How to Keep Animals Out Of The Garden Without Fence?


If you are like most people, you probably love spending time in your garden. It’s a great way to get some fresh air and enjoy the outdoors. However, if you have animals like deer or rabbits that like to wander into your garden, it can quickly become frustrating. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to keep these animals out without having to install a fence.

One of the best ways to keep animals out of your garden is by using plants that they don’t like. Deer and rabbits tend to avoid plants that have strong smells, so try planting things like lavender or marigolds around the perimeter of your garden. You can also try sprinkling some cayenne pepper or chili powder on the ground around your plants. These spices will deter animals without harming them.

Another way to keep animals out of your garden is to make it less inviting to them. If you have a lot of tall grasses or weeds around your garden, trim them back so that the animals can’t hide in them. You should also remove any food sources that might be attracting the animals, such as fallen fruit or birdseed.

And, finally, make sure to clean up any trash or debris that might be around your garden, as this can provide shelter for animals.

In this blog post, we will discuss some of the best ways to keep animals out of your garden!

Why Fencing is Not the Ideal Way to Keeping Animals Out of the Garden?

The majority of homeowners build fences to keep animals out of their gardens. This method may assist you to prevent some tiny creatures from leaping into your garden, but it does not always work. Furthermore, the barriers you build restrict your garden’s view from the outside, turning it into a more private than friendly home garden [1].

If you have the space, you can keep animals out of your garden by planting certain types of plants that they do not like.

Some dogs are afraid of loud noises and will bark at anything that moves.

You could use this to your advantage by playing recordings of dogs barking or keeping a radio on in the garden. The sound will deter them from entering.

Another way to keep animals out is by using strong-smelling substances such as vinegar, ammonia, or garlic around the perimeter of the garden.

These smells will mask the scents that attract animals, making it less likely for them to enter your garden. You can also try using motion-activated sprinklers to startle animals when they come near your plants.

Finally, remember that some animals are attracted to food, so be sure to keep your garbage can lids sealed tight and clean up any fallen fruit from your trees.

Effective Ways to Keep Animals Out of The Garden Without Fence:

Determine the Type of Critters [2]:

Deer. Deer will leave marks on trees and shrubs, as well as nibble marks. If the deer are eating your plants, you need to take action. The first step is to figure out what type of animal is causing the problem;

Rabbits. The rabbit damage generally appears as a neat clip all around the plant just above ground level. If you suspect rabbits, look for their telltale signs: round droppings and footprints in soft soil;

Determine the Type of Critters [2]:

Rodents. Mice and voles leave small holes in the ground where they pop up to nibble on leaves and stems. These rodents also eat underground, so you may see raised dirt “runways” leading from their burrows to your plants;

Groundhogs. Groundhogs are large rodents that can cause extensive damage to gardens. They eat vegetables and flowers and dig burrows that undermine foundations and disrupt lawns. If you have a groundhog problem, you need to take steps to get rid of these pests;

Birds. Birds can be a real nuisance in the garden, eating seeds, fruits, and tender shoots. They also carry diseases that can infect your plants. To keep birds out of the garden, you need to take some preventive measures;

Change the Types of Plants in Your Garden

If you live in an area with a lot of deer, rabbits, or other animals that like to eat plants, consider changing the types of plants in your garden. Deer-resistant plants are a great way to keep animals out of the garden without fencing them out.

Many beautiful deer-resistant plants will thrive in your garden and keep the animals away.

Try planting some of these deer-resistant flowers and shrubs:

  • Blackeyed Susans;
  • Butterfly Bushes;
  • Coneflowers;
  • Daylilies;
  • Lantanas;
  • Pentas;
  • Periwinkles;
  • Petunias;
  • Phlox;
  • Purple Coneflowers;

Plant in Tall Pots

If you’re growing veggies or herbs, consider planting them in pots that are at least 18 inches tall. This way, the roots will stay cooler and the plants will be out of reach of most animals. You can also place a wire mesh around the top of the pot to further deter animals.

