Living with rabbits – Food plants that rabbits don’t like

For every problem there are solutions and I have found that a good way to avoid a lot of stress and disappointment when rabbits live nearby is to focus on growing food plants that rabbits don’t like eating.

Different garden environments have different challenges. Some get regularly flooded, some are shady, some have loads of pigeons, some have poor soil, some have loads of mice… Down at our allotments the principle challenge is rabbits and I have based my growing strategy around plants that rabbits don’t like. I figure they will find a way to get through, under or over any of my attempts at a rabbit proof fence, so I aim to share my allotment.

Rabbits tend to avoid plants with strong aromas, bitter taste, or thorns. Rabbits can reach plants up to a maximum height of about 3 feet (it’s a good idea to grow vulnerable crops up as high as possible). They love young, sweet, tender shoots and leaves, but will also gnaw through bark.

They prefer tender woody plants with thin bark, so again new plants and shoots are at most risk and established trees and shrubs are relatively rabbit resistant. After plants have been growing for two or three months their stems and leaves toughen up and are less sweet and therefore less appealing to rabbits.

living with rabbits

No plants are completely resistant to rabbits. If they are hungry they will eat more or less anything green. But here is a list of food plants that rabbits tend to avoid (a good tip is to surround crops they like with crops they don’t like):

Rhubarb
Potatoes
Artichokes
Onions
Leeks
Tomatoes
Peppers
Squash
Asparagus
Cucumber
Corn
Basil
Lavender
Oregano
Chives
Rosemary
Mint
Parsley
Tarragon
Sage
Thyme
Cherry
Elder
Blackberries
Currants
Gooseberries

And here are some food crops that rabbits love:

Beans
Beets
Broccoli
Cauliflower
Cabbage
Carrots (they prefer the carrot tops)
Lettuce
Peas
Spinach
Swiss chard
Most young fruit trees and berry bushes

If anyone has any tips or suggestions, please comment below.

More free fruit/veg/herb growing advice and support:
www.foodcommunities.org
www.facebook.com/groups/foodcommunities

 

 

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