Do Rabbits and Deers Bother Garlic?

achang89(Z6)July 22, 2013

I try to get prepared for garlic planting and just wonder if I need to protect the garlic from deer and rabbits.

Do deers and rabbits mess with garlic? I grow some onion and rabbits do chew the tops.

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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

I don't know about deer, but I have not seen anything to be interested in eating garlics. The rabbits must have been VERY hungry to eat the onions.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2013 at 5:48AM
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I had a rabbit come into the garden this spring and it's mostly garlic. She made a nest and had babies IN the garlic bed! She didn't bother anything except the beet greens.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2013 at 8:35AM
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We are plagued by rabbits who have eaten my garlic chives, but didn't touch the garlic. The deer don't come close to the house so I don't know if they eat garlic or not. I planted buckwheat during last summer, before the garlic went in. The rabbits ate that down to the ground.


    Bookmark   July 23, 2013 at 9:10AM
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I'm just digging the bed for the garlic. It is in open area in front of trees. There is no fence of any kind of.

I know deers probably won't touch the garlic, but I'm not sure about those bad rabbits.

Also, we see the ground hog type animal on our lawn. He is about 2' size, not sure if ground hog. He is fat and brown colored.

I may just plant a small bed, not the 4 beds I planned. Each bed is about 6'x20'. Do not want to throw away the $$ to the rabbits.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2013 at 10:07AM
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wertach zone 7-B SC

I don't think they will touch them. They have never bothered mine. But they also haven't bothered my onions either!

You must have a waskally wabbit!

    Bookmark   July 23, 2013 at 3:07PM
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Maybe I should not put all blames on the rabbits. We have deers, wild rabbits, squirrels, birds and even ground hog.

Rabbits and squirrels are the most active. The deers should keep themselves busy since the acres of corn field is just next door.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2013 at 3:47PM
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little_minnie(zone 4a)

I have a pocket gopher that eats the root areas of onions and garlic now. It is like he tried it last year and decided it was worth eating.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2013 at 8:47PM
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I have personally seen pocket gophers devour entire garlic heads that were only weeks away from harvest.

You don't mention gophers, so maybe you don't have them where you live.

Pocket gophers are primarily underground dwelling animals. The only way I know to exclude them is to build a raised bed with wood edges and with 1/2" hardware cloth on the bottom (hardware cloth is square wire mesh). I staple it to the bottom of the wooden frame.

Leave the wooden frame sticking up maybe 2 inches or so above ground level. They don't climb over things, so 2 inches is enough to keep them out.

Hopefully you don't have them, because they are a pain in the posterior.


    Bookmark   July 30, 2013 at 1:46AM
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still_kris(z17 NoCA)

Last time I planted in ground I lost all to the gophers. They worked their way down the rows until they had them all and also took everything in two double rows of potatoes. They absolutely love peas and pull the entire vine down into their tunnels.

I have even had rhododendrons (poisonous to us) killed due to gophers eating the roots.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2013 at 8:46AM
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t-bob(west wa)

WELL, about 20 years ago i had just moved to a place in September and worked up a bed to plant about 150 garlic plants. In the spring I went on a week vacation and when I came back, all I had left were about 50, and deer prints everywhere. I asked my garlic mentor if she had ever heard of a deer eating garlic. She said they might take a nibble, but that is all, and will leave it alone. I told her there were like 100 plants eaten. She, who is about the most peaceful person I know looked at me and said----Fill your freezer, I would get it killed----

I have never had that problem again and know it was some crazy/, probably less than year old, taste bud lacking deer....but, you can bet your bippy that I have never allowed my garlic to be anywhere but in a fenced area since then......back then it was not fenced because, well because DEER DON'T EAT GARLIC------EXCEPT THE PSYCHO ONES......ergo, i say fence it

    Bookmark   August 2, 2013 at 1:12PM
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Sounds very discouraging.

I can't fence in the area I plan to do garlic. Maybe I should try a small patch and use the other plots for Iris and Daffodio for now. Then I'll see how the deers handle my test garlic. I do not want to lose $50 worth of garlic to the wild creatures.

I lost most of my onions to wild ones, mostly rabbits. But it only costed me about $5 for the onion sets.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2013 at 1:19PM
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We planted 3 kinds of garlic last fall- a hardneck (Music I think), a softneck ( Inchelium Red) and a little bit of Elephant garlic. These were small plantings, but over the winter, something stole all but one of the hardneck garlic. I'm fairly certain it was squirrels. Squirrels & raccoons are the most likely culprits, but since they just disappeared and nothing was really dug up too much, I'm guessing squirrels. We also have some sort of mole or gopher (it may be a really large sort of mole, I'm not quite sure and I've never seen the actual animal)

The softneck didn't seem to be touched and most of the elephant garlic was still there.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2013 at 2:12AM
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It is hard to imagine that some animals would like the smell of the garlic....

    Bookmark   August 4, 2013 at 7:53AM
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largemouth(Z6 NY)

No one has more deer, rabbits or groundhogs than I do here 70 Miles north of NYC, on the cusp of zone 5 and 6. Can't even leave my tomatoes unfenced cause the deer munch the tops. The rabbits and the hogs chew lots of my zucchini leaves and even a pepper plant or 2. Even potato plants get a taste every once in a while.

That being said, after 5 years of growing garlic, they have no interest at all. Ever. Can't believe they would have any interest at all in them. So far, so good!

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 9:38PM
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Prachi(6b (NJ))

I am in central jersey.... deer and rabbits don't bother my garlic... for a long time it really was the only green thing around and they didn't touch it. I do have a vole/gopher sort that ate my onions.... but it wasn't very active for a majority of the garlic season and I grew them in raised beds (he went after onions that were straight in the ground not in raised beds)

    Bookmark   August 26, 2013 at 7:00AM
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Until this year I never had anything bother onions, garlic or leeks. This year, however, something ate my leeks right down, but didn't bother onions or garlic.

We've got an electric fence, which seems to have kept out the deer and groundhogs. The rabbits, however, don't seem to be bothered by it so I'm guessing they were the leek munching culprits.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2013 at 9:47AM
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