Ever wondered if rabbits eat tomato plants? Well yes, yes they do. Let’s talk about how to keep them out!
Growing a vegetable garden can be a very rewarding thing to do. Picking fresh tomatoes is one of my favorite things to harvest from my garden.
That being said, there are constantly animals or bugs trying to eat your red juicy tomatoes. One of those being long-eared animals!
Just because rabbits will eat tomato plants, doesn’t mean that it is good for them. They tend to have sensitive digestive systems. Lets discuss that further.
Do rabbits eat your tomato plants?
Yes, rabbits will eat your tomato plants. They are attracted to new foods, ripe tomatoes, or any green fruits in the garden.
Though rabbits are attracted to tomato plants, they should only consume them in small quantities. A rabbit has a sensitive stomach and consuming too many tomato leaves could cause some digestive problems.
Tomatoes are a member of the night shade family, along with potatoes. These tomato plant leaves are more harmful while the ripe tomatoes aren’t harmful in small quantities.
If rabbits consume too many green fruits off of the tomato plant they may have digestive problems.
So if you have a pet rabbit, I would try to keep it from your tomato plants, not only to protect your tomatoes, but also help your rabbits health.
How do rabbits eat tomato plants
When you have a rabbit in your garden, you may see half-eaten tomatoes on the ground, if the rabbit can reach the tomatoes.
The rabbits tend to leave the tomato seeds behind. Rabbits don’t usually eat the entire plant unless you have young plants.
A rabbit will generally make a clean cut at the tomato stems, eating the leaves at the bottom of the tomato plant, especially on older plants that are taller than the rabbit.
A rabbit can do a lot of damage in a single night, or you may just see a clean cut nibble hear or there on the lower parts of your tomato plants.
How do you know if rabbits are eating your tomato plants
It is a good idea to identify what is eating your tomato plants before you try taking action. First things to consider are where the damage is on your tomato plant.
If you are seeing part of the tomato plant eaten off with no jagged edges then it may be damage from a rabbit.
You may want to look at your garden in the early morning and see if you find any little rabbits in your yard.
Another thing to consider is if there are brush piles or bushes where there are lots of food sources for a rabbit to make a home. Tidying up your yard or garden space may help prevent these little critters from eating your tomato plants.
What rabbits eat tomato plants
Basically any rabbit that is allowed to venture into your garden will find itself sampling your tomato plants!
Pet rabbits, wild rabbits, baby rabbits (older than three weeks), cotton tail rabbits, jack rabbits, really, the list goes on and on. Any of these rabbits can nibble at the base of your tomato plants, killing them in a single night.
How to keep rabbits out of your garden
We had TONS of rabbits in our garden previous to the one we have now. We had a forest area behind our home and our entire neighborhood had rabbits hopping all around.
Most of our problems came in the spring when rabbits were breeding and having babies. Once summer was in full swing, I didn’t see many rabbits anymore.
Most of my focus was keeping rabbits out of our garden during the spring, but I ended up making our garden rabbit proof year round, JUST IN CASE!
Here are a few options you could consider for keeping rabbits out of your garden. You can decide which is the best way for you!
In my opinion, this is a good choice if you don’t want to take any risks. If you have raised beds, that may be enough to deter the rabbits.
We ended up building a wire mesh fence out of chicken wire and small t posts or wooden stakes around the perimeter of our garden.
The best part about a fence for rabbits is that it doesn’t need to be very high. So you can really spend as much or as little as you want on this fence. If a cute wooden picket fence is what you desire, just be sure that the spacing between your pickets is VERY narrow.
We had a hog panel wire fence around our yard, and smaller bunnies could get through the 2″ wire spacing! So keep that in mind when designing your fence!
There is no guarantee for repellants working, but if you don’t have high traffic for rabbits this may be all you need.
You can make homemade repellents from rotten egg mixtures or hot pepper sprays. There are also commercial repellents that are specific rabbit repellants.
Just be mindful that these may not smell good to you either. They may also need to be re-applied after rain or watering. If your rabbit problem is seasonal like mine was, you may only need to keep up on the repellant for a season.
#3 Motion sensors
There are motion-activated sprinklers that you can set up around the perimeter of the garden. They are activated whenever motion is sensed.
The Pros of this is that your garden gets a little watering whenever a rabbit comes to eat your tomato plants, but it will also spray YOU if you forget to turn them off.
These also DON’T WORK when there are freezing temperatures. That being said, you won’t really have tomato plants in your garden if you are experiencing frosts, but you may have lettuces or carrots.
You can also purchase rabbit traps or wire cages and eliminate your pests that way. You may want to consider purchasing more than one trap and having them in several locations around your garden. These traps may become expensive if you have to purchase multiple.
Gardening can bring a lot of trial and error with pests, disease, and climate. All things that are out of our control. DON’T give up! Just because you lose a plant to rabbits, or pests, or an unknown cause doesn’t mean that you are a failure, you only fail, when you give up!