Tips for Keeping Rabbits and Groundhogs Out of Your Garden

Marjorie Alexander

how to keep rabbits and groundhogs out of garden


Are you tired of rabbits and groundhogs wreaking havoc in your beautiful garden? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! In this article, we will provide you with simple yet effective tips and tricks to keep these pesky critters out of your cherished green space. Say goodbye to nibbled vegetables and destroyed flowerbeds as we delve into the world of rabbit and groundhog deterrence. Let’s get started on reclaiming your garden as a safe haven for your plants!

Understanding the Culprits: Rabbits and Groundhogs

Before we proceed to the nitty-gritty of keeping these garden intruders at bay, let’s take a quick look at their characteristics and behaviors.

Rabbits, those cute furry creatures, may seem harmless, but their voracious appetite can quickly turn your garden into a buffet. These herbivorous mammals can gnaw on your tender crops, damaging both foliage and roots. Their ability to reproduce rapidly makes them a common sight in many gardens.

On the other hand, groundhogs, also known as woodchucks, may appear harmless with their burrowing habits, but they can cause significant destruction to your garden. Their burrows not only disrupt the aesthetics of your landscape but can also damage delicate root systems and compromise the structural integrity of your garden beds. Additionally, groundhogs have a fondness for leafy greens, making them a threat to your beloved plants.

Now that we’ve acquainted ourselves with the perpetrators, let’s explore some effective strategies to keep them out of your garden!

Fencing: Your First Line of Defense

When it comes to protecting your garden from rabbits and groundhogs, a sturdy fence is your best friend. A well-constructed fence acts as a physical barrier, preventing these critters from feasting on your hard-earned produce. Ensure that your fence extends at least one foot underground to deter diggers like rabbits and groundhogs. Opt for materials like chicken wire or hardware cloth, with small enough gaps to prevent even the smallest rabbits from squeezing through.

Remember, rabbits have a natural ability to burrow, so it’s crucial to create a barrier below ground level. By doing so, you’ll effectively keep them from entering your garden from below. When it comes to groundhogs, they are excellent climbers as well, so ensure that your fence is tall enough (at least three feet) to discourage their climbing efforts.

In addition to height and depth, consider adding a skirt to the bottom of your fence. This entails extending the fencing material outward, perpendicular to the ground, for several inches. This discourages burrowing attempts by rabbits and groundhogs, making it much harder for them to gain access to your garden.

Remember, a well-designed fence provides a physical and visual deterrent, making it one of the most effective ways to keep rabbits and groundhogs out of your garden. But what if you’re looking for additional strategies to enhance your garden’s fortress? Let’s explore some options!

Natural Repellents: Harnessing the Power of Nature

In your quest to protect your garden, consider using natural repellents to discourage rabbits and groundhogs from venturing near your plants. Many plants possess natural odors and flavors that these critters find unappetizing. By strategically planting these repellent species around the perimeter of your garden, you can create a natural barrier that deters them from entering.

For rabbits, consider incorporating strong-smelling plants like marigolds, garlic, and onions into your garden. These plants emit scents that rabbits find unpleasant, acting as a natural deterrent. Additionally, planting thorny bushes or shrubs such as blackberries or roses can create a physical obstacle that rabbits are less likely to navigate.

Groundhogs, on the other hand, have different preferences. They dislike plants with strong smells like those in the mint family, such as peppermint and spearmint. The pungent aroma repels groundhogs and helps protect your garden. Planting daffodils or other plants with a sticky residue can also deter these critters, as they dislike the sensation when brushing against the leaves.

By harnessing the power of nature, you can create an invisible border around your garden, sending a clear message to rabbits and groundhogs that your plants are off-limits. However, if you’re still encountering unwanted visitors, let’s explore some additional measures!

Scare Tactics: Keeping Rabbits and Groundhogs on Their Toes

Scare tactics can be effective in deterring both rabbits and groundhogs from entering your garden. Introduce items that create movement, noise, or sudden surprises to startle these critters and keep them at a distance.

One popular scare tactic involves using wind chimes or other noise-making objects strategically placed throughout your garden. The sound produced by these items can startle rabbits and groundhogs, making them hesitant to approach. Alternatively, motion-activated devices, such as sprinklers or ultrasonic repellents, can be effective tools in deterring these unwanted visitors.

If you’re dealing with persistent groundhogs, introducing predator decoys can make a significant difference. Placing life-like statues or motion-activated devices that mimic predatory animals, such as owls or snakes, can create a sense of danger for groundhogs. They will think twice before approaching your garden, opting for safer areas without potential threats.

