How to keep rabbits out of the garden

Fresh green beans in the summer cannot be beat.  This is especially true if they are home grown.  Combine bacon, potatoes and green beans and you are in for a real treat.  My family looks forward to this annual meal so much that it has become a summer tradition.

Unfortunately, humans aren't the only ones that look forward to feasting on green beans.  The rabbits around my house have made a family tradition of their own.  They love hammering my green bean plants.  Not only do they devour my plants.  I am pretty sure they take pleasure in teasing me.

Dang rabbits
I don't know how many times I have told myself... okay, I think I finally rabbit-proofed my garden.  My beans have grown for four or five days.  I have thought of every possible entrance point.  I have finally defeated the dreaded rabbit... then they attack.

This is definitely frustrating but I do not give up easy.  Through the wonders of trial and error, I have finally learned how to keep rabbits out of the garden and away from my plants.  However, the journey to rabbit freedom did have some bumps along the road.

There are many ideas out there on how to keep rabbits out of your garden.  Unfortunately, most don't seem to work.  I have listed some of these below.

Bleach- supposedly putting containers of bleach around the perimeter of your garden will keep rabbits out... it didn't.

Blood meal- This one is supposed to work by tricking the rabbits into thinking a predator is in the area.  The rabbits smell the blood and get scared... doesn't work plus my dog kept rolling in it.

Landscape fencing- The rabbits either hopped or squeezed in.  I even tried tripling the fencing.

Moth balls - I didn't try this one but I heard it works if you like your produce to taste like moth balls... no thanks.

Liquid fence - This product works but has to be applied too much to be cost effective.  When I sprayed the plants with the product, I found that rabbits left my plants alone.  Unfortunately, I had to apply it every four or five days or the rabbits would be back at the green bean buffet.

What works

The easiest tactic to keep rabbits out of the garden is to obviously fence in your garden.  Although this option sounds like a no brainer, not everybody has the luxury of building their own personal Fort Knox.  I live in a sub-division and my garden blends in with my landscaping so a bunch of chicken wire isn't an option.

Another tactic is to get a dog or cat to scare away the rabbits.  This option would probably work in a sub-division if you don't mind ticking off the neighbors.  One of my pet peeves is when people leave their animals out all day and night so this option is off the table.

The last option is to mix in plants that rabbits hate into your garden.  Rabbits are not fond of tomato or basil plants so I plant them around the perimeter.  Another thing that works is to mix in tomato leaves with your green beans. After pruning, I simply toss the cut tomato leaves in with my green beans.  This simple trick seems to be enough to keep rabbits away from the beans.

These are just a couple of things that I have found that will work to keep rabbits out of the garden.  I am sure there are many more out there that I haven't tried.  If you have had success with any other tactics or even if the ones that didn't work for me worked for you, feel free to comment about your findings.

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