How To Keep Small Animals Out of Your Garden

Keeping animals out of a garden can be a challenge for many gardeners. Whether it’s rabbits nibbling on tender new shoots or deer munching on prized plants, animals can cause significant damage to a garden in a short period of time. However, there are several strategies that you can use to protect your garden from damage. Here are some ways to keep small animals out of your garden.

Garden Fencing

A great way to keep critters out of your garden is by installing a fence around your garden. Shorter fences made of mesh or chicken wire are perfect for keeping small animals like rabbits away from your growing produce. However, if you are trying to prevent deer from entering your garden, you may need to install a fence that is at least five feet tall. This is because deer are excellent jumpers and tend to get over shorter fences. 

Raised Garden Beds

Raised garden beds are an effective way to keep smaller animals out of your garden and from burrowing under it. This is especially helpful when you have a smaller garden. A raised garden bed kit is perfect for a DIY fix. Not only will a little elevation help protect your plants, but also make it easier on your back. 


Wire Cloche

A wire cloche is another effective solution for keeping small animals out of your garden. A cloche is a small, dome-shaped structure made from wire mesh. It is placed over individual plants (like berry bushes) to protect them from damage. Cloches are particularly useful for protecting young seedlings and delicate plants. You can easily remove them when the plants are more mature. When you use cloches, make sure they are secure and properly ventilated to prevent your plants from overheating. 

Alternative Food Sources

Sometimes offering animals alternative food sources helps them not become so tempted by your gardening delights. For example, placing a bird feeder close to your garden may entice birds and squirrels to choose this alternative food. This method is often more effective when used alongside another one of these suggestions, like the raised garden beds. 

Ultrasonic Repellers

If you are looking for a non-invasive and non-toxic way to repel animals from your garden, an ultrasonic repeller might be the way to go. Typically, these repellers are solar-powered and are motion activated. These devices emit high-frequency sounds that are unpleasant to animals but inaudible to humans. The idea is that the sound will drive the animals away from your garden. 

There are different types of ultrasonic repellent devices available. This includes standalone units and those that can be attached to a garden stake. Some feature motion sensors that activate a sound only when an animal is detected.

While ultrasonic repellents can be effective in some cases, it’s important to remember that they may not work for all animals and in all situations. Additionally, the effectiveness of these repellents may vary depending on the size of your garden. Before using one of these devices, it’s a good idea to research and choose a device that is specifically designed to deter the animals you want to keep out of your garden. 

Animal Repellent Plants

There are certain plants that tend to repel animals. This is because animals have food preferences some plants are repulsive to them. Usually, these are strong-smelling or prickly plants. A few plants that work to repel animals include the following:

  • Lavender
  • Marigolds
  • Sage
  • Lemongrass
  • Rosemary
  • Mint

It is important to note that mint tends to spread and quickly take over your garden. If you decide to use this plant to repel animals, you may want to consider putting it in planters around your garden. This way it won’t spread through your carefully tended plants. 

A Bar of Soap

The strong smell of soap can also help drive animals away from your garden. This works by placing bars of soap in mess bags and hanging them around your garden. Soap is an inexpensive and non-toxic solution. However, when it rains the soap may deteriorate and sometimes animals may get used to the smell. If you need a short-term solution, soap may help, but if you need a long-term fix, consider one of the above options. 

Contain Your Compost Pile

Oftentimes, we are so focused on protecting the garden itself, we forget about other things that may draw animals to our yards. If you are looking to protect your garden from unwanted pests, consider your compost pile. Compost piles that sit out in the open are just calling for rabbits and deer to feast on them. In turn, these animals might begin to infest your garden as well. A solution for this is to simply contain your compost pile in a closed container. You can build your own compost bin or get a tumbler.

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