How to Keep Animals Out of a Garden


When the garden is in full bloom, you'll often find an array of animal visitors coming to your yard for a snack or even a full meal. While a nibble here or there doesn't make much difference, animals, such as deer, can destroy an entire garden. Before they do, it's time to do something about it. Use methods for deterrents that keep the safety of both animals and humans in mind--try different methods as each varies in effectiveness with different types of animals.

Step 1

Install wire or steel garden fencing around the perimeter of the garden. Buy it from a home improvement store or garden center in heights tall enough so animals cannot gain access. For small animals use an 18-inch-high fence buried 8 inches below the ground. For larger animals, such as deer, use a fence at least 7 feet tall.

Step 2

Place repellents in the garden, such as moth balls, or use repellent sprays, available through online garden retailers and at garden centers.

Step 3

Prepare a homemade repellent recipe using one chopped Spanish onion and one jalapeno pepper. Toss in a pan with 2 qt. water and 1 tbsp. cayenne pepper. Turn the heat on medium to high and boil for 20 minutes. Remove from stove to cool. Strain through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth and funnel into a garden sprayer. Utah State University Extension recommends spraying the garden with the mixture daily for up to two weeks to repel animals.

Step 4

Dust leaves with ground black pepper, red pepper or chili powder. Reapply whenever you see see signs of animals invading the garden again.

Step 5

Install a repellent device that responds with sounds or lights when it detects animals. Purchase from an online garden retailer or garden center. Some devices provide deterrent measures specific to certain animals such as deer.

Step 6

Plant flowers and herbs that deter animals around the garden. Deer don't like calendulas, lavender, basil, irises, fleabane or marigolds, according to the Lee County (Alabama) Humane Society. Squirrels stay away from sage and lavender.

Things You'll Need

  • Wire or steel fencing
  • Moth balls
  • Repellent spray
  • Pan
  • Spanish onion
  • Jalapeno pepper
  • Water
  • Strainer or cheesecloth
  • Garden sprayer
  • Ground dried peppers
  • Repellent devices
  • Flowers and herbs


  • Utah State University Extension: How Do I Keep Stray Animals Out of My Yard
  • eXtension: I Am Trying to Keep Small Animals Out of My Flower Garden
  • Lee County Humane Society: Keeping Animals Out of Your Garden
Keywords: keep animals garden, deter animals garden, repel animals garden

About this Author

Sommer Sharon has a bachelor's degree in IT/Web management from the University of Phoenix and owns a Web consulting business. With more than 12 years of experience in the publishing industry, her work has included "Better Homes and Gardens," "Ladies' Home Journal," "MORE," "Country Home," "Midwest Living," and "American Baby." Sharon now contributes her editorial background by writing for several Internet publications.