Tall pots aren’t just for veggies and herbs; flowers like impatiens, petunias, and marigolds do well in them too. And since they’re portable, you can move them around the garden as needed to give your plants a little extra protection.

Attract Owls and Bats

Owls and bats are natural predators of many small animals, so attracting them to your garden can help keep the critter population in check. Owls like to nest in trees, so if you have any tall trees on your property, make sure they’re well-maintained. You can also put up a bat house; these can be purchased online or at most home improvement stores.

Attract Owls and Bats

Both owls and bats are attracted to water, so placing a birdbath or small pond in your garden will also help attract these helpful predators. Just be sure to keep an eye on the water level and clean it out regularly to prevent mosquitoes from breeding.

Sprinkle Coffee Grounds Around Plants

You may not like the smell of coffee, but many animals can’t stand it. Sprinkle used coffee grounds around the perimeter of your garden to keep them away. You can also try other strong-smelling spices like cinnamon or pepper. Just be sure to reapply after it rains.

Install Chicken Wire

If you’re dealing with larger animals like deer, installing a chicken wire around the perimeter of your garden can be very effective. Bury it about a foot underground and six inches above the ground to deter them from jumping or digging their way in.

Invest in a Guard Pet

Another way to keep animals out of the garden is by investing in a guard pet. A dog or cat can be very effective at keeping away smaller creatures like rabbits and rodents. Just be sure to introduce them to your garden gradually so they don’t damage your plants.

Use Wire Cloches

If you’re worried about birds eating your seedlings, try using wire cloches. These small cages can be placed over young plants to protect them until they’re big enough to fend for themselves [3].

Cover Up Holes

One way animals get into gardens is by burrowing underneath fences. To deter them, cover up any holes or gaps in your fence with chicken wire or hardware cloth.

Secure Animal Feeders

If you have bird feeders in your yard, be sure to secure them so that animals can’t tip them over and eat all the food. You can also try feeding animals elsewhere in your yard so they don’t see your garden as a free buffet.

One way to keep animals out of your garden is by placing alternative food sources around your yard.
This will give them something to eat besides your plants. Try placing a bird feeder or two in your yard, as well as some fruit trees or bushes.

Install Automatic Sprinklers

Another way to keep animals out of your garden is by installing automatic sprinklers. These will deter animals from coming into your garden, as they don’t like being sprayed with water.

Remove Water Sources

One way to deter animals from coming into your garden is by removing any water sources. If there’s no water for them to drink, they’re less likely to stick around.

Use Noise, Lights, or Motion Activated Traps

These can be purchased at most hardware stores and can be set up easily. Simply place the trap near the area where the animals are coming in and wait for it to do its job.

Consider Safe Trapping Techniques

If you decide to trap animals, always consider safe and humane trapping techniques. There are many ways to trap animals without harming them, so be sure to do your research before taking this route. Additionally, be sure to check your local laws and regulations regarding animal trapping, as there may be certain restrictions in place.

Avoid Putting Trash Cans on Your Property Front

Trashcans are often full of food scraps and other goodies that animals will love to get into. If you have your trash can on your property front, it’s likely that animals will be attracted to it and try to get into the garbage.

Avoid Putting Trash Cans on Your Property Front

To keep animals out of your trash, make sure to put your trash can in a shed or garage, or at least away from the edge of your property.

Spray Predator Urine Into the Garden Soil

Animals can smell their predators and will stay away from areas where they think their predators have been. You can buy predator urine at many sporting goods stores, or you can collect it yourself from a local animal shelter. Simply spray the urine around the perimeter of your garden to keep animals out.

Deter the Animals with Chili Pepper Spray

Another way to deter animals from your garden is to spray chili pepper around the perimeter. You can make your own chili pepper spray by mixing water, vinegar, and chili peppers in a spray bottle.

Use Cider Vinegar Drenched Corncobs as a Scent Barrier

Cider vinegar is a natural repellent for many animals, and the scent will help keep them out of your garden. Soak some corn cobs in cider vinegar and then place them around the perimeter of your garden.

