7 Effective Ways to Keep Groundhogs Out of Your Garden

7 Effective Ways to Keep Groundhogs Out of Your Garden

12 Ways to Keep Groundhogs Out of Your Garden


Groundhogs, also known as woodchucks, are small rodents that can wreak havoc on your garden. They have a voracious appetite for plants and can quickly decimate your hard work. If you’re tired of seeing your precious vegetables disappear overnight, it’s time to take action.

In this article, we’ll explore 12 effective ways to keep groundhogs out of your garden. From natural deterrents to physical barriers, these strategies will help protect your crops and ensure a bountiful harvest.

1. Fence it up!

One of the best ways to keep groundhogs out of your garden is by installing a sturdy fence. A fence not only acts as a physical barrier but also serves as a visual deterrent. Here’s what you need to do:

– Choose a fence that is at least three feet tall and bury it six inches into the ground to prevent groundhogs from digging underneath.
– Use a material like chicken wire, which has small openings to prevent groundhogs from squeezing through.
– Make sure the fence is secured tightly to the ground to prevent groundhogs from crawling underneath.

2. Use natural repellents

There are several natural repellents that groundhogs find unpleasant and will deter them from entering your garden. Here are a few options:

– Castor oil: Mix castor oil with water and spray it around your garden. The strong smell will discourage groundhogs from approaching.
– Garlic and pepper spray: Crush garlic cloves and mix them with water and cayenne pepper. Spray this mixture on your plants to keep groundhogs away.
– Predator urine: You can purchase predator urine from outdoor supply stores. Sprinkle it around your garden to create the illusion that predators are nearby, scaring away groundhogs.

3. Remove attractive food sources

Groundhogs are attracted to gardens because of the abundance of tasty plants. By removing their food sources, you make your garden less appealing. Here’s what you can do:

– Harvest your crops as soon as they ripen to minimize the availability of food for groundhogs.
– Keep your garden free from fallen fruits or vegetables as these can attract groundhogs.
– Regularly weed your garden to remove any plants that groundhogs find delicious.

4. Install motion-activated devices

Groundhogs are skittish creatures and will be startled by sudden noises or movements. Installing motion-activated devices in your garden can startle them and discourage them from returning. Some options include:

– Sprinklers: Set up motion-activated sprinklers that will turn on when a groundhog enters your garden. The sudden burst of water will scare them away.
– Noise makers: Use wind chimes, tin cans, or even a radio set to a talk radio station to create continuous noise, making the garden less inviting to groundhogs.

5. Create a physical barrier

In addition to a fence, you can create a physical barrier around vulnerable plants to protect them from groundhog attacks. Here’s what you can do:

– Place chicken wire cages around individual plants or plant beds. Make sure the cages extend both above and below ground to prevent groundhogs from digging underneath.
– Use mesh netting to cover your crops. Make sure the netting is secured tightly to the ground to prevent groundhogs from accessing the plants.

6. Use mound deterrents

Groundhogs are burrowing animals and creating mounds of dirt near their burrows is a natural deterrent. Here’s what you can do:

– Collect urine from your household pets and sprinkle it around groundhog burrow entrances. The scent will deter them from approaching.
– Place rocks or thorny branches around burrow entrances to make it difficult for groundhogs to dig.

7. Consider companion planting

Companion planting involves growing certain plants together to enhance the growth of one another and repel pests. Here are some plants that can help repel groundhogs:

– Mint: Plant mint around the perimeter of your garden. The strong smell will deter groundhogs from entering.
– Marigolds: These vibrant flowers have a strong scent that groundhogs find unpleasant.
– Daffodils: Groundhogs dislike the taste and scent of daffodils, making them a great addition to your garden.

8. Trap and release

If all else fails, trapping and releasing groundhogs may be your only option. Here’s what you need to know:

– Purchase a live trap designed for capturing groundhogs.
– Bait the trap with tasty vegetables like carrots or apples to attract the groundhog.
– Once trapped, release the groundhog far away from your garden to ensure it won’t return.

9. Keep your garden clean

Maintaining a clean garden is essential for keeping groundhogs away. Here’s what you can do:

– Remove debris and clutter from your garden that groundhogs can use for shelter.
– Trim overgrown vegetation and keep your garden well-maintained to discourage groundhogs from setting up residence.

10. Get a furry friend

Dogs are natural predators to many small animals, including groundhogs. If you have a dog, allow it to spend time in the garden or create a designated dog area nearby. The scent and presence of the dog will deter groundhogs from entering.

11. Install an electric fence

If you’re dealing with persistent groundhogs, consider installing an electric fence. The shock they receive when touching the fence will train them to stay away from your garden. Make sure to follow the instructions for safe installation and use.

12. Know the laws

Before taking any extreme measures against groundhogs, make sure you are familiar with the laws in your area. Groundhogs are protected wildlife in some regions and killing or relocating them without permission can result in fines or legal consequences. Check with your local wildlife agency for guidance.


Keeping groundhogs out of your garden requires a combination of strategies. From physical barriers to natural repellents, there are plenty of options to choose from. Experiment with different methods and find what works best for your garden.

Remember, it’s important to be proactive and prevent groundhog damage before it happens. By implementing these strategies, you can enjoy a thriving garden free from pesky groundhogs.

My 2 Cents

Groundhogs can be persistent pests, but with the right techniques, you can keep them out of your garden. A combination of strategies such as fencing, natural repellents, and physical barriers can greatly reduce groundhog damage. Remember to stay informed about the laws in your area to ensure you’re taking legal and humane measures. Don’t let groundhogs ruin the fruits of your labor – take action and protect your garden!