Remember, scare tactics are most effective when used in combination with other preventive measures. By keeping rabbits and groundhogs on their toes, you’ll significantly reduce the chances of them wreaking havoc in your garden.


With these simple yet effective tips and tricks, you can create a garden that remains free from the unwelcome presence of rabbits and groundhogs. By implementing protective measures such as fencing, natural repellents, and scare tactics, you’ll ensure a safe haven for your beloved plants to thrive undisturbed. Don’t let these garden intruders steal the joy of gardening from you. Take control and enjoy a flourishing garden year-round!

Another useful resource is our guide on how to fill a raised garden bed cheap. By constructing a proper raised bed, you can make it more difficult for rabbits and groundhogs to access your plants.

Identify the problem

Are you frustrated by the constant damage inflicted upon your beloved garden by rabbits and groundhogs? Do you find yourself spending countless hours replanting and repairing the destruction caused by these pesky creatures? If the answer is yes, then this article is here to help you find the best strategies on how to keep rabbits and groundhogs out of your garden, once and for all.

Before diving into the solutions, it is essential to identify the telltale signs that rabbits and groundhogs have made your garden their personal buffet. By recognizing the common indicators of their presence, you can take appropriate measures to address the issue promptly.

One of the most obvious signs of rabbit activity is the presence of chewed or nibbled vegetation. These furry intruders have a particular fondness for tender leaves, young shoots, and blossoms. So, if you notice your plants mysteriously disappearing or suffering from irregular bite marks, it’s time to suspect the rabbit’s paw in the matter.

On the other hand, groundhogs are notorious for their burrowing habits. If you spot holes and tunnels in your garden, particularly near the base of plants or along fence lines, it’s a strong indication that groundhogs are enjoying a subterranean feast in your backyard. These tunnels can be quite extensive and may lead to significant damage to the foundation of your garden beds.

Another common sign to look out for is the presence of droppings. Rabbit droppings are small and round, resembling tiny pellets, while groundhog droppings are larger, cylindrical, and often found near their burrow entrances. These droppings not only indicate the animals’ presence but also serve as an unwelcome reminder of the havoc they wreak.

Furthermore, rabbits and groundhogs can leave behind distinct footprints. Rabbit footprints are small and oval-shaped with four toes on the front feet and five toes on the hind feet. On the other hand, groundhog footprints are larger and have four clawed toes both on the fore and hind feet. Spotting these footprints can give you a clearer picture of which intruder you are dealing with.

The damage caused by rabbits and groundhogs extends beyond mere appearance. These pests can compromise the health and productivity of your plants. Rabbits are notorious for their ability to reproduce rapidly, which can lead to a population explosion in no time. Their constant feeding can stunt the growth of young plants and lead to the loss of fruits and vegetables. Meanwhile, groundhogs have voracious appetites and can devour large quantities of plants, causing extensive damage to your garden and leaving you with a sense of despair.

Now that you have identified the problem and understand the common signs and damage inflicted by rabbits and groundhogs, it’s time to learn effective strategies to keep them at bay. In the next section, we will delve into various methods and techniques that will help you reclaim your garden and protect it from these unwelcome visitors.

If you’re looking for ways to keep rabbits out of your garden, check out our article on how to keep chickens out of the garden. While it may seem unrelated, the strategies discussed in that article can also be effective for deterring rabbits.

Remove attractive features

In order to keep rabbits and groundhogs out of your garden, it is essential to make your garden less appealing to these pesky critters by removing access to food and shelter. Rabbits and groundhogs are known to be attracted to gardens because of the abundance of tasty plants and cozy hiding spots. By implementing a few strategies, you can effectively deter these animals from wreaking havoc in your garden.

One of the first steps you should take to discourage rabbits and groundhogs is to eliminate any sources of food that may be tempting to them. This means removing any fallen fruits or vegetables from the ground and ensuring that your garden is properly fenced off. Rabbits and groundhogs are opportunistic feeders, so even the smallest scraps can attract them. By keeping your garden tidy and free from debris, you can minimize the appeal to these hungry creatures.

Another effective method to keep rabbits and groundhogs away is to remove any potential shelter that may be present in your garden. These animals often seek out safe and cozy places to hide, so it is important to eliminate such spots. This can include removing piles of brush, wood, or rocks, as well as sealing off any gaps or openings that could serve as hiding places. By making your garden less welcoming in terms of shelter, you are reducing the likelihood of rabbits and groundhogs taking up residence.

