I’ve had good and bad experiences trying to protect my backyard vegetable garden from wildlife, and I decided to learn more about my fence options. I’ve collected these ten vegetable garden fence ideas, and I hope my research will help you as well. Most of these ideas are cheap, with plastic fences being the cheapest.
There are several basic types of fences you can install:
- plastic mesh
- bird netting
- insect netting
- chicken wire (or poultry netting)
- welded wire
- metal mesh
- steel decorative panels
- wooden frames with metal mesh
- small wood picket fence
- DIY Fencing
Deciding on the best fence for a vegetable garden will depend on the type of animal you are trying to deter. You may have a problem with chickens, deer, raccoons, badgers, or rodents in rural areas. In urban areas, you will likely find rabbits, cats, and dogs trying to help themselves to your vegetables. You may also need an overhead enclosure to protect your garden from birds and butterflies in most locations.
Badgers, rabbits, and rodents will dig under just about any barrier you erect to enclose your veggie garden. The best tactic here is to bury part of the fence at least 1 foot underground so they run into it while digging and then turn around.
10 Veggie Garden Fence Ideas
1. Plastic Garden Mesh Fencing
A plastic mesh fence can be a permanent or a temporary solution. It’s a simple and easy-to-install option. You can cut it and staple it to wooden fence posts in minutes. You can also hang it with T-posts or U-posts or simply use zip ties. Commonly, each square of the mesh is 1 inch by 1 inch, which is tiny enough to prevent small animals from getting into your vegetable patch.
As far as fence color ideas are concerned, with the plastic mesh, you have a choice of green or black.
This polyethylene plastic fence comes in a roll that is easy to lay out and cut to size. It is also very flexible and forms to any shape, which is nice if you have an irregularly shaped backyard. This fencing material is lightweight enough to drape directly over plants to protect them temporarily.
I like it because it doesn’t rust or fade and has no sharp edges. It is an all-season option and is safe for use around children and pets. Plus, it cuts easily with scissors, blends in with any outdoor environment, and I love anything I can install with zip ties.
The plastic mesh idea will work great against rabbits. If you also cover your small vegetable patch or a raised garden bed from the top, it will work against squirrels and birds as well. See the idea in the image above.
The designs shown above won’t work with raccoons as they can climb over, smash it or pull it off with their hands.
2. Bird Netting or Bird Barrier
If your goal is to protect your vegetable garden from birds and butterflies then bird netting is just for you.
I have a vegetable garden comprising four large raised beds. It’s covered entirely with bird netting, side to side, top to bottom. It has worked well to keep all of my plants from being eaten by birds and Cabbage moths. The net is hung on 5 posts – four in the corners and one in the middle. The posts are high enough for me to enter under the net and tend to veggies. It basically looks like a high-peak canopy tent.
Bird netting is nearly invisible once installed, so it is one of the more attractive options. It is also lightweight and easy to install, even by yourself.
If you have had a problem with neighborhood butterflies getting into your vegetable boxes and eating large holes in your salad greens, putting this bird netting over PVC tubing will completely solve your problem.
3. Chicken Wire or Poultry Netting
Chicken wire is another great option for a backyard garden. It is not quite as flexible as plastic, but still very pliable and easy to use. It creates a barrier that is as temporary or permanent as you want it to be. If you want a permanent option, use heavy posts that are sturdy. If you are looking for a more temporary DIY solution, you can use simple wooden stakes and roll the whole fence up at the end of the season.
Chicken wire will keep out cats, small dogs, rabbits, and woodchucks. Animals that can climb, like squirrels, raccoons, and opossums, will not be deterred and will probably see the small 1-inch wire holes as a ladder inviting them into your vegetable garden or raised bed.
I have found a chicken wire fence to be an affordable option in the past; it looks very tidy when installed and does a great job of keeping the cats from using my raised beds as a napping place.
And the best part is that your fence doesn’t have to be very high. You’ll be able to tend to your veggie garden from over the fence or simply step over it.
There is a way to use a chicken wire fence to protect your garden from larger animals like raccoons as well. You will need to construct a frame from wood or PVC pipes and cover it with chicken wire entirely, top to bottom. See this design idea below. It uses a metal mesh and a plastic mesh but the concept is the same.
4. Welded Wire Fence
Welded wire is another vegetable garden fencing option. It is not the same as a metal mesh fence! The design is very different. The holes at the bottom are small and gradually get larger toward the top of the fence. This design allows your hands to reach through to harvest food. It’s usually made of 16-gauge steel and is good to use on raised beds or protect a small veggie patch. It’s sold in rolls. You can install it on T-posts or use plastic ties on other posts.
This metal fence is strong but flexible enough to wrap around or bend into shape. It’s best for square or rectangular yards and gardens. I have found this type of fence perfect for tall vegetables like tomatoes, tomatillos, and peppers or vining vegetables like cucumbers, peas, and squash.
