If you have a secured yard, letting your bunny play and roam freely is great exercise and stimulation for them. However, if you have your own garden in your yard growing precious vegetables and flowers, you probably don’t want your bunny getting too curious around your plants or digging big holes in your garden.
Bunnies are curious animals and will usually chew anything that is around them. That is why it is essential to bunny proof your garden.
It’s important to bunny proof your garden to protect your plants but to also protect your bunny from any potentially poisonous plants. Building a fence around your garden can keep your bunny out, but fences can be dug under or jumped over. Using bunny safe repellents can be another alternative to deter your bunny from getting too close.
Before embarking on building your garden fence or throwing repellent in your garden, it is important to know what is safe for your bunny and what is proven to work.
How To Bunny Proof Your Garden
One common method is to build a fence around your garden. Here is a simple step by step guide on how to build your bunny proof garden fence.
What You Will Need:
- 12-inch wooden stakes (4 for the corners, then enough for 1 stake every 6 feet between corners)
- Chicken wire
- Zip ties
- Garden staples
- Hammer or Mallet
Step 1: Hammer your 12 inch wooden stakes into each corner of your garden. Be sure to give a little bit of space from your garden to the wooden stake.
Step 2: Hammer 12 inch wooden stakes every 6 feet between your corners.
Step 3: Taking your chicken wire, cover your first 2 corner stakes and bend the chicken wire around the stake to a 90° angle. Make sure you give plenty of fence at the bottom to cover around 12 inches of the ground from the fence. This is to ensure your bunny won’t dig under the fence to get to your garden.
Step 4: Zip tie the chicken wire to the corner stakes.
Step 5: Repeat the process around each side of the fence.
Step 6: Stretch the chicken wire tight against each stake and zip tie the bottom, middle, and top of the fence so it stays tight on the wooden stake.
Step 7: Once secured, secure your extra 12-inch flap at the bottom of the fence to the ground by using your garden staples. Make sure these staples are perpendicular with the ground and be sure you have stapled the outside edge so there is no lip folding up.
Step 8: Cut any excess wire off so you have no sharp ends that could injure you or your bunny. Thoroughly check your fence for any holes or gaps. If you miss it, your bunny will find it.
Step 9: Cover your outer bottom flap edge with a few inches of mulch.
There you have it. An easy to install fence to keep your bunny from potentially harming themselves or your plants in your garden.
How To Keep Bunnies Out Of Garden Without A Fence?
Some yards just don’t allow wooden stakes to be hammered into the ground. Maybe your yard isn’t grass? There are solutions to these scenarios.
Your first option is to run bird netting over newly growing plants. Securely fasten the corners to the ground or to something solid so your bunny can’t get underneath. However, if you have larger plants, this may not be an option.
Secondly, you can use a bunny repellent. The best bunny repellents contain putrescent egg. Luckily for us humans, we can’t smell this. But for bunnies, it will smell like rotten flesh. Definitely not inviting for a bunny.
They associate the putrescent egg smell with nearby predators and won’t go near the area. This could cause some problems with your bunny completely abandoning your yard so there are better alternatives.
Thirdly, a motion detection sprinkler can be installed in your garden. Whenever your bunny gets near, the sprinkler will activate and shoot water along with a loud ticking noise. Startling your bunny will have them running away quickly.
How To Keep Bunnies From Eating Plants?
The above bunny proofing techniques are potential ways to keep your bunny from eating your plants. However, if you’re not able to use any of the above ideas, then choosing plants that are unappealing to bunnies is another option. Avoid plants that are poisonous to bunnies like Eucalyptus and Apple trees.
Alternatively, you can spray your plants with a homemade repellent to deter your bunny from eating it. Simply mix water, dish soap, hot sauce, and garlic cloves. These things will make a nasty repellent your bunny won’t want to try. You can also try a recipe of:
- 1 tsp crushed red peppers
- 1 tbsp dish soap
- 5 garlic cloves
- 1-gallon water
- Empty gallon bottle
Mix them all together and shake. Leave the bottle in the sun for two days so make sure the water becomes completely concentrated. Apply this every 5 days for several weeks to start seeing results. If it rains heavily, reapply as soon as the rain stops.
If your garden is of the smaller variety, you can use 1/4-1/2 inch chicken wire or mesh netting to create a cylinder around individual trees and plants. Make sure the fencing is 2-4 inches away from the plant to prevent your bunny from leaning on the fence to eat them. Bury the cylinder a few inches deep to prevent your bunny from digging under it.
In addition to individually fencing your plants, you can create a patch of your garden specifically for your bunny. This could be a patch of clovers or grass or whatever is easy to grow that your bunny can enjoy themselves in while chewing plants that are there for them.
Do Coffee Grounds Repel Rabbits?
The natural caffeine in plants is a protective mechanism developed over time that repels pests and insects . Perhaps then, coffee grounds could be used as a natural repellent for your bunny. It can also help fertilize the soil and keep snails and slugs from eating your plants. Sounds like it could be a win-win situation.
Simply sprinkle coffee grounds around your plants and mix the grounds into the soil. It is going to be trial and error to find the right balance between coffee and soil. If you find what you put down isn’t stopping your bunny, then you may need to sprinkle more coffee. Importantly, don’t resort to placing large clumps of coffee around as they can develop mold.
Protecting your garden and your bunny can be quite simple if you can install a fence. If not, there are other alternatives you can use to discourage your bunny from eating your plants. Out of all these methods, coffee grounds might be the easiest, safest method to start with.