Ask a Question forum→How high is a typical fence?

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Name: Steve
Connecticut (Zone 6a)
Stelcom66
Aug 1, 2020 12:39 PM CST
Like last year I lost most of my planted vegetables to something, not sure what. Thinking it was something small like chipmunks and squirrels I installed denser fencing in the spring. I think something is climbing up and over. I do have rabbits, woodchucks and raccoons in the area. The fence I have is a few feet high. I wonder if I should (next year) go higher, as high as the post in the back? I even put some chicken wire around what few tomatoes remained, they were eaten. I may have to resort to a raised garden on the deck with fencing all the way around including the top.

I realize the tomato plant in the photo is over the fence and not protected, no tomatoes there anyway. Just wanted to show the fence height that I have now.


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Bryan, TX
WAMcCormick
Aug 1, 2020 1:12 PM CST
In my experience a 30" fence is the very minimum to keep rabbits out. You might have to go higher, depending on your rabbits. Electric fencing is the ONLY way I have been able to keep raccoons out. A 6' fence is usually tall enough to keep white-tailed deer out in East Texas. You may have to shoot the squirrels. I have never dealt with woodchuks.
If it takes a long time to grow, remember that if nobody plants it, nobody has it.
Name: Steve
Connecticut (Zone 6a)
Stelcom66
Aug 1, 2020 2:03 PM CST
Thanks for the tips. I wish I was rural like you are (I assume w/deer). Just measured the fence, it's about 2' high, so not a good minimum height. Never thought of electric. Yea I've seen a raccoons climb up 4x4s and other structures. The woodchucks around here seem overweight and cumbersome, but probably agile enough to get over the fence. I've seen birds eating the raspberries but I'm not concerned about that.

I guess next spring I'll try going higher with the fence. My neighbor's fence is probably 3' high, they also put fencing around each tomato plant. I may do that too. So disappointing because right around now is when tomatoes start to ripen. I was able to pick 2 a couple weeks ago and let them ripen in the house. Fortunately I was able to enjoy one of my favorite sandwiches twice, just plain tomato. And maybe just a bit of mayo.

One other note - this forum is the easiest I've experienced in which to post a photo, which is nice.
[Last edited by Stelcom66 - Aug 1, 2020 3:30 PM (+)]
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Bryan, TX
WAMcCormick
Aug 1, 2020 2:32 PM CST
I love tomato sandwiches too, have since I was a kid.

You can buy bird netting at garden centers. It is cheaper than fencing and works great to keep birds off tomatoes and berries. A lot of it comes in pieces 15' by 15'.
If it takes a long time to grow, remember that if nobody plants it, nobody has it.
Bellevue, NE
Ceckery
Aug 1, 2020 2:34 PM CST
I got this "garden fence" from home depot last fall when it was on sale. It's at least 3 feet tall, really easy to install, and the holes keep out rabbits (could install chicken wire inside it to keep out chipmunks if needed).

If raccoons are the culprit, good luck. A motion activated sprinkler might deter larger critters.

If you, or a friend, has a dog, I actually had better luck deterring rabbits and squirrels by placing dog hair all around the base of the fence. A dog can be a good deterrent no matter what. Growing up on a farm, we rarely had critters in our garden since the dogs ran them off. Only had to deal with a cow who could open his gate.
Bellevue, NE
Ceckery
Aug 1, 2020 2:37 PM CST
Forgot the picture, lol. Fence and my dog.


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Name: Big Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
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BigBill
Aug 1, 2020 2:47 PM CST
Deer can clear a 12' fence as easily as we get out of bed.
Squirrels are probably your problem. They can climb anything no matter how high. And they love fresh produce. Cucumbers, eggplant, tomatoes and others are on their menu.
Woodchucks struggle to climb.
Rabbits are usually thwarted by a 4' fence.
Raccoons can climb very well and climb anything. However, they are not fond of vegetables in my experience.
Rodney Wilcox Jones, my idol!
Businessman, Orchid grower, hybridizer, lived to 107!
Name: Steve
Connecticut (Zone 6a)
Stelcom66
Aug 1, 2020 3:37 PM CST
Yea a simple local tomato sandwich is great. I'll visit the local farm stand again this year to buy some.

That looks like a great fence! Definitely higher than mine. Great dog too, looks very friendly! I want to have a dog again.

Sounds like squirrels are more troublesome than I thought. Plenty of them around here, so as stated they're probably what's eating everything. Interesting (but good) raccoons are not as likely to be my concern. Yea those woodchucks have a hard enough time running away when they see me. Nice Avatar Bill. I have several cats.
Bellevue, NE
Ceckery
Aug 1, 2020 3:57 PM CST
I have found that if squirrels are fed elsewhere and have water available elsewhere they tend to leave my garden alone (other than burying peanuts in it). I've never had them try to eat anything in my garden but I don't have any trees in my backyard and I've been working from home since mid March so the dog kept the squirrels at bay. I haven't even seen any for quite a while which is strange since they usually nest in all the neighbor's trees and neighbors feed them peanuts.
Name: Big Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
American Orchid Society Judge
Region: United States of America Critters Allowed Growing under artificial light Echinacea Hostas Region: Michigan
Butterflies Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Orchids Cat Lover Birds Bee Lover
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BigBill
Aug 1, 2020 4:10 PM CST
Thanks Steve.
I have 5 types of squirrels here in Michigan.
Gray squirrel
Black squirrel
Flying squirrel
Fox Squirrel
Red squirrel
Yes I know that the Gray and Black are the same species, different color. But I like to split them in order to get my list a little longer.
Not a single squirrel bothered anything much in my yard in Michigan. That is until last year when I grew Roma tomatos instead of cherry tomatos. Big mistake! Once they tasted one, it took a week before that consumed every single tomato. Green or Red, it did not matter.

