A garden fence can protect your plants from pesky critters while adding a stylish design element at the same time. Most options are also relatively inexpensive and easy to install. “The most common type of fence a homeowner would install themselves is pre-fabricated fence panels that come pre-cut and assembled in specific sizes. Each panel attaches to posts, which secure the fence in place and keep it from falling over.” according to Amber Freda, a landscape designer based in the New York City area.
When researching the best garden fences, we evaluated products based on their material, height, mesh size, and ease of installation.
Here are the best garden fences for a variety of needs.
AMAGABELI GARDEN & HOME Metal Garden Fence Border
Durable, rust-proof construction
Practical and decorative
Sturdy enough to contain pets
Easy to assemble and install
Matching gate is not available
Won’t keep deer out
With its thick iron frame and black-powder coated finish, this heavy-duty garden fence is as durable as it is stylish, earning the top spot on this list. Each panel measures 44 inches high and 36 inches wide, and the fencing comes in packs of two or four to suit your needs. The panels feature a lattice pattern with decorative leaves at the top, making it an attractive addition to your outdoor space. The design is simple enough that it won't take away from the true stars of any garden: your flowers, and vegetables.
Assembly is fairly simple, as the panels hook together easily. This set includes eight stakes that you can drive into the ground with a hammer, allowing for sturdy, semi-permanent installation. Since it can’t be knocked over easily, this fence can be used as a dog run or pet pen (unless you have large, rowdy pets). The holes are small enough to deter rabbits and other pesky intruders, but deer could easily jump over it. Although it is a bit on the pricey side and does not come with a matching gate (or one you can purchase separately), we feel that this fencing is an easy way to improve the function and look of your yard and should last for years to come.
Price at time of publish: $171
Size: 2 x 36 x 44 inches | Material: Iron | Installation: Semi-permanent
Everbilt 2.3 ft. x 50 ft. Steel Garden Fence Welded Wire
More affordable than semi-permanent options
Durable steel construction
Lightweight and flexible for easy installation
Deters rabbits and other small critters
Not entirely rabbit- or deer-proof
T-posts are not included
This welded wire fencing from Everbilt is affordably priced and comes in handy for a variety of tasks. It can be used to delineate property, section off a garden, or function as split rail fence backings. Each panel measures 2.3 feet high by 50 feet wide and is made of 16-gauge galvanized steel for optimal durability. The mesh netting blends in fairly unobtrusively and allows your garden to be visible while protecting it from hungry animals.
To deter rabbits and other pesky creatures, the mesh spacing decreases from 4 inches to 1 inch as it gets closer to the ground. However, some determined rabbits may jump through the larger opening at the top. Since the wire netting is lightweight and flexible, it is easy to install and maneuver. For effective fencing, the manufacturer recommends placing T-posts every five feet, but they are not included.
Price at time of publish: $42
Size: 2.3 feet x 50 feet | Material: Metal | Installation: Temporary
Best Plant Surround
Erva Bunny Barricades
Creates a protective barrier around plants
Prevents small animals from reaching your plants
Sturdy and durable design
Easy to install
Won’t keep small animals out
These mesh cylinders from Erva are perfect for creating a protective barrier around plants, vegetables, and shrubs. Made of metal with a vinyl coating, these cages are sturdy and durable. They have a black finish, which makes them fairly inconspicuous in a garden. Thanks to a hook closure, they can be easily wrapped around a plant up to 12 inches in diameter. However, you can connect two or more cages to surround a larger plant.
Erva Bunny Barricades are sold in packs of three, five, or 10. They are significantly pricier than many other options, which is surprising because they are fairly basic in design. According to reports, these cages are effective at keeping out rabbits, groundhogs, and other small critters. Since they are only 13.5 inches tall, however, larger animals like deer can reach right over them. The cages are easy to install and each unit includes four metal anchors to secure it in the soil.
Price at time of publish: $220
Size: 13.5 x 13 x 13 inches | Material: Metal | Installation: Temporary
AMAGABELI GARDEN & HOME Decorative Garden Fence
Stylish and versatile design
Weather-resistant and rustproof
Green color blends into a garden nicely
Easy, tool-free installation
Featuring an elegant, arched design, this decorative fence will add plenty of style to your garden. Unlike black and silver options, the green color allows it to blend in unobtrusively with any yard. Made of iron with a vinyl PVC powder-coated finish, it’s weather-resistant and rustproof to ensure durability. And with each panel measuring 32 inches high and 10 inches wide, it will effectively contain flowers and plants of various sizes. However, the posts are too widely spaced to keep pets, rabbits, or other nosy critters out.
Thanks to interlocking panels, this garden fence is easy to set up and requires no additional tools. It has spiked feet that can be inserted into the ground without any digging. The versatile panels can be positioned to create different shapes such as an “L”, “O” or zigzag. What’s more, they fold flat when not in use for easy storage. This fencing is temporary, which means it can be disassembled or moved with little effort when needed. One downside is that it is on the flimsy side; we found some reports of pieces breaking during installation and welds not holding.
Price at time of publish: $51
Size: 32 inches x 10 inches | Material: Iron | Installation: Temporary
Best for Rabbits
YARDGARD 28 Inch by 50 Foot 16 Gauge Rabbit and Small Animal Garden Fence
Keeps rabbits and other small pests out
Galvanized to prevent rust
Can be used to create a barrier around individual items
Lightweight and flexible for easy installation
Posts are required and sold separately
Won’t deter larger animals
If rabbits are a problem in your garden, this mesh fence from Yardgard is specifically designed to keep them out. The horizontal wire spacing gets progressively smaller as it nears the ground, which will prevent rabbits and other small pests from entering. With a 4-inch space, the wiring is significantly wider at the top, allowing hands to pass through for easy access to plants and flowers. Measuring over two feet tall by 50 feet wide, this fence is tall enough to keep small critters at bay, but it won’t keep deer and other large animals out.