Welded wire fencing will protect against dogs and other large animals. Small animals may squeeze through the bottom holes or jump high enough to fit through the larger holes. I’ve seen rabbits jumping up to reach the big holes and getting in.
If you need something quick and easy to establish a barrier around a small garden then using welded wire could be your best idea. While I’m sure you could spend more time making it look nicer, you’ll be able to build it in about 30 minutes with only zip ties and a few wooden or metal stakes.
From what I’ve seen, this option is available in steel or green color.
5. Metal Mesh Fence
The metal mesh fence is the strongest mesh option. It is available in multiple gauges of steel and needs to be stretched between two posts. You install it by pulling it tight and nailing or stapling it to a wooden post or by tying it to a metal column. So in most cases, you’ll have to account for labor to set up posts.
Metal mesh fencing will protect your vegetable garden from deer and also other larger animals that don’t tend to jump or climb, such as dogs and chickens. It will only be a barrier for deer if you install it 6 feet high. Hungry deer can easily spring over a 5-foot fence. I have seen this with my own eyes.
This idea will also work for badgers, foxes, and other larger digging animals if you manage to bury the mesh at least a foot underground.
6. Insect Netting or Bug Net
Insect netting is an excellent DIY option to keep potato beetles or squash bugs out of your small garden or your raised bed with a hoop tunnel.
Insect netting has multiple applications. It works well to protect vegetables, flowers, and fruit from insects, birds, and small animals. Many gardeners drape the delicate fabric directly on top of berry bushes and dwarf fruit trees as the fruit starts to ripen.
Insect netting is lightweight and can be thrown directly on top of plants without crushing them. It will not overheat or cook your plants like plastic material, and even lets water and light through. It can be cut to any size or shape that you want and can be reused year after year.
7. DIY Vegetable Garden Fence Ideas
One of my neighbors recently reused old corrugated plastic to make a garden fence.
If you have old window or patio door insect screens laying around, then there is your chance to make an excellent DIY fence. Just look at this creative idea shown in the image above. Here’s an elevated raised garden bed covered with insect screens on all 4 sides. Consider making one side a removable frame so you have easy access to the inside.
8. Metal Fence Panels
This is an excellent idea if you want a sturdy tall fence for your vegetable garden that is also a decorative enclosure. With metal fence panels, you won’t have to dig post holes and pour concrete. These decorative panels easily anchor into the ground with post spikes. They lock together using a quick connecting latch design.
And the best part, they come in many different designs and styles. I really love the way they look. It makes a garden look fancy.
With some planning, you can DIY this fence yourself. First, you drive stakes into the ground, then place the fence sections over them. And don’t forget to get a gate section if it’s available separately. Or you could install one panel with no stake on one side so it could be swung open.
Just look at these beautifully fenced gardens – see the images above. They have a polished decorative design that gives a finished look to any vegetable garden. Plus, a no-dig fence is always a winner in my book!
This modern metal panel fence (shown above) is powder-coated and weather resistant. A rust-proof design is a perfect option for those who need a barrier to withstand the weather for a long time.
Panels are heavy-duty and interlock together, meaning you can make this fence as long as you need it to be. The installation is pretty straightforward, and there is no need to dig holes. The stakes are hammered into the ground.
The best part is this type of fence is foldable and portable. You can quickly move it out of the way or fold it flat for storage. No additional tools are needed to remove the fence. Simply pull the leg out of the soil and reinstall it elsewhere.
9. Wooden Garden Enclosures with Metal Mesh
This type of cedar fence is short but effective. It’s primarily designed to use on raised garden beds but you can creatively apply this idea to any garden. No digging is required! You simply push the spikes into the soil. If you are a fan of DIY projects, you could even make these panels out of cedar fence boards yourself.
It will be a straightforward installation if you make the cedar panels to the correct size, to fit your garden bed. When you need to access the garden, you can either reach over the top or pull up one panel to pull weeds or harvest vegetables for your lunch.
This wooden framed fence with wire mesh will keep out dogs, rabbits, and woodchucks.
10. White Panel Picket Fence
Panel picket fencing is another excellent choice for keeping animals out of your veggie garden. Whether you choose plastic or wooden panels, they are effortless to install. Just push them into the ground. Panel fencing comes in both flat top versions and pointy picket versions.
Most panel fencing is connected by snapping together interlocking catches built into the panels; this allows you to create the fence to any length. It comes with pegs that insert into the soil and secure the panels to the ground.
These panels are lightweight and easy to install and come in many different heights. You can even buy kits online with a decorative garden gate for easy access. The kits I have seen come with joints between the panels that rotate, enabling various fence angles to be created.
The best part of picket fencing is that it’s stackable and can be taken down and stored easily to save space. It’s great to keep your dogs out.