How to Protect
Your Garden from Animal Invaders

Gardening is one of the healthiest hobbies you can choose. It provides exercise, lowers blood pressure, and relieves stress. Gardening keeps you active and gets you outside to breathe in fresh air and feel sunlight on your skin. If you grow edibles, your garden directly contributes to a healthier diet, improving your life in many ways. Gardeners work hard to savor the fruits of their labors. There is nothing more frustrating to a gardener than having animals come in and eat the vegetables, dig up the plants, and wreak havoc on a gorgeous garden. If you want to know how to keep animals out of your garden for good, keep reading!

Types of Animals that Invade Gardens

Bugs Bunny. Peter Rabbit. These characters were unstoppable in their quests to invade the gardens of their foes. If you’ve ever had the misfortune of seeing the aftereffects of animals stealing your hard-earned harvest, you can understand completely why Elmer Fudd made it his mission to seek justice from the insatiable bunny. Rabbits Are super adorable creatures but they pose a real danger when it comes to ill-got garden gains. And we are sorry to say, rabbits are not the only animals gardeners have to worry about. Before you learn how to keep animals out of flower beds and gardens, you need to have a complete picture of what animals you are defending against. According to gardeners.com, the most common animals garden invaders are:

  • Chipmunks
  • Gophers
  • Mice
  • Moles
  • Opossums
  • Rabbits
  • Racoons
  • Rats
  • Skunks
  • Squirrels
  • Deer
  • Voles
  • Woodchucks
  • Bears
  • Birds
  • Snakes
  • Domestic dogs and cats

Keeping Animals Out of Garden by Blocking Points of Entry

Now that you know which critters will attempt to raid your garden, it’s time to make sure you learn how to keep animals out of your garden. The design of your garden will be your first line of defense. Set yourself up for success by incorporating design elements that will block animal access effectively. Specifically, consider enclosing your garden with a fence or cover.

How to keep animals out of vegetable garden with a fence:

  • Install a fence around the entire perimeter of your garden.
  • Trench to a depth of 1-3 feet around the entire perimeter and install fencing material below ground. This is to block burrowing or digging animals. How deep you need to go depends on the native wildlife in your area. For example, if you have burrowing animals such as gophers, you need to go deeper than you would for rabbits attempting to dig under the fence.
  • Choose a weather-resistant material such as treated lumber, metal, or wire. PVC-coated galvanized fencing is a popular and attractive-looking choice.
  • Consider an electric fence that will shock invading animals and encourage them never to return.
  • Think about installing a solid fence to block an animal’s view of the garden.
  • Install a gate that you will use to enter and exit the garden, making sure it has solid latches to keep it securely closed. 

How to protect garden from animals with cover:

  • Small gardens can be covered entirely using woven fabric row covers built for this exact purpose.
  • Construct a garden cover using greenhouse film and rods or greenhouse hoops.
  • Purchase prefabricated wire mesh covers made for individual plants, which are widely available at garden centers and online.

Keep Animals Out of a Garden by Growing in a Greenhouse

The best way to make certain that the bounty provided by your garden is not raided by pesky animals is to move your garden indoors. Growers and gardening enthusiasts all over the world have embraced greenhouse gardening for the many advantages it has to offer. Chief among them? It’s the only sure-fire way to keep animals out of your garden! Growers who want to have higher yields, longer growing cycles, and year round harvests plant their crops in a greenhouse. Some of the advantages include:

  • Greenhouse film and covers can manipulate natural light to your advantage, leading to higher yields.
  • Year-round gardening, even in the winter.
  • The ability to control temperature and humidity for precise cultivation.
  • Protection against wind, snow, drought, storms, and other weather-related risks.
  • Comfort and ease of access for the gardener.
  • Protection against animal invaders and subsequent crop loss or damage.

Using Animal Repellent to Keep Animals Out of a Garden

Another common strategy for dealing with animals in a garden is using garden animal repellent. Animal repellent for gardens comes in many different liquid formulations. These sprays need to be reapplied frequently as rain and other moisture causes them to run off.

Some are meant to smell like the predators of the animals you are targeting. For instance, garden animal repellent that is made to smell like coyote urine is a popular choice. If invading small mammals believe that coyotes are hanging out around your garden, they will assume that your garden is an unsafe environment for them and find another source of food.

Other animal repellents for gardens are meant to make your garden uninviting. These sprays emit a strong, unpleasant odor or have a terrible taste. They aim to trick animals into believing that your garden is filled with stinky and inedible things. If you are concerned with keeping your garden chemical-free, you can opt to make your own animal repellents for gardens that will be chemical-free and environmentally friendly. Regardless of which direction you go, you may have to try a few different types to find the best animal repellent for gardens in your area.

Home gardeners enjoy toiling in the dirt, watching their saplings grow into adult plants, and eventually, harvesting the food they have grown. Take the steps that are necessary to make sure that bounty is enjoyed by you and those you choose to share it with, not by wildlife. Happy gardening and good luck keeping your garden free from hungry critters.