The only other animal I have that eats things on my property is a woodchuck. He is eating a lot of tree seedlings at the moment. Mulberry seedlings are tops on the list right now.

Rodney Wilcox Jones, my idol!
Businessman, Orchid grower, hybridizer, lived to 107!
Bryan, TX
WAMcCormick
Aug 1, 2020 5:30 PM CST
The favorite food of deer, raccoons, and squirrels is corn. A raccoon can destroy the corn in a normal size garden in one or two nights. The worst thing about raccoons is that they often run in packs of 4-6. My brother is dealing with them now. He has put up a good fence and added three strands of electric wire, and they are still getting in, but he is trapping them out one at a time.
If it takes a long time to grow, remember that if nobody plants it, nobody has it.
Bellevue, NE
Ceckery
Aug 1, 2020 6:24 PM CST
I've got lots of farmer family who grow sweet corn for all the relatives. The trick to avoid raccoons, in big fields, is to plant the first several rows (usually at least 6 I think) with field corn. Surround the entire sweet corn field with enough field corn and raccoons give up before they reach the good stuff. Unfortunately it doesn't work for us city gardeners. I still say a good dog or two (and sometimes an electric fence) is the way to go. We never had raccoons on our farm growing up (other than the bottle babies) and I attribute that to the dogs and lack of good homes for them since we were surrounded by fields.
Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
Charter ATP Member Houseplants Keeper of Poultry Vegetable Grower Region: Maryland Composter
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sallyg
Aug 1, 2020 7:34 PM CST
We watched a woodchuck climb and flop over our 3 foot high chicken wire fence. We added another four feet on top this year and so far no woodchuck, rabbit, squirrel, deer in there.
i'm pretty OK today, how are you? ;^)
Name: GERALD
Lockhart, Texas (Zone 8b)
Hydroponics Greenhouse Region: Texas
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IntheHotofTexas
Aug 1, 2020 9:32 PM CST
Raccoons are agile and very, very clever. You can try what I did to keep coons and possums from climbing my peach trees and eating the fruit. I stuff a rag into a coffee can and add a generous dose of ammonia. It worked. I can only assume the mistake it for predator urine and stay away.
Name: Big Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
American Orchid Society Judge
Region: United States of America Critters Allowed Growing under artificial light Echinacea Hostas Region: Michigan
Butterflies Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Orchids Cat Lover Birds Bee Lover
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BigBill
Aug 2, 2020 3:24 AM CST
No, I don't think they mistake it for animal urine. They do not like the smell of amonia anymore then we do!
It irritates the nose, throat and eyes, why should raccoons be any different?
Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing
Rodney Wilcox Jones, my idol!
Businessman, Orchid grower, hybridizer, lived to 107!
Name: Steve
Connecticut (Zone 6a)
Stelcom66
Aug 2, 2020 7:36 AM CST
You're welcome Bill. Wow a variety of squirrels in Michigan. Mostly gray here in Conn., eastern part of the state has red squirrels. Saw a black one here once.

sallyg said:We watched a woodchuck climb and flop over our 3 foot high chicken wire fence. We added another four feet on top this year and so far no woodchuck, rabbit, squirrel, deer in there.


That must have been interesting to watch! I definitely need to increase the height of my fence, probably set up a door for access like my neighbor did. Since the raccoons could probably figure out how to open the door, would need to secure it accordingly.

Bellevue, NE
Ceckery
Aug 2, 2020 8:16 AM CST
The fence I use, I just didn't put the last stake in the ground so the end piece swings like a gate. If I had to deal with critters I'd figure out a way to latch it but the dog is the only thing that's gotten in there and that was only once when my husband was on the other side luring him in. I find that if you can deter squirrels long enough they tend to eventually give up in search of something easier. They'd been burying peanuts in my strawberry beds but fencing and netting for a month seemed to keep them out. I've since removed the netting and they haven't returned.
Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
Charter ATP Member Houseplants Keeper of Poultry Vegetable Grower Region: Maryland Composter
Native Plants and Wildflowers Organic Gardener Region: United States of America Cat Lover Birds Butterflies
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sallyg
Aug 2, 2020 8:32 AM CST
I was told that deer may respond the same way, change their habits, a friend strung fishing line or wire, freaked them out and they decided not to travel thru her yard anymore.
i'm pretty OK today, how are you? ;^)
Name: Steve
Connecticut (Zone 6a)
Stelcom66
Aug 2, 2020 9:32 AM CST
I have a bird feeder in the backyard. There's always birds and other animals eating seed that's fallen onto the ground.I wish it would deter them from the garden, but doesn't seem to be the case.

Are squirrels active at night? I know woodchucks, raccoons and opossum are. I may set up my Wifi camera toward the garden at night.
Bryan, TX
WAMcCormick
Aug 2, 2020 10:54 AM CST
Squirrels spend their nights in bed.
If it takes a long time to grow, remember that if nobody plants it, nobody has it.

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