Building a backyard garden is a rewarding and fun endeavor, but it can be ruined by neighborhood pests and critters. Some, such as wandering cats and family dogs, are easy to keep out. Wild animals, on the other hand, can be a real problem for gardeners. Here are 3 of the most common garden intruders and how to build a fence that will keep them out.
Cats and Dogs
Neighborhood cats and dogs are one of the easiest garden pests to keep under control. Any good fence at least 3 or 4 feet tall is likely to keep out most dogs and cats. Although it's true that cats can climb the fence, they are rarely so motivated and will likely move on to easier pastures. If cats or dogs are your problem, you can go with an inexpensive fence that you can keep in good repair, including wire and chain link. Make sure any holes along the ground are filled in quickly, since pets can wriggle under fences after working over repeated visits.
Deer can jump quite high, so don't underestimate the height required to keep them out. A fence for deer may need to be as tall as 8 feet, which makes it hard for most gardeners to be successful against these natural pests. The best deer fence is probably the one that prevents the deer from seeing what's on the other side. Deer will not naturally jump an obstacle if they can't see where they will land, so a solid wood or vinyl fence that bars their view may be your best option -- as long as the deer don't already know your garden exists. Be careful not to build a fence that blocks the sun, as well.
If it's an existing garden, you may need to use an electric fence which delivers a small shock to any animals who touch it. If an electric fence isn't to your liking -- or in your budget -- try a double fence system. A double fence consists of two fences set about 3 feet apart. The deer are unlikely to risk jumping a barrier if it is clear that they will not have a good place to land. You may use a solid fence for this but since you will be building two fences, you may want to save money with wire or chain link fencing.
Rabbits and Groundhogs
Keeping rabbits out doesn't require a lot of height even though rabbits can technically jump about 3 feet high. They rarely will do so, so concentrate more on building a fence without gaps underneath or inside the fence. They may be able to get inside any space the size of their heads, so a rabbit fence should have gaps no larger than about an inch. When installing the fence, dig down several inches into the ground and place the fence line below the soil to prevent them from burrowing underneath your barrier. This barrier below the ground will also help deter digging animals like groundhogs.
If you have any doubts about the right size and style of fencing for whatever creature is invading your garden, it may be best to work with a professional fence company, like Global Fence, Inc. There may be some investment you need to make in proper fencing, but the result will be the ability to enjoy the fruits of your labors... literally... year after year.