Keep Critters Out of Your Garden with a Raised Bed Animal Barrier

As a gardener, nothing is more frustrating than putting in all the hard work to grow your vegetables and flowers only to have rabbits, deer groundhogs and other critters devour your crops before you get to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Installing a raised garden bed with an animal barrier is an excellent way to protect your plants while keeping your garden looking neat and tidy.

A raised bed with an animal barrier is what this article is about. It has benefits and things you should think about when picking the right one for your garden. Whether you’ve been gardening for a long time or this is your first time, a raised bed with fencing will help you grow a healthy garden that animals won’t be able to get to.

What is a Raised Garden Bed Animal Barrier?

A raised garden bed provides an elevated planting area that prevents many weed and pest issues. Adding a barrier around the bed keeps rabbits groundhogs, deer and other wildlife from nibbling on or trampling your plants. An animal barrier raised bed has fencing or mesh walls around the planting box to create a physical blockade.

Barriers are typically made of wire, plastic mesh, or wood pickets. The material goes all the way around the bed, with only a few small gaps for the gardener to get in and out. The barriers sit atop the soil level, so animals can’t burrow underneath. Animals can’t jump or climb into the enclosed area because of the height and depth of the fencing.

Benefits of Using an Animal Barrier Raised Garden Bed

There are many advantages to planting in a raised bed with protective walls:

Keep Critters Out

The main benefit is keeping unwanted animals from destroying your crops. A well-built barrier will make it hard for rabbits, woodchucks, deer, and even dogs and cats in the neighborhood to get through. This means you can pick all the flowers, vegetables, and fruits you worked so hard to grow.

Neat, Contained Design

Raised beds provide an orderly, contained space for growing compared to sprawling in-ground beds. Add a barrier, and your garden has crisp, clean lines and visual appeal. The fence keeps the soil and mulch neatly inside the bed instead of spilling out onto paths.

Reduced Weeding and Pest Problems

Elevating the growing area provides drainage and loosens soil, reducing weed and pest issues. An animal barrier further limits pests and diseases since critters that spread problems can’t access your plants. Keeping animals out means less chance they will damage plant roots or foliage.

Easier Access and Maintenance

The elevated design makes tending and harvesting your garden easier without having to bend down. The protective walls keep mulch and soil amendments where they belong so you don’t have to constantly replace them. Confined beds simplify tasks like watering, fertilizing and deadheading.

Flexible Design

Barriers allow flexibility to create geometric or free-form garden shapes. You can make small barriers for planters or large enclosures for fruit trees or whole garden plots. The fencing ensures each bed has a defined shape that keeps plants neat and organized.

Choosing the Right Animal Barrier Raised Garden Bed

If you’ve decided to install a protective raised bed in your yard, there are several options to consider:


Common materials for protective barriers include:

  • Wood – Cedar and pine boards or pickets create an attractive, natural fence. Pressure-treated wood is rot-resistant.

  • PVC or vinyl – Plastic lumber is durable, low maintenance and doesn’t require painting. It won’t warp over time like wood.

  • Metal – Aluminum, steel or galvanized wire mesh fencing is strong and long-lasting. Powder-coated metals add color.

  • Composite lumber – Materials like Trex are made from recycled plastic and wood. They don’t rot or require frequent repainting.


The fencing needs to be tall enough to block animals that may try to jump into your garden. A minimum of 16-24 inches should keep out rabbits. For deer, opt for 4-5 feet tall. Measure fence height from the soil level so it extends adequately above ground.


Consider the dimensions to provide sufficient planting space without creating an overly large bed. Smaller sizes like 4×4 feet are good for herbs and vegetables. Larger 8×8 or 8×12 foot beds allow room for fruits and vegetables to spread out.


Look for beds with a gate or removable fencing panel on one side. This creates an opening to enter and tend your garden that you can close up when done. Some beds have multiple access points or hinged gates.


Wheeled raised beds allow you to move them around your yard as needed. Non-wheeled versions can be positioned permanently or semi-permanently in optimal garden locations.

Irrigation Features

Some beds have built-in irrigation like self-watering reservoirs. Drip irrigation can also be incorporated. These features reduce watering maintenance.


Animal-proof garden beds range widely in price from DIY-friendly to high-end. Consider how much you want to spend, factoring in the lifespan of different materials.

Ideal Uses for a Raised Bed with Animal Barrier

Here are some of the best ways to utilize a protective raised garden bed:

Vegetable Gardens

A fenced raised bed is perfect for keeping hungry critters away from your vegetable crops. Grow tomatoes, peas, beans, carrots, lettuce and more without fear of losing them to thieves.

Herb Gardens

Rabbits and deer love munching on herbs. A barrier will protect vulnerable plants like basil, parsley and mint from becoming an all-you-can-eat buffet.

Ornamental and Flower Gardens

Animal barriers help safeguard your ornamentals like tulips and roses or edibles like strawberries. Use for flower varieties like zinnias and cosmos that animals like to nibble.

Fruit Trees and Berry Bushes

Give your dwarf fruit trees, blueberry bushes and cane fruits like raspberries a protective enclosure to keep critters from damaging the plants or stealing all your harvest.

Nursery Space

When starting seeds or propagating cuttings, an enclosed area prevents squirrels from digging up your seedlings and birds from stealing sprouts for nesting material.

Tips for Growing in an Animal Barrier Raised Garden Bed

Follow these tips to get the most out of your protective raised bed:

  • Amend the soil with compost or organic matter to nourish plants and assist with drainage.

  • Follow crop rotation principles, moving annual vegetables to different parts of the bed each season.

  • Clean up spent plants promptly to prevent pests and disease carryover.

  • Use drip irrigation inside the bed to provide consistent watering.

  • Apply snail and slug deterrents since these pests can still access beds.

  • Place large beds near a water source for convenient irrigating.

  • Group compatible plants together for successful interplanting.

  • Position taller crops like tomatoes on the bed’s northern side to avoid shading smaller plants.

  • Check for and repair any openings or damage in the protective barrier to prevent animals from sneaking in.

Get Growing in a Protected Raised Garden Bed!

Installing a raised bed with an integrated animal barrier is a fantastic way to guard your garden from critter invasion. Your plants will flourish within the protected space as you enjoy a neat, organized growing area. With so many raised bed styles and material choices available, you can find the perfect option to match your garden’s style and budget. Get your protected raised bed planted for a successful gardening season!

How to Perfectly Pest-Proof a Raised Bed


How do you protect raised garden beds from animals?

Go for a vertical advantage by planting in raised beds or pots. Placing your vegetation out of reach of rabbits and burrowing animals will go a long way toward preserving your garden. For extra protection, add a small barrier on top, like a fence or chicken wire, to prevent animals from hopping in.

How do I keep pets out of my raised garden bed?

Make a chicken-wire fence to protect entire beds. To keep it from being an eyesore, drive several tall stakes in the ground around the bed’s perimeter. Slip a roll of chicken wire over an end stake.

How do I keep rodents out of my raised garden bed?

Install wire mesh below and alongside raised beds Mesh wire should be laid along the bottom and sides of raised garden boxes – preventing burrowing access.

Should I put a barrier under my raised garden bed?

The materials you put under raised garden beds create a barrier between the garden’s soil and the ground. The proper material can stop weeds from poking through, keep out toxins, and ensure that pests stay in the ground and aren’t feasting on your garden!

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