How to keep squirrels and bunnies out of your garden

Written by Paige Vandiver

Little bunnies and squirrels are just sooooo cute  – until they are digging up your sunflower seeds, or chomping on the strawberries that you’ve been waiting on for days to get to the perfect ripeness before picking. 

Squirrels, rabbits, and other rodents can wreak havoc in your gardens and pillage the delicious veggies and beautiful flowers that you’ve worked so hard to grow. We’ve got some tips to keep those dastardly creatures out of your garden without harming them or killing your beloved plants!

Create A Clever Distraction

One way to outsmart these sly thieves is to set up a distraction somewhere else in your yard and  away from the temptation of your garden. For pesky squirrels, setting up a bird feeder or tossing sunflower seeds, raw peanuts, or corn feed will help appease their ravenous appetites.

Get Yourself A Yard-Guard-Dog

If it’s one thing that most pups love, it’s chasing squirrels and rabbits. Having your dog keeping an eye on your garden is one of the biggest deterrents for these cunning little crop killers. In fact, when you brush your dog, you can even use the hair in your mulch to discourage unwanted visitors. If you aren’t really a dog lover, you can also purchase some spray-on predator urine to scare off the bandits.

Spice Up Your Garden

One way to keep unwelcome guests out of your garden is to make it too hot for their taste. You can sprinkle cayenne pepper on the seeds in your birdfeeder or add some cayenne pepper to water in a spray bottle to mist on the leaves of your plants. Another method is to steep hot peppers in water and use that in your spray bottle. Keep in mind that you will need to spray your plants frequently, as rain and dew will wash the pepper from your plants.

Make A Garden Fortress

Putting fencing around your garden is one of the most effective ways to keep squirrels and bunnies from wrecking your space. The most common technique is to make a fence using chicken wire or hardware cloth to surround your garden. You will need the fence to be at least 2 feet high, with only ½ inch or less space between the holes in the mesh. Ensuring that the fence is buried at least 6 inches beneath the ground will keep those *insert Elmer Fudd voice here* rascally rabbits from digging underneath to steal your carrots!

Be Tactical When Choosing Your Plants

When planning your garden, you can choose vegetables or flowers that are real turn-offs to rabbits and squirrels. There are few vegetables that rabbits won’t eat if they are really hungry, but ones they avoid include onions, asparagus, tomatoes, and squash, as well as herbs such as mint or basil. Some plant varieties that deter squirrels are daffodils and marigolds.

With these tips, you’ll be well on your way to growing your garden AND being able to truly enjoy ALL the fruits of your labor, without sharing with all your neighborhood bunnies and squirrels!

Join Our Facebook Support Group for Gardeners in Southwest Ohio

For more helpful gardening tips and tricks, head on over to our Facebook group, Gardeners Supporting Gardeners in Southwest Ohio! This is your space to learn, to share, and to ultimately grow your best garden yet with the help of your neighbors.

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