepper sauce around the garden, planting marigolds or cilantro around the border, and scattering dog hair (something we always have plenty of around here) near the plants. Seems kind of unsightly, but it just might work!

I love seeing the bunnies in the back yard, I really do, so I hope these measures deter them from eating our peas and other garden plants.

Rabbit on Happy Simple Living blog

How about you? Are you dealing with critters in your garden, and if so, have you found any solutions that work?

Enjoy the weekend and happy digging,

The signature for Eliza Cross

About Eliza Cross

Eliza Cross is a full-time writer and the author of 15 books about food and home design. She has been blogging about simplicity and sustainable living since 2006.

15 thoughts on “Rabbits Enjoy Nice Salad Bar in Our Garden”

  1. No rabbit problems here. We tried growing peas when both our golden and black lab/golden mix were alive. The dogs had a field day with the peas. LOVED them. Our take of baby sweet peas – zero. Hope your tips work to deter the bunnies.

  2. Oh Patty, that’s so funny! I guess those baby sweet peas are as irresistible to animals as they are to us. Thanks for stopping by.

  3. We haven’t tried gardening yet but we may give it a try in the fall. The bunnies are so cute – it would be hard not to share with them! You have a beautiful garden – hope you get a taste of sweet peas at some point!

  4. Oh Boy we have groundhogs. They eat everything. My friend swears they hate catnip so she gave me a small plant which I left to guard my sunflowers. The next morning the catnip was gone as well as the sunflowers. I have found nothing to deter these creatures. :(. Fencing wouldn’t look good in my front yard, so I just hope some of my flowers survive.

    • Groundhogs, eh? Maybe you need to call Carl, the groundskeeper from “Caddyshack!” 🙂 I hope your hungry groundhogs move elsewhere, Joyce.

  5. I don’t have trouble with rabbits since i used the following mixture. I mix 5 pounds of the cheapest flour i can find with 1 cup of sevin 5%, and dust my plants. If you are an organic grower of course you can’t use this. If you are organic i hope i didn’t offend you, but the mixture will work.

    • Thanks for the tip. I do everything organically, so I’m still exploring natural methods. So far, reinforcing the fence seems to have helped the most!

  6. Our biggest pest here in the Pacific Northwest is slugs. Last year we used copper mesh fencing (well, it’s a very low fence) to surround the tender brassicas. This year we have been blessed with hardly any slugs. I think it’s the presence of the chicken run at one end of the garden. They do look rather large to a slug, after all.

    • Chickens! What a good slug solution. I used to trap them with a pie plate filled with beer, which is very effective but the disposal part is kind of gross!

  7. I’m ashamed to say that we are no gardeners. Everything seems to die on us. It must be the water we either forget to add or add too much.

    But we live in the city which has a lot of grey squirrels – large North American imports that have chased the native European red squirrels away in much of the UK.

    Now something to stop them eating everything in sight would be a good idea….:-) Like rats, they are very intelligent creatures and I think someone in Belgium has started training them to help clearing land mines. Apparently they like the smell of explosives….

    Help – have I just disqualified myself???

  8. Ahhhhh those wascally wabbits. I used to work at a garden center and the rabbits would always try to nibble on our plants. The only thing that would really prevent them was to put really thin wire fencing around the plants we wanted to protect. We did have a bunch of sprays and items meant to prevent them which people said worked with mixed effects.

  9. Thanks, Mr. Potato. It’s helpful to know that the experts use fencing to keep the wascally wabbits away!

  10. I really hope this isn’t discouraging but we couldn’t beat our rabbits and my husband was frustrated enough to let our Saint Bernard out to chase them every time he saw them which just caused utter devastation as he is a very large puppy and ended up running laps… everywhere, regular grass and paved pathway be darned, lol. So we switched to elevated gardening and mini greenhouses we found on Pinterest and decided to try. So far so good, and our kids can still see the wascally wabbits,(lol thePotatohead!)


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