Throughout the year, gardens are subject to invasion by various species of hares (jackrabbits) and true rabbits (cottontails, brush rabbits, and related types). True rabbits, which give birth to blind, hairless young, usually dig their own shallow burrows or occupy those abandoned by other animals. Hares live above ground: their offspring are born with fur coats and fully developed eyesight, and thus require less protection.
Tender young growth.Damage:
Succulent leaves, shoots, and flowers are nibbled; young plants are often chewed to the ground. Bark on young trees and shrubs may be stripped, girdling the plants.Control:
You may also wish to create a fence of of ¾ inch diameter wire mesh; make sure the mesh extends at least a foot below ground, and bend the bottom outward to keep rabbits from burrowing beneath. (Or add a buried wire mesh extension to the existing fences). The fence needn’t be more than 2 feet high for rabbits, 3 feet high for hares; in snowy-winter climates, barriers should clear the snow line by these amounts.
To protect individual plants, surround them with wire mesh cylinders, buried the requisite depth and braced so that rabbits can’t push them in. Place row covers over seedlings.