Additionally, it is advisable to utilize repellents to deter rabbits and groundhogs from entering your garden. There are a variety of commercial repellents available on the market, ranging from sprays to granules. These repellents often contain strong-smelling substances that are unappealing to rabbits and groundhogs. By applying these products around the perimeter of your garden, you can create a barrier that these animals are unlikely to cross.

Another effective method to keep rabbits and groundhogs at bay is to introduce natural deterrents into your garden. For example, planting garlic, onions, or marigolds can help repel these animals due to their strong scent. Additionally, incorporating plants that are known to be less attractive to rabbits and groundhogs, such as lavender or sage, can also help discourage them from entering your garden.

It is important to remember that while these strategies can be effective in deterring rabbits and groundhogs, they may not guarantee complete eradication. These animals are resourceful and may find alternative ways to access your garden. Therefore, it is essential to regularly monitor your garden and make the necessary adjustments to ensure its protection.

In conclusion, by implementing the above-mentioned strategies, you can make your garden less appealing to rabbits and groundhogs. Removing access to food and shelter, utilizing repellents, and incorporating natural deterrents can significantly reduce the presence of these animals in your garden. Remember to regularly check and make adjustments as needed to maintain the effectiveness of these methods. With a little effort and persistence, you can successfully keep rabbits and groundhogs out of your garden and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Install physical barriers

Are you tired of rabbits and groundhogs wreaking havoc in your garden? Do you wish to find an effective solution to keep these pesky creatures out? Look no further! In this article, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide on how to keep rabbits and groundhogs out of your garden using physical barriers. By following these steps, you can protect your beloved plants and enjoy a thriving garden all year round.

Gardening enthusiasts understand the frustration that comes with rabbits and groundhogs invading their carefully cultivated oasis. These critters have an uncanny ability to feast on your favorite flowers and vegetables, leaving a trail of devastation in their wake. However, with the right precautions, you can deter them from entering your garden altogether.

To create effective barriers, you can employ various techniques such as fencing, netting, or natural deterrents. Let’s explore each of these methods in detail:


Fencing is a popular and highly effective solution to keep rabbits and groundhogs at bay. Start by assessing the perimeter of your garden and identifying potential weak spots. Ensure that any existing fences are in good condition and repair any damage. It’s crucial to choose a sturdy material such as chicken wire or hardware cloth, as rabbits and groundhogs can be adept at chewing through flimsy barriers.

When installing the fence, bury it at least six inches below the ground to deter burrowing animals. Additionally, make sure the fence is at least three feet high to prevent rabbits from hopping over. For groundhogs, extend the fence above ground level to discourage their climbing abilities.

Remember to leave a small gate for yourself to enter the garden easily. Ensure the gate closes securely to prevent any unintended access by these garden intruders.


Netting is another effective measure to protect your plants from rabbits and groundhogs. Choose a sturdy and fine-mesh netting to avoid entanglement and ensure adequate coverage. Secure the netting over your garden beds or individual plants, providing a physical barrier that denies access to these critters.

For raised garden beds, create a frame using wooden or metal stakes to support the netting. Ensure the netting extends beyond the bed’s perimeter and fasten it securely to prevent any gaps. This method not only protects your plants but also allows sunlight, water, and air to reach them.

Natural deterrents:

In addition to physical barriers, you can utilize natural deterrents to keep rabbits and groundhogs away from your garden. These methods are eco-friendly and safe for both animals and plants.

Consider planting strong-smelling herbs such as thyme, mint, or lavender around the garden perimeter. The potent odors act as natural repellents, overpowering the scent trails left by these critters and discouraging them from entering.

Another effective approach is to introduce predator urine or scented deterrents. Commercially available products mimic the scent of predators like foxes or coyotes, triggering a survival instinct in rabbits and groundhogs, compelling them to avoid the area.

Regularly reapply these natural deterrents to maintain their potency, especially after rain showers or heavy watering.

By implementing a combination of physical barriers, netting, and natural deterrents, you can significantly reduce or even eliminate the presence of rabbits and groundhogs in your garden. Protecting your cherished plants from these ravenous intruders will ensure your garden thrives and brings you joy throughout the seasons.

To conclude, safeguarding your garden from rabbits and groundhogs requires proactive measures. Install physical barriers such as fences or netting, and enhance their effectiveness by incorporating natural deterrents. With these strategies in place, you can bid farewell to the frustrations caused by these unwelcome guests and maintain a flourishing garden that brings you endless delight. So why wait? Start implementing these techniques today and witness the transformation in your garden!

