10 Key Ways to Protect Your Garden From Wildlife

Every experienced gardener knows that protecting plants from bugs and animals can be tough. They are persistent, many, and well-equipped to access and destroy all of your hard work.

Of course, there are old, well-proven ways to keep them at bay. There are also modern tools and techniques available.

Here, we will discuss some of the best and most reliable ways you can keep your garden safe.

A hungry deer looking for a way to get to the fruit tree in a garden. Tree is enclosed in a wire cage.

Know Your Critters

Your first goal should be to know what kinds of critters are targeting your garden. Fences won’t stop bugs and most pesticides won’t deter squirrels, deer, and birds.

Pay attention to the signs. Animals take bigger bites and do visible harm quickly. Depending on where you live, a variety of animals may wreak havoc on your garden.

In Chatham Count y, North Carolina animals ranging from deer and raccoons to even bears and wild boar may turn up in your yard.

Insects can also vary by region and leave more subtle signs of destruction, such as holes In leaves. Once you identify the culprits, you can strategize accordingly. 


Fencing is the most durable and reliable way to keep animals at bay. Putting up a nice sturdy fence is the first thing you should do to protect your garden.

Your fence should match the abilities of animals likely to target your plants. Use taller fences for deer and tighter fences for smaller creatures.

Know that in most cases, these will be a deterrent, but not a complete solution.

Strategic Plant Selections

Certain plants can be used as a barrier or take the place of more appealing ones. Planting specimens with a strong aroma and prickly or fuzzy textures can make your garden less appealing.

Of course, different types of creatures will be attracted to different types of food. So, once again, know your critters.

Protect New Plants

New plants, fresh from the nursery, will be more tender, healthy, and more appealing. New plants freshly purchased will tend to be more nutritionally dense, putting out a stronger, more appealing aroma. These will need extra protection.

Use Raised Beds and Pots

Getting your plants up off of the topsoil with raised beds will help slow the ingress of bugs. A small elevation with a little barrier fence will also slow down squirrels. They might even stop rabbits.

All of these things are obstacles that will slow down damage to your garden. But once again, they won’t do the job by themselves.

Leverage Untidiness

A garden tends to look like a well-plated meal to bugs and animals. In nature, natural deterrents are pretty effective.

In the areas around your garden, consider letting grasses and shrubs grow relatively wild. This will provide some visual cover. It will also help mask the smell of your garden plants.

Use Compost Containers

The aroma of an open compost pile is a powerful draw for hungry creatures. Use a nice sturdy self-contained compost bin.

This may also help keep bugs from nesting in it. If you feed your pets outdoors, also remember to cover their food or take it inside after they are done eating.

Scare Tactics

Bird tape, metallic streamers, and a good old-fashioned scarecrow are great passive deterrents for birds, especially. Motion-activated lights and sprinklers are good too. If you use things like scarecrows, be sure to move them periodically. Otherwise, animals get used to them.


Odor repellents are good for keeping animals out of a given area. Taste repellents can help protect specific plants. Animals that eat a taste repellent might become sick and not return.

Monitor and Revise

It’s a good idea to take notes on the measures you take and their results. Be ready to make changes quickly.

Remember that changing your strategy periodically can help keep critters guessing. This will also help you learn what’s most effective and what isn’t.

In conclusion, don’t use just one strategy, or even a few. Use as many as you can manage. The more varied your efforts, the more robust your garden security plan will be.