How to Keep Animals Out of the Garden without a Fence (Best 20 Ways)

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When you have an exquisite garden of veggies and flowers, it is bound to get some attention from wild animals. Some people find seeing animals prodding around their gardens fascinating. However, many don’t share the sentiment when they see their hard-worked garden ripped off by invading animals. 

How to Keep Animals Out of the Garden without a Fence
Image of a brown squirrel on a garden table

Common Garden-Intruding Animals

If you live in the USA, you must be familiar with all kinds of animals that can be a nuisance for your gardens. In the city areas, the gardens are mostly targeted by critters, cats, and dogs. However, many suburban areas also attract wildlife animals. 

Here is a list of animals that mostly make a mess of your gardens and you need to steer clear of:

  • Cats
  • Dogs
  • Rabbits
  • Squirrels
  • Raccoons
  • Groundhogs
  • Deer
  • Gophers
  • Birds
  • Coyotes

Stray cats and dogs are not as destructive for your garden as the other mentioned animals, but they usually make your flower beds their litter boxes. The dogs also tend to dig up holes in the gardens, doing short work of demolishing your lawn.

Fencing – Not the Ideal Way for Keeping Animals Out of the Garden

Most people install fences for keeping animals out of the gardens. This technique may work for preventing some small critters from jumping into your garden, but it does not work every time.

Furthermore, the barriers you install restrict your garden’s view from the outside, making it more of a private cell than a friendly home-garden.

Now that we have established that fencing around your property is not the right way to go, the question remains – how to keep animals out of the garden without a fence?

How to Keep Animals Out of the Garden Without a Fence

It may seem challenging to shut down your garden for the animals without putting a fence around your house. However, several other helpful tips can be applied to keep animals out of the gardens.

These 20 techniques will help you secure your lawn from the intruding animals efficiently:

1- Avoid Putting Trash Cans on Your Property Front

The first thing that attracts any animal to your property is the placement of trash cans on your front porch. Once they detect the stink of it, your garden automatically gets into their radar because of the easy access. 

For preventing the animal invasion in your gardens because of the garbage cans, you can integrate a small airtight container on the front porch so that the trash doesn’t appeal to the animals, protecting your lawn from being an indirect target.

2- Spread Coffee Grounds Onto the Soil

Coffee grounds are a natural animal repellent as their smell is highly disliked by most animals. For example, cats, deer, bugs, and critters avoid lawns where the soil is mixed with the coffee grounds. As an additional advantage, gardening experts recommend using coffee grounds in the soil as they are good for increasing its nutritional value.

If you don’t have enough coffee grounds to cover your lawn, you can ask the local coffee shops nearby for their used grounds.

3- Incorporate Scarecrow Sprinkler Into Your Garden

Another tip for keeping animals out of the gardens is to fix a scarecrow sprinkler, also known as deer sprinkler, into your lawn. It is a battery-operated water sprinkler system mounted with a motion-detector. When the device catches any unfamiliar activity around the garden, it sprays a load of water onto the intruding animal invading your yard. 

It would be best to check for a scarecrow sprinkler that matches your garden needs as these devices come in a variety of sizes and price ranges.

4- Spray Predator Urine Into the Garden Soil

This may sound off-putting, but spraying predator urine into the garden soil or on tree trunks works splendidly for deterring the pesky animals away. The urine’s smell gives off danger vibes to the potential invading animals, scaring them out of the garden.

If you don’t want to spray urine all around your garden, there is an alternate method that would not be as revolting, but will work just the same. You can soak cotton balls into the predator’s urine and then place these balls around the garden’s perimeter. 

The cruelty-free predator urine can be easily purchased from your local garden centers or stores. For keeping the cats and little critters like rabbits and squirrels away from your garden, fox urine would be the best choice. On the other hand, if you need something that deters larger animals like deer, coyote urine would work best.

This technique works most efficiently when it comes to keeping animals out of the gardens. However, we suggest taking another route if you entertain your guests near your garden occasionally. That’s because the smell can be a bit too much for the new-comers sometimes.

