Tinfoil & Outdoor Vegetable Gardens


Using tinfoil is one of many old time tricks gardeners and farmers employ to keep unwanted visitors out of vegetable patches. Different methods have been adopted to control specific pest problems, from birds and wildlife to insects and rodents. Along the way, it has also proven beneficial to the growth of plants.

Pest Control

Control rodents and rabbits by using tinfoil around the vegetable garden. Wrapping tinfoil around the base of tall or large plants causes a reflection of light that they can see at their level and loose wrapping creates a rattling noise that startles creatures. Use tinfoil around the base of plants, such as sunflowers, tomatoes and broccoli. When rodents or rabbits hear the rattling or see light reflections, they believe there are dangers in the area and leave.

Reflective Lighting

Use tinfoil to reflect light where more light is needed. Wrap aluminum foil around cardboard to create panels and place them behind the plants at an angle to direct sunlight. This will generate light and heat to promote garden growth and keep moisture at ground level. The panels also serve as a deterrent to pests and animals looking for food.


Cornell and New Mexico State universities recommend shredding tinfoil into pieces and mixing it with mulch. The mixture reflects light up from the ground, which repels rodents, aphids, thrips and many insects. Adding tinfoil will increase the cost of the mulch, especially when using it on larger scales.

Wildlife Control

Tinfoil acts as a deterrent against birds and wildlife from entering your garden. Wrap it around bristle board or cardboard that is cut into the shape of a scarecrow, with the shiny side facing the sun. Tie it to a tree limb so the scarecrow shimmers, creating movement to scares birds away from vegetable gardens. Tie lines along the perimeter of the garden with strips of tinfoil attached it create a similar effect to deter deer and larger animals.


Possible problems with using tinfoil include heat trapping and diminished effectiveness over time. Aluminum foil traps heat and can burn plants nearby or plants that it is wrapped around. Use care to ensure proper moisture is retained. Over time, the effectiveness of the sound and reflectivity might have a diminished effect as animals become used to it in one location. Over time, they might discover ways around the tinfoil into the garden.

Keywords: tin foil uses, vegetable garden pests, controlling pests

About this Author

Jack S. Waverly is a Pennsylvania-based freelance writer who has written hundreds of articles relating to business, finance, travel, history and health. His current focus is on pets, gardens, personal finance and business management. Waverly has been writing online content professionally since 2007 for various providers and websites.