Yes, we are here!

At MOTHER EARTH LIVING and MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we have been educating folks about the benefits of self-reliance for 50 years. That includes researching and sourcing the best books and products to help individuals master the skills they need in times like these and beyond. Our online store is open and we are here to answer any questions you might have. Our customer service staff is available Monday through Friday from 8a.m.-5p.m. CDT. We can be reached at 1-800-456-6018 or by email. Stay safe!

Wildlife Fencing: How to Keep Animals Out of Your Garden

Learn how to keep animals out of your garden with wildlife fencing such as tree guards, bird netting and wire rabbit fencing.

| March 2012 Web

  • An artfully designed double fence, each 5 ft. high, with a 5 ft. space between, keeps deer from jumping into the vegetable garden and also provides an attractive trellis for climbing plants.
    Photo By John Neff
  • “Landscaping for Privacy” brims with creative ideas for minimizing or even eliminating the nuisances that intrude on your personal outdoor space. Scores of real-world examples show you how to keep the outside world at bay by strategically placing buffers (such as berms or groups of small trees), barriers (such as fences), and screens (arbors or hedges, for example) around your property. And the helpful plant lists tell you precisely which varieties to choose in order to enhance your sense of seclusion.
    Photo Courtesy Timber Press

If you’ve ever felt frustrated by rabbits raiding your vegetables or birds snacking on your blueberry bushes, Landscaping for Privacy (Timber Press, 2011) by Marty Wingate provides solutions for keeping those pesky animals at bay. Landscaping for Privacy lists real-world examples on how to create successful private outdoor living spaces. This excerpt from Chapter 2, “Barriers: Effective Designs that Deter Invasion,” discusses how to keep animals out of your garden with different types of wildlife fencing. 

No garden can be devoid of living creatures, but for many gardeners, some creatures, such as deer, rabbits, raccoons, and other people’s dogs and cats, eat and trample plants or otherwise disrupt the garden. Unwanted wildlife and pet trespassers can be a constant headache—deer eating the roses, raccoons stripping the corn, or the cat next door using the flowerbed as a litter box. We do not want to hurt them, but we want them to stay out of our gardens.


When it comes to deer, everybody has a favorite remedy—from hanging bars of soap or bags of animal waste in the trees, to spraying leaves with smelly liquids (that must be reapplied continually), to using motion-activated sprinklers that soak the gardener as often as the deer. Restrictive plant lists may work for some, but many gardeners are tired of asking “Will deer eat it?” or trying to second-guess the animals’ likes and dislikes, which change from season to season. At the bottom of almost every list of plants that “deer won’t eat” is a caveat: “They will eat anything if they are sufficiently hungry.”

Motion-sensors that set off a sharp spray from the sprinkler can deter deer and other marauding animals—but you need to remember to turn off the sensor before you head outside to fetch the morning paper. Other gardeners find that they must move the sprinkler around the garden regularly, or else the deer become accustomed to where they will, and will not, get sprayed.

Barriers are the key to excluding deer from the garden. You can protect individual trees and shrubs, when young, by surrounding the plant with a wire cage. Loosely wrap woven wire fences around the trunks of young trees until the tree is established. As the tree grows, it can sustain some browsing damage, although deer will stand on their back feet to reach up into an apple tree and browse on fruit and leaves.

If you are protecting an entire orchard, consider using a fence barrier. A deer fence may not seem feasible—you might think it will be unattractive, that fencing the entire area is impossible, or that your yard will look like a prison. But many examples of successful deer fences in beautiful gardens exist to alleviate those fears.

Subscribe today and save 58%

Subscribe to Mother Earth Living !

Mother Earth LivingWelcome to Mother Earth Living, the authority on green lifestyle and design. Each issue of Mother Earth Living features advice to create naturally healthy and nontoxic homes for yourself and your loved ones. With Mother Earth Living by your side, you’ll discover all the best and latest information you want on choosing natural remedies and practicing preventive medicine; cooking with a nutritious and whole-food focus; creating a nontoxic home; and gardening for food, wellness and enjoyment. Subscribe to Mother Earth Living today to get inspired on the art of living wisely and living well.

Save Money & a Few Trees!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You’ll save an additional $5 and get six issues of Mother Earth Living for just $19.95! (Offer valid only in the U.S.)

Or, choose Bill Me and pay just $24.95.

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter

Free Product Information Classifieds

click me