5- Deter the Animals with Chili Pepper Spray

Another effective animal-repellant is chili pepper spray that you can easily make in your home. For making the mixture, follow the given instructions:

  1. Pour ¾ cup water in a wok and add ½ teaspoon of chili flakes into the water.
  2. Cover the wok with a lid and then boil the chili flakes liquid for about 5 minutes.
  3. Once the mixture is boiled, turn off the flame and let the mixture cool down. Don’t inhale the steam or let it get into your eyes, as it can cause severe irritation.
  4. After the mixture has cooled off, strain it into a spray bottle.

This is how you can make the chili flake spray for your garden. Once you are done with the steps above, you should spray it evenly around your garden while giving special attention to the areas the animals usually enter your lawn.

6- Use Cider Vinegar Drenched Corncobs

Most ground-dwelling animals can’t stand the smell of cider vinegar. The best way to use vinegar into your garden is by drenching a few corncobs into the cider vinegar for ten minutes and then spread them around your lawn every few feet. You can make a pattern that does not affect the overall look of your garden. In the long term, the cobs gradually break down, feeding you soil.

If you don’t have corncobs, you should try soaking cotton balls with cider vinegar and scatter them around the lawn. It may not work as effectively as the corncobs, but it will deter the animals to a certain extent.

7- Make an Effective Several-Ingredients Repellant Spray

Another ultra-effective natural repellant for keeping animals out of the gardens is made by mixing several strong-scented ingredients, including vinegar, crushed garlic, cayenne peppers, ammonia, and water. 

This is what you will have to do for making this spray:

  1. Pour ¾ cup water in a wok.
  2. Make slits on two cayenne peppers and crush three garlic cloves. Add them into the wok with water.
  3. Boil the water for 5 minutes. Make sure you have put a lid to cover the wok.
  4. Once boiling, turn off the flame and let the mixture cool down, keeping the lid on.
  5. After the mixture has cooled off, strain it into another bowl. 
  6. Now, add 2 tablespoon vinegar and ammonia in the mixture and mix it.
  7. Pour the prepared mixture into a spray bottle.

Spraying this mixture around your garden’s plants and trees will drastically help you get rid of all kinds of animals that invade your lawn space.

8- Plant Strong-Scented Herbs

You can plant several herbs whose smells are severely detested by garden-invading animals, including rabbits, raccoons, squirrels, dogs, and cats.

Here are a few herbs you can grow in your garden for deterring the animals away: 

  • Thyme
  • Rosemary
  • Oregano
  • Garlic
  • Sage
  • Tarragon
  • Scaredy cat (coleus canina)
  • Spearmint
  • Catnip
  • Lemongrass (citronella)
  • Lavender
  • Absinthium

When gardening experts are asked how to keep animals out of the garden without a fence, including these herbs into the lawn is always strongly recommended by them every time! 

How to Keep Animals Out of the Garden without a Fence
Image of a brown squirrel on a garden table

9- Grow Various Animal-Repelling Flowers

A diverse range of exquisite flowers can be used for dual purposes. First, they can make your garden look ravishing. Second, they can be a great way to repel animals from your garden. 

The best flowers for this purpose are:

  • Daffodil
  • Geranium
  • Oriental poppy
  • Marigold
  • Hyssop
  • Dahlia
  • Four o’clock
  • Sunflowers
  • Petunia

Another additional benefit of growing these flowers is that they perfume your garden with the most extraordinary aromas.

10- Integrate Noise Using Wind Chimes or Wind Harps

Animals steer clear of the area where there is a constant activity or some sort of noise. For simulating that environment, you can install a few features into your garden to generate noise, making it feel like there is someone in the garden.

There is no need to go to high lengths and buy ultrasonic sound equipment. Integrating a couple of wind chimes or wind harps will be just as effective. They always chime softly with a little wind pressure, and the soothing sounds don’t disturb you or your neighbors as well. 

You can even do a DIY project at home and make a wind howler on your own. All you need for this are some plastic bottles and a small wood plank. After assembling these materials, make a vertical slit on the plastic bottle and screw the bottle’s cap with a wooden plank, nailing it to a tree. Strap more slit-bottles along the row, and that’s it! Whenever the wind blows, these bottles will produce sounds like wind harps. 