If you’re wondering how long it takes to fill up a swimming pool using a garden hose, our article on how long to fill up pool with garden hose can provide the answer. While it may not directly relate to keeping rabbits and groundhogs out of your garden, it can offer helpful information for garden maintenance.

Utilize scare tactics

Are you tired of finding your garden destroyed by pesky rabbits and groundhogs? Don’t fret, because there are effective ways to keep these critters out of your precious plants. One approach that has proven successful is utilizing scare tactics. By employing motion-activated devices or noise makers, you can startle and discourage rabbits and groundhogs, preventing them from wreaking havoc in your garden.

Scaring away these garden invaders can be achieved by using motion-activated devices. Placing these around your garden perimeter will detect any movement and set off a loud noise or an unexpected motion, effectively scaring off rabbits and groundhogs. This sudden disturbance disrupts their feeding or nesting routine, making your garden less attractive to them. Some motion-activated devices even emit flashing lights or spray water, further deterring these critters from returning to your garden.

Noise makers are another option to consider. These can range from wind chimes to ultrasonic devices that emit high-pitched sounds only audible to animals. Groundhogs and rabbits are startled by loud and unfamiliar noises, as it signals potential danger. By strategically placing noise makers in your garden, you create an environment that these critters will find uncomfortable and unfamiliar, decreasing the likelihood of them making your garden their habitat.

When utilizing scare tactics, it is important to regularly change the positioning and type of devices used. Rabbits and groundhogs can become accustomed to a particular scare tactic if it remains constant, rendering it less effective over time. By varying the location and type of devices, you keep these garden invaders on edge, making it harder for them to adapt and find a way to bypass your defenses.

Another method to consider is using visual deterrents. Garden decorations like scarecrows or reflective objects can create an illusion of movement, tricking rabbits and groundhogs into thinking that they are being watched. This additional layer of visual scare tactics can enhance the effectiveness of the devices previously mentioned, further deterring these critters from exploring your garden.

Remember, it is crucial to position scare devices strategically. Place them near the entry points of your garden or areas where rabbits and groundhogs have been spotted. By focusing the scare tactics on these specific areas, you maximize the chances of keeping these nuisances out. Additionally, make sure to keep the devices well-maintained and functional, as non-working scare tactics will have minimal impact.

In conclusion, scare tactics such as motion-activated devices, noise makers, and visual deterrents are effective ways to keep rabbits and groundhogs out of your garden. By implementing these strategies, you can startle and discourage these critters, preventing them from damaging your beloved plants. Remember to regularly change the positioning and type of devices used to maintain their effectiveness. With these scare tactics in place, you can reclaim your garden and enjoy its beauty without worrying about furry intruders.

If you’re dealing with roly-pollies in your garden, you may also want to learn how to get rid of them. Our article on how to get rid of roly-pollies in garden provides effective methods for controlling these pests. While it may not specifically target rabbits and groundhogs, the techniques discussed can be useful in managing various garden pests.

Regular maintenance and monitoring

To keep rabbits and groundhogs out of your garden, it’s important to establish a routine of regular maintenance and monitoring. By performing consistent checks on your garden, maintaining repellents, and promptly repairing any damage, you can ensure that these pesky critters stay away and your plants remain undisturbed.

One effective way to prevent rabbits and groundhogs from infiltrating your garden is by implementing repellents. These can come in various forms, such as sprays, granules, or electronic devices. These repellents are designed to emit scents or sounds that deter these animals from approaching your garden. By applying these repellents according to the instructions, you create an unpleasant environment for rabbits and groundhogs, making them less likely to venture into your garden.

Regular checks on your garden are crucial in identifying any potential signs of rabbit or groundhog activity. Look out for chewed leaves, burrow openings, or droppings, as these are clear indications that these pests have paid a visit. By catching these signs early on, you can take immediate action to prevent further damage. Remember, prevention is key!

In addition to regular checks, it is important to repair any damage swiftly. If you notice holes dug by groundhogs or nibbled plants by rabbits, address the issue immediately. Fill the holes with soil and secure any damaged plants or fencing. By doing so, you not only minimize the attractiveness of your garden to these creatures but also send a strong message that your garden is not an easy target.

It is also worth considering the potential attractants in your garden. Certain plants, like clover, pansies, and lettuce, are particularly appealing to rabbits and groundhogs. If these plants are present in your garden and are repeatedly targeted, you may want to reconsider including them in your planting schemes or take extra precautions to protect them.

Another effective method is the use of physical barriers. Fencing your garden with wire mesh that has small openings can greatly obstruct rabbits and groundhogs from entering. Bury the fence at least six inches deep to prevent them from burrowing underneath. Make sure the fence is at least three feet high to prevent these agile animals from climbing over. Remember, the right barrier can make all the difference in ensuring the protection of your garden.

