How to Keep Animals Out of the Garden: 13 Ways

Gardening is a fun hobby and it is very rewarding when you see your plants grow into beautiful flowers and fruits.

But if you don’t want pests, critters, and other animals to destroy your garden then you should know how to keep animals out of the garden.

Critters and Animals to Look Out For

There are many types of animals that can do damage to your garden. Deer, rabbits, and ground hogs are some examples.

Tracks in the dirt can help you identify what kind of animals come into your yard and garden.

  • Deer leave hoof prints and nibble plants.
  • Rabbits leave tiny tracks and snip off plants.
  • Groundhogs dig holes and leave pellets.
  • Birds will peck at any crops.
  • Chickens or ducks may eat vegetables and fruit.

Animals that live in the wild also pose a threat to gardens. Squirrels, raccoons, opossums, skunks, foxes, coyotes, and snakes all love to eat seeds and plant roots. Rats love vegetables too, so it’s important to learn how to keep rats away from vegetable gardens.

If you have pets such as dogs, cats, or horses, they can also be dangerous for your garden. They can dig up soil, eat plants, and even cause damage by eating fencing around your property.

If you’re worried about animals damaging your garden, there are ways to deter them from coming onto your property.

How to Keep Animals Out of the Garden

Here are some easy ways to control the spread of pests and keep animals out of the garden.

1. Natural Repellents

Use repellents such as citronella oil spray, garlic, putrescent egg, onion juice, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, lemon grass, and eucalyptus oil. These natural products will repel insects and keep them away from your garden.

You can make your own repellent mixing the ingredients with water in a blender. Puree until the mixture is smooth and then strain it to only have the liquid. You can add more water if it’s thick.

Then spray it on your garden once a week or so. You can try to spray around your garden first if you want and not directly on the plants. 

2. Artificial Repellants

You can buy commercial repellents and insecticides like those made by Raid, Off!, and D-Con. These contain chemicals that kill bugs and protect against mosquitoes.

There are also ultrasonic sound and noisemakers. The noise created by these devices scares away animals.

I generally try to avoid using insecticides because they can be harmful to humans, wildlife, and beneficial insects. If you use pesticides, always read labels carefully before applying them.

3. Fencing and Chicken Wire

Fences can keep animals out of your garden. It is an effective way to keep deer, rabbits, and groundhogs out.

You can build a fence yourself or hire someone to do it for you. Building one with wood can be more effective for larger animals. 

Chicken wire can work for smaller animals. If you use chicken wire, set them up with stakes, rocks, or bricks to create the boundaries. 

4. Electric Fencing

Electric fencing is an effective way to keep animals out of gardens. Electric fencing works by shocking the animal with electricity. This causes the animal to jump back.

These are more expensive and need maintenance but they can be used year round. There are different types available depending on the type of animal you want to keep out. 

5. Motion Activated Frightening Devices

These frightening devices scare away animals when they detect motion. Some of these devices emit sounds, while others send vibrations through the air. They can also set off the sprinklers or lights to scare away pests.

6. Set Up Bird Feeders

Bird feeders are an alternative food source for birds. They also provide food for other animals including squirrels and mice.

Attracting birds to your yard can be a good thing too. Birds can help control pests like aphids and caterpillars.

Set up a bird feeder at the ends of your garden, so animals stay on the outskirts.

7. Hang Soap Bars Around the Garden

Soap bars are another deterrent for animals. Soap can deter squirrels and deer from your garden.

If you hang them near the edges of your garden, animals may think twice about walking into your garden.

8. Grow Herbs in the Garden

Herbs attract beneficial insects to your garden, but they also discourage herbivores like rabbits and deer. There are herbs like lavender and mint that humans like, but some pests and animals don’t like at all. 

9. Cover Your Garden With Netting or Garden Fabric

Netting keeps bugs and small animals out of your garden, but it may not stop large animals like raccoons and deer because they’ll be able to move them more easily.

You can also use garden fabric if it’s a smaller area or specific plants you want to protect.

10. Catnip

Catnip attracts cats, so you can use it to lure cats away from your garden. Place them in a pot or bowl away from the garden.

11. Prickly Mats

Prickly mats are made of spikes that stick straight up. You can put them around the garden to keep animals out. When animals step on the mats, it should be uncomfortable and deter them from walking into the garden. 

12. Place Coffee Grounds Around Plants

 Some small animals and bugs will avoid coffee grounds. The smell of coffee grounds repels them.

Place them around plants where you want to keep pests away.

13. Use Wind Chimes

Wind chimes are another way to deter animals because animals will usually stay away from noise. As long as you don’t have neighbors nearby who may not like wind chimes, they can be an effective way to deter animals. 

Keep Animals Out of the Garden Final Thoughts

There are many ways to keep animals out of the garden. It just depends what kind of animals you’re trying to keep out. If you want to keep only one species of animal out, then you may want to look for specific ways to deter that animal.

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Written by:

Denise Davis
Denise Davis is an avid gardener, deeply rooted in growing organic veggies and crafting homemade fertilizers. She cherishes the earthy essence of composting and the continuous learning that gardening provides. Denise sees gardening as a holistic activity, offering physical and mental benefits alongside the joy of consuming what you cultivate. Her passion is to inspire others to embrace gardening as a rewarding, healthful lifestyle.

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