11- Spread Unwashed Hair Into the Garden

This may seem like an awkward thing to do, but spreading your unwashed hair into the soil can be an extremely effective way of keeping animals out of the gardens. Another alternative is to use your pet dog or cat’s fur.

If you don’t want to spread the hair directly onto the soil, wrap them in small nylon fabrics and lay them around the garden. You can also hang them around the lawn perimeter, instead of placing them on the ground.

The animals prodding around your garden get threatened with the smell of hair, and thus keep away. 

12- Install Motion-Activated Garden Floodlights

Generally, these lights are used for home security, but you can have a double advantage by installing them in your garden. When the uninvited animals trespass into your garden, the floodlights will automatically detect them via motion sensors and light up your garden. The sudden lights, just like noise, scare the animals right out of your garden.

Remember to install a motion-activated floodlight and not a simple one, as the constant artificial light will act as bait to garden insects, replacing animals with them.

13- Use Wire Cloches

If you have a vegetable bed that you want to secure from small animals, then using wire cloches may be the answer to your problems. These small wired covers help keep the critters away from the plants, especially lettuce, broccoli, and bushes.

These cloches come in various sizes, so you can easily find the one that matches your garden needs. However, if you are looking to protect your garden beds from bigger animals like deer, you should invest in other techniques.

14- Use Strong-Scented Soaps to Deter Deer

Deer can’t tolerate the scent of soaps that are within three feet. Depending on your garden’s size, you may want to purchase a lot of soap and wrap them in small nylon bags, placing them every few feet.

Keep in mind not to buy soaps with coconut oil or extract as that would only attract the deer more.

15- Get a Guard Dog

Getting a guard dog can be an excellent option for ridding your garden of the small stray animals. You can train your own pet dogs for this purpose as well. 

However, if there are larger breeds of animals lurking around your space, it is better to research thoroughly about the guard dog you want to get. Not all these dogs are suitable for veering off bigger animals.

Keeping a Guard Dog to Keep Animals Out of the Garden
Image of a guard dog standing with a man

16- Clay Cat Litter and Talcum Powder Mixture

If you spot holes in your garden dug up by moles, voles, or groundhogs, there is a simple solution to this problem as well. 

Mix some clay cat litter with talcum powder and pour it into the tunnel. It will deter the animals away from your garden effectively, forcing them to reside elsewhere.

17- Blood Meal

Blood meal is a dry powder made of blood, which is high in nitrogen. Most animals stay back when they smell any blood around the area, which is why spreading it into the garden soil will force them to stay away. 

In addition to that, blood meal is also great for growing your plants more lush and green.

18- Scatter Prickly Stems Near Your Plants

Critters can also be deterred if you scatter a row of thorny pricked stems near your plants. It would be best to spread some from where these animals enter your garden. 

This will help you greatly to keep animals out of the garden without a fence. However, if there are deer that gravitate towards your lawn, it will not be of much use. 

19- Consider Laying Traps

Many people don’t want to use traps for deterring the animals from their property. However, when other techniques don’t work out as planned, they are eventually forced to do so. 

You don’t need to use inhumane traps, as it will take only a couple of animal captures for the animals to change their minds about wandering around your garden.

If you are still not comfortable with this method of keeping animals out of the gardens, you can try one final technique.

20- Try Alternative Food Sources

If all else fails, you can try to place alternative food sources outside your garden to prevent them from entering into the yard. You will have to find out what animals are lurking in your lawn and research their favorite foods.

Seeds and nuts are the best food sources for birds and small critters, while herbivore plants and food pellets will keep the larger animals satisfied.

This technique will work without a doubt. However, you should also know that this may end up attracting even more critters. The best way to deal with it is to put only as much food outside as is needed for the animals messing up your garden. Making it scarcely available will keep them out of your garden, while also making sure no more animals come your way.

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Concluding Words

Now that you know how to keep animals out of the garden without a fence, you can use these methods to make your lawn an animal-free zone. It would be best to combine some of the mentioned techniques to make them work even more effectively. Rotating the pattern and changing them from time-to-time will also keep the wild visitors out of your garden!

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