Utilizing scare tactics is also a viable option to keep rabbits and groundhogs at bay. Consider incorporating motion-activated devices, such as sprinklers or noise-making devices, that startle and discourage these animals. The element of surprise will create an unpleasant experience for them, making them think twice before entering your garden.

Finally, it’s essential to continually evaluate and adjust your preventive measures. Different gardens may have different challenges, so you may need to experiment with various deterrents or a combination of approaches. By staying vigilant and proactive in protecting your garden, you are more likely to achieve long-term success in keeping rabbits and groundhogs away.

In conclusion, regular maintenance and monitoring are key to keeping rabbits and groundhogs out of your garden. By implementing these practices, along with the use of repellents, timely repairs, physical barriers, scare tactics, and proactive evaluation, you can create a garden that remains unappealing to these pests. Remember, prevention is always better than cure when it comes to safeguarding your beloved plants!


By implementing these effective techniques and maintaining a proactive approach, you can successfully keep rabbits and groundhogs out of your garden and enjoy the fruits of your labor. With a little extra effort and some thoughtful considerations, you can create a garden space that is not only beautiful and productive but also free from unwanted pests.

Keeping rabbits and groundhogs away from your garden requires a combination of strategies that target their specific behaviors and preferences. From physical barriers to natural deterrents, there are several methods you can employ to protect your plants and keep these persistent pests at bay.

1. Implement fencing: One of the most effective ways to keep rabbits and groundhogs out of your garden is by installing a sturdy fence around the perimeter. Choose a fence with small openings, at least 2 feet high, to prevent rabbits from squeezing through and at least 4 feet high to deter groundhogs. Ensure the fence is securely buried underground to prevent burrowing.

2. Add scare tactics: Utilize scare tactics to deter rabbits and groundhogs. Hang wind chimes or aluminum foil strips that create noise and movement, as these can startle and discourage pests from entering your garden. You can also set up motion-activated sprinklers that will spray water at the first sign of intruders.

3. Utilize natural repellents: Consider using natural repellents to discourage rabbits and groundhogs from feasting on your garden. Some effective options include sprinkling cayenne pepper or garlic powder around your plants. These strong smells can serve as deterrents, making your garden less appealing to these pests.

4. Create a habitat barrier: Prevent rabbits and groundhogs from accessing your garden by creating a habitat barrier. Remove any tall grass, underbrush, or piles of debris near the garden, as these can provide hiding spots and encourage pests to venture closer. By eliminating potential habitats, you can reduce the likelihood of unwanted visitors.

5. Plant deterrent plants: Incorporate plants that naturally repel rabbits and groundhogs into your garden. Examples include marigolds, lavender, and daffodils. Not only will these plants add beauty to your garden, but their strong scents can help deter pests from approaching.

6. Implement companion planting: Another effective way to protect your garden from rabbits and groundhogs is by implementing companion planting. Certain plants, when grown together, create an unfavorable environment for pests. For instance, planting onions alongside your vulnerable plants can help deter rabbits and groundhogs with their pungent odor.

7. Regularly maintain and inspect: To keep rabbits and groundhogs at bay, it’s essential to regularly maintain and inspect your garden. Remove any fallen fruits or vegetables, as these can attract pests. Trim any overgrown vegetation and repair any potential entry points in your fencing. The more you stay on top of these tasks, the less inviting your garden will become to unwanted visitors.

8. Utilize traps: If you’re dealing with a stubborn rabbit or groundhog problem, you may need to resort to trapping. Live traps can be effective in catching and relocating these pests. However, it’s important to research local regulations and handle trapped animals responsibly, ensuring their safe release far away from your garden.

9. Seek professional assistance: In severe cases where DIY methods prove ineffective, it may be necessary to seek professional assistance. Local wildlife or pest control services can offer specialized guidance and solutions tailored to your specific situation. Their expertise and experience can help you address the root of the problem and find long-lasting solutions.

By following these strategies and adapting them to your specific circumstances, you can establish a garden that is resilient against rabbits and groundhogs. Remember, while it may require a combination of methods to achieve the desired results, the effort will be worth it when you can enjoy your bountiful and pest-free garden.

To ensure that your garden tools are in optimal condition, it’s important to know how to sharpen them. Check out our guide on how to sharpen garden tools for step-by-step instructions. Having sharp tools can help you effectively deal with any pests, including rabbits and groundhogs, that may invade your garden.

You May Like

Leave a Comment