There’s nothing worse than seeing all of your hard work in the garden go to waste when animals break into your veg patch and start to help themselves.
All of those carefully cultivated fruit and veg are gone in the blink of an eye because a stray rabbit has had a nibble overnight!
So how can you prevent these pests from decimating your crops? The best way is to use garden fencing which will keep them away from your hard grown food. This is an easy way to deter pests from simply wandering around your garden eating their fill.
Today, we’re going to cover how you can keep your crops protected using garden fencing. We’ll show you how to sufficiently animal proof your garden to keep them away from your food, so you can enjoy the fruits of your labor.
Why You Should Use Fencing To Protect Your Vegetable Garden
As we have briefly touched on above, it will be important to use fencing to protect your vegetable garden because you could find that your entire crop is gone practically overnight.
All it takes is one hungry rabbit, mouse, or rat to help themselves, and then you won’t be able to enjoy any of the food that you’ve been enjoying for months.
You can always risk trying to grow your own food without fencing, of course. However, it will be a risk as to whether pests will make their way into your garden to start eating the food you are growing.
You can attempt to deter them with natural deterrents such as a mouse scarer, special DIY sprays, or other methods, however, these won’t be as efficient as fencing.
Don’t be put off by the initial cost of fencing. This will be a worthwhile investment that will more than pay you back in time.
Plus, this is something that you can use each year, so you won’t have to spend more money on building new fencing each time you want to grow something.
Let’s take a look at our top tips for deterring animals using fencing in your garden.
Built It Tall To Deter Animals
First of all, you will need to make sure that you make your fencing tall enough to keep out any pests that are large enough to jump over standard fencing.
This may seem like an obvious point to list, however, you would be surprised at the lengths animals will go to to get at free food.
If you have deer in your local area, you will need to make sure that your fencing is tall enough to keep them out and away from your crops.
Some deer can jump as much as 6 feet, so if these are prevalent in your local area, we would recommend making your fencing at least 8 feet in height.
Don’t tend to have deer around your local area? Then a shorter 6 foot to 5.5 foot fence should be more than enough for keeping the majority of animals out of your garden.
Install Fencing At Least 12 Inches Below Ground
Deer aren’t the only animals that will attempt to make their way into your garden, of course. Other animals will often burrow under fencing to get to your vegetables and fruit.
Anything from rabbits, rats, mice, to squirrels, voles, moles, and gophers can burrow their way under a shallow fence.
So to deter all manner of burrowing pests, you will need to install your fencing at least 12 inches below ground level.
You can do this by digging a small trench, then slotting the fencing into your freshly cut trench. You can also do this with mesh fencing around the base if you were concerned about wooden fence posts rotting.
By covering at least an extra foot underground, you can make sure that no pests can find their way into your garden.
Hardware Mesh Is Crucial For The Base Of Your Fencing
To prevent all manner of pests from burrowing under wooden or metal fencing, you should aim to use a hardware mesh along the base of your fencing.
Now this may be on the pricey end of the spectrum, especially when compared to cheaper components such as chicken wire. However, the investment will be worth it.
Cheaper components such as chicken wire won’t be sturdy enough to keep out pests such as rabbits or other rodents. Hardware mesh will give you the reliability that you need for deterring the vast majority of pests that typically burrow under fencing.
When it comes to smaller pests such as mice, things can get a little tricker. This is because these rodents are able to squeeze themselves through a hole that measures around 1 quarter of an inch in diameter, which is typically around the width of a pencil.
For these pests, you may wish to add traps to catch them in the act, or encourage your pet cat to do some pest control.
Proper Installation Is Important
This tip goes without saying, but after spending so much time and effort to get the very best fencing on the market to deter pests, you will want to ensure that it has been installed properly.
So if you have wire fencing, this will mean ensuring that it is taut, and there are no slack areas where pests can get through.
Any gap in your fencing – no matter how small – will be taken advantage of by nearby animals. So ensuring that you cut down on these gaps as much as possible will ensure that your food is kept safe from any pests lurking outside your boundary.
Alter The Fencing As Needed
In order to keep your fence working as it should be, you will need to ensure that all areas are covered.
So if you notice that one particular pest keeps getting through into your garden despite your efforts, you can then make any adjustments to your fence to prevent them from breaking through again.
If this happens to be rabbits digging under the fence, then you can increase the depth that you have your base buried. As we have already mentioned, a hardware mesh will be ideal for this.
You can also try adding electric fencing to your garden to deter animals from getting too close.
Electric fencing can also be an excellent deterrent for larger animals such as deer.
Look Out For Places Requiring Repairs
Over time your fencing can fall into disrepair. So to keep it performing well as a deterrent for pests, you will need to keep an eye out for anything that needs a bit of repair work.
This can also be the case if your area has a local storm which can knock fencing down.
If you do install electric fencing around your property, you will need to ensure that it has been hooked up to the battery properly so that it has everything it needs to perform the job.
Opted for a wooden fence? Then you will need to expect the wood each season so that you can replace or repair any rotten boards. It will also be worth applying an outdoor wood treatment to your fencing so as to prevent things like wood rot from setting in.
By keeping an eye out for maintenance issues and tackling them as and when they arise, you can make sure that your fencing lasts you for many years to come.
Protect Against Birds Using Netting
Ground based animals aren’t the only creatures that will happily help themselves to your crops. If you like to grow fruit or berries in your garden, the birds will more than happily help themselves to your spoils.
So to keep all of your crops protected, you can add some netting across the top of your fencing to protect them from above.
You can rest assured that by installing netting over your crops that they will be sufficiently protected until you can pick them and enjoy the fruit for yourself.
By installing a fine mesh netting around your fruits such as strawberries, you will also be protecting them from much smaller pests such as caterpillars, slugs, and snails.
So you won’t have to worry about putting pesticides on your crops that could harm other animals such as bees.
You can either make your own netting ensemble to place over your crops, or opt for a ready make netting cage.
So there you have it! You now know everything there is to know about protecting your garden from animals using our clever fencing tips. You will first need to understand what kind of pests are more likely to be prevalent in your area.
This will mean that you can choose the fencing that will be an appropriate height to deter them. If you have deer in your local area, this will mean ensuring your fencing is at least 8 feet tall.
Remember that not all pests will stay above ground. To prevent burrowing animals such as rabbits, armadillos, gophers, and rodents, you will need to install a hardware mesh around the base of your fencing.
You will also need to bury this at least 12 inches below ground so as to prevent them from coming into your garden. For smaller pests like mice, it will be worth installing traps.
Make sure that you have installed your chosen fencing properly, and that there are no gaps for animals to get through. You will also need to monitor your fencing and fix any maintenance issues as and when they arise.
This will protect your crops from any pesky pests that will try to get into your garden to eat them.
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