The 16-gauge galvanized metal wire is durable and resistant to rust. Although it’s not as sturdy as semi-permanent fencing, it’s ideal for creating a barrier around plants, trees, and bushes. If you need to fence in a larger area, this fencing is available in packs that include two, three, or four panels. Thanks to its lightweight and flexible design, the installation process is simple, but you will need stakes (sold separately/not included) to secure it in the ground. As an alternative, you could attach it to an existing fence with cable ties.
Price at time of publish: $43
Size: 28 inches by 50 feet | Material: Metal, | Installation: Temporary
Zippity Outdoor Products Manchester Vinyl Picket Fence Kit
Made of durable, weather-resistant vinyl
Fairly simple to install
Optional matching gate
Backed by a 10-year warranty
More complex assembly
Not ideal for containing children and pets
This semi-permanent picket fence from Zippity Outdoor Products adds an attractive, classic touch to any yard. Each panel measures 92 inches wide and 42 inches high, so it’s tall enough to deter deer, dogs, and other roaming animals. However, it is more of a decorative fence, and not recommended for containing children and pets. The fence is made of vinyl, which is an ideal choice for gardens because it’s extremely durable and weather-resistant. For added peace of mind, the manufacturer backs all of their fences with a 10-year warranty that covers any cracking, splintering, rotting, or yellowing.
These fence panels come unassembled in a box and, depending on your level of DIY skills, it may be challenging to put together. The installation process is fairly simple and requires little to no digging, but the setup is more complex than temporary fencing. If the ground is soft enough, you can insert the included stakes into the ground. For hard ground, you will need a cordless drill and auger bit. The manufacturer offers a compatible Manchester Gate, which is sold separately.
Price at time of publish: $139
Size: 42 inches x 92 inches | Material: Vinyl | Installation: Semi-permanent
Yaheetech Decorative Garden Fence
Expandable design for versatile configuration
Comes in 15 different sizes
Creates a modern aesthetic
Easy to install and remove
May rust over time
Not entirely rabbit-proof
These iron fence panels from Yaheetech can be connected to form various shapes such as an octagon, square, and rectangle. If you find you need more gardening space, they can easily be expanded to create more room. The panels also come in an impressive selection of sizes—15 options to choose from—to suit a variety of needs. Both the panels and stakes are made of premium powder-coated iron, which should ensure years of reliable outdoor use. However, we have come across some reports of rust.
The panels are black with a curved design, adding a modern flair to your yardscape. The openings are small enough to deter rabbits, dogs, and other small animals. According to some reports, however, a few determined animals have managed to get through. If deer are a problem in your yard, consider purchasing a panel that’s 8 feet or higher so they can’t jump over it. This temporary garden fencing is easy to install with no tools required, and it can be removed as needed.
Price at time of publish: $300
Size: Multiple sizes available including 24 inches x 85 feet | Material: Iron | Installation: Temporary
The AMAGABELI GARDEN & HOME Metal Garden Fence Border earns our top spot thanks to its decorative appeal, easy assembly, and heavy-duty construction. It's also tall and sturdy enough to keep small animals out (or help contain them). If you’re looking for a more affordable option, we recommend the Everbilt 2.3 ft. x 50 ft. Steel Garden Fence Welded Wire. Although it’s not as attractive as other options, this mesh netting effectively protects plants and can be used for a variety of other purposes.
What to Look for in a Garden Fence
Vinyl and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) fences are an excellent choice because they’re affordable and low maintenance. These types of fences have impressive weather-resistance, ensuring years of reliable use.
Steel and aluminum are a better choice for decorative fencing because they often feature intricate patterns and scrollwork. Plus, they can be painted to match an existing yardscape. These fences often have a powder-coated finish to improve weather resistance and resist corrosion. However, they are more prone to rusting than vinyl.
Mesh fencing tends to do a better job of keeping animals out than decorative fencing. However, the mesh spacing has to be small enough that pesky critters can’t slip through. One-inch mesh spacing seems to be the most effective at keeping rabbits and other small animals at bay.
There are two factors to consider when choosing your fence height: the size of your plants and what animals you’d like to keep out. A shorter fence (24 inches or lower) is ideal for decorative and deterring smaller critters. However, you will need a fence that’s at least 8 feet high to prevent deer from eating away at your vegetation.
Fences to deter domestic cats and dogs or keep them contained, should be at least 3 feet high. They should also be anchored securely into the ground to prevent them from being knocked over. It’s important to note that many cities, towns, and homeowners’ associations have fence height regulations. “It would be a good idea to look into what is the maximum height allowed for your area,” says Amber Freda, a landscape designer based in the New York City area.
You should also consider the depth of the fence (recommended to be at least 6 inches deep), especially if you want to deter rabbits from your garden.
Ease of Installation
The installation process will vary depending on the type of garden fencing. Temporary fencing is typically the easiest to install. and most have stakes at the bottom that can be pushed into the ground, without any digging required.
Semipermanent fencing also requires stakes, but a little more labor will likely be needed. Depending on how hard the ground is, you may have to drive the stakes with a hammer or mallet. If you need to dig small holes, a drill with an auger bit might be necessary.
Permanent fencing isn’t