Keeping Animals out with Fencing

Preparing, planting and nurturing your garden can be a job, but to sustain it for the long-term requires additional care and time - especially when it comes to pest control. Some critters are inclined to dig up and destroy flowers and vegetables, while others eat plant seeds and devour both tender new sprouts and full-grown plants. 
 
While there are several techniques and applications used to prevent pest damage in the garden, fencing is one of the most common and effective methods.

 

Tips & Tricks

Whether you have an existing problem or want to proactively protect your plants, here's how to fence your garden to effectively prevent some of these common troublemakers from visiting:
 
Mice
Field mice and other small rodents love seeds, freshly emerging sprouts and leafy greens. You can keep them from doing serious harm to your newly planted garden with a 24-inch high, 1/4-inch hardware cloth mesh fence. Bury it 12 inches in the ground, and leave a 12-inch high barrier above ground.
 
Birds
Hungry birds can derail your gardening efforts by finding and devouring your newly planted seeds. You can prevent this by covering each row with a half-round of 1/4-inch hardware cloth laid lengthwise. Once your plants are established, remove the mesh and put it aside for use next spring.
 
Groundhogs
Groundhogs can wreak havoc on a garden, but you can make yours difficult to access by surrounding it with 4-foot-high, critter-proof fencing. Since these chubby rodents burrow, dig a trench and bury the first 2 feet underground. Then, to keep them from climbing up and over, don't attach the top foot to the fence posts. The same setup works for raccoons, but since they're skillful climbers, make your fence an extra foot or two taller.
 
Rabbits
Rabbits may appear harmless, but not when they're destroying your garden greenery. To keep them out, use 3-foot tall, 1-inch hexagonal chicken wire fencing and bury the first foot to discourage digging.
 
Deer
Deer find fresh garden fare simply irresistible. To keep them out of your garden, install an 8-foot-high upright deer fence, or 5-foot fencing installed on a slant using upright posts and 2 x 4s placed at a 45-degree angle. A slanted fence will also keep deer from crawling underneath to reach their next meal.