Plant Certain Herbs and Flowers Around Your Garden

There are certain herbs and flowers that animals dislike the smell of, such as lavender, rosemary, marigolds, and chrysanthemums. Planting these around your garden will help deter animals from entering.

Integrate Noise Using Wind Chimes or Wind Harps

When the wind blows, these devices will make a loud noise that will scare away any animals that are trying to enter your garden.  You can find these devices at any garden center or online.

Spread Unwashed Hair Into the Garden

If you have long hair, simply spread it around the perimeter of your garden.

Spread Unwashed Hair Into the GardenThe animals will smell the human scent and stay away.

Install Motion-Activated Garden Floodlights

One way to keep animals out of your garden is to install motion-activated floodlights. These lights will come on automatically when they detect movement, startling animals and deter them from entering your garden.

Use Clay Cat Litter and Talcum Powder Mixture

Another way to keep animals out of your garden is to use a clay cat litter and talcum powder mixture. This mixture will create an unpleasant smell for animals, deterring them from entering your garden.

Use Blood Meal

A blood meal is a dried and powdered form of blood that can be found at most gardening stores. When sprinkled around the perimeter of your garden, it will deter animals from entering due to the strong smell [4].

Scatter Prickly Stems Near Your Plants

If you have plants that animals like to eat, you can deter them by scattering prickly stems near the plants. Animals will avoid these stems, preventing them from getting to your plants.

Use large rocks

Another way to keep animals out of your garden is by using a physical barrier. Fences are the most obvious choice, but they can be expensive and time-consuming to build.

If you’re looking for a quick and easy solution, try placing large rocks or logs around the perimeter of your garden.
This will create an instant barrier that animals won’t be able to cross.

Keep Your Grass Cut Short

Animals like to hide in tall grass, so if you have tall grass on your property, it’s more likely that animals will take refuge there. To keep animals out of your grass, make sure to keep the grass cut short.

Keep Your Grass Cut Short

You can also consider planting low-growing plants

Use a Garden Net

If you have delicate plants that you need to protect from animals, you can use a garden net. Garden nets are made of lightweight mesh and can be draped over plants to keep animals from getting to them.

Comparative Methods for Keeping Animals Out of the Garden Without a Fence

Gardens are wonderful spaces, but sometimes unwelcome animal visitors can wreak havoc on our plants and flowers. While traditional fences are effective, there are alternative methods to keep animals at bay. This table compares various indicators of different techniques for protecting your garden without the need for a fence.

Method Effectiveness Cost Eco-Friendliness Maintenance
Repellent Plants Medium Low High Low
Scare Devices (e.g., Motion-activated) Low Medium Medium Medium
Ultrasonic Repellers Low High High Low
Natural Predators (e.g., Owls, Hawks) High Low High Low
Netting/Covers High Medium Medium High

Explanation of the Table:

  1. Repellent Plants: Certain plants, like marigolds, lavender, and garlic, emit scents that animals find unpleasant, deterring them from entering the garden. While effectiveness varies, this method is environmentally friendly and requires minimal maintenance.
  2. Scare Devices: Motion-activated devices, such as sprinklers or noise makers, startle animals away. Although they have a moderate cost, their effectiveness and eco-friendliness may not be as high, and regular maintenance is needed.
  3. Ultrasonic Repellers: These devices emit high-frequency sound waves to repel animals. While they have a high eco-friendliness, their effectiveness is limited, and they can be relatively expensive.
  4. Natural Predators: Introducing natural predators like owls or hawks can significantly reduce animal intrusions. This method is effective, eco-friendly, and requires minimal cost and maintenance.
  5. Netting/Covers: Physical barriers like netting or row covers provide excellent protection. They are highly effective, but the cost and maintenance can be relatively higher.

Consider the trade-offs between these methods to find the most suitable approach for your garden’s specific needs.


What can I put in my garden to keep animals out?

A variety of things you can put in your garden to keep animals out:

  • Motion-activated sprinklers;
  • Pesticides and herbicides;
  • Fencing;
  • Habitat modification;

With a little creativity, you can find a solution that works for you and keeps the animals out of your garden.

What smells deter animals?

To keep undesirable animals at bay, sprinkle or spray lavender, mint, pyrethrum, geranium, and paste of garlic around plant stems. Planting rue, basil, sage, pyrethrum, garlic, and onions near the entrance may repel insects and rodents [5].

Do I need a fence around my garden?

You may need a fence around your garden if you live in an area with deer, rabbits, or other animals that could eat your plants. A fence will also keep out larger animals such as dogs and cats. The height of the fence will depend on the animal you are trying to keep out.

If you have a small garden, you can use chicken wire or hardware cloth to build a simple fence. You can also purchase pre-made fences at most home improvement stores. Be sure to bury the fence at least six inches underground to prevent animals from digging underneath it.

Do vegetable gardens attract rats?

No, vegetable gardens do not attract rats. In fact, rats are more likely to be found in areas where there is a lot of human activity, such as near garbage cans or in sewers. If you have a rat problem in your garden, it is probably because there is a food source nearby that is attracting them. You can learn more about how to keep rats out of your garden here.

Does cinnamon keep animals out of the garden?

Mint oils (often combined with pepper and garlic), cloves and cinnamon, and citrus are all examples of not-so-terrible odors that deter deer [6].

What animals does lavender repel?

Lavender is a popular flower that has been used to repel fleas, moths, mosquitoes, and other bugs for hundreds of years. While the oil from the flowers acts as a mosquito repellent, the plant itself can keep insects at bay [7].

Do animals not like garlic?

The strong smell of garlic may keep some animals away. You can plant garlic around the perimeter of your garden, or make a garlic spray to deter animals.

To make a garlic spray, mince or press several cloves of garlic and mix with water. Let the mixture sit for at least an hour, then strain and add it to a clean spray bottle. Spray the mixture on plants and areas where you don’t want animals to go. Re-apply as necessary.

Are there any natural remedies to keep animals out of the garden?

Yes, there are several natural remedies you can use to deter animals from entering your garden. These include planting strong-smelling herbs, using predator urine, and placing reflective objects to startle them.

What are some plants that can help repel animals from the garden?

Certain plants, such as marigolds, chrysanthemums, and garlic, have strong scents that can help repel animals. Planting these around your garden can discourage unwanted visitors.

How can I use motion-activated devices to keep animals away?

Motion-activated sprinklers and lights can startle animals and deter them from entering your garden. These devices use sensors to detect movement and then activate a burst of water or light.

What role do physical barriers play in keeping animals out of the garden?

While you’re looking for fence alternatives, physical barriers like netting, row covers, and mesh can help protect your garden from animals. These barriers create a barrier between the plants and the animals, making it difficult for them to access the garden.

Are there any homemade repellents I can use to keep animals away?

Yes, you can create homemade repellents using ingredients like chili powder, vinegar, or citrus peels. These strong scents can help deter animals from approaching your garden.

How can I attract natural predators to keep animal pests in check?

Encouraging natural predators like birds, ladybugs, and beneficial insects to visit your garden can help keep animal pests under control. Providing shelter and food sources for these predators can create a balanced ecosystem.

What role does garden maintenance play in animal deterrence?

Regular garden maintenance, such as removing fallen fruits, trimming overgrown vegetation, and keeping the area clean, can reduce the attractiveness of your garden to animals. Removing potential food sources can discourage them from visiting.

Are there any sound-based methods to keep animals out of the garden?

Sound-based methods, like wind chimes, ultrasonic devices, or even playing recorded predator sounds, can help deter animals by creating an unfamiliar and unsettling environment.

How can I use companion planting to protect my garden from animals?

Companion planting involves strategically placing certain plants together to benefit each other. For example, planting strong-smelling herbs or flowers around vulnerable crops can help mask their scent and deter animals.

What are some effective ways to keep larger animals, like deer, out of the garden?

To deter larger animals, you can use motion-activated sirens, strong-smelling deterrents, and even visual barriers like hanging reflective tape. These methods can help make your garden less appealing to deer and other large animals.

Useful Video: A Wild Animal Proof Garden with No Fence?