Prevent damage from rabbits through deterrents and barriers.
Rabbits live in almost every community in the United States and cause considerable damage to vegetable and flower gardens. In suburban and rural areas, natural predators, such as fox, coyote, owls and hawks help keep populations down, but the rapid reproduction rate of rabbits makes them a nuisance almost everywhere. According to Laurel Bishow of the Pennsylvania State University Extension, rabbits may have as many as six litters per year and each litter typically produces five kits. Completely eradicating them is unlikely. Instead, use barriers, repellents and rabbit-resistant plants to discourage them. Does this Spark an idea?
1. Place cloches over tender young annuals and perennials. Once these plants stand 12 to 18 inches high, their stems become more woody and less desirable to hungry rabbits.
2. Pound wooden stakes into the ground around the flower bed, spacing them four feet apart.
3. Dig a trench three inches deep next to the stakes with the hoe.
4. Set chicken wire upright around the flower garden, inserting the bottom portion of it in the trench.
5. Fill the trench with soil to bury the chicken wire.
6. Staple the chicken wire to the stakes to secure it.
7. Mix two or three fresh cayenne or jalapeno peppers in a food processor with enough water to make a liquid.
8. Strain the mixture through a cheesecloth to remove any solids.
9. Mix two tbsp. vegetable oil, a squirt of glue and one drop of dishwashing soap with the pepper concentrate.
10. Pour one part pepper concentrate into a spray bottle with 10 parts water. Shake the spray bottle to mix thoroughly.
11. Spray the hot pepper solution on plants to deter rabbits. Re-apply after rain or when new growth emerges. Increase the strength to three parts pepper concentrate to 10 parts water for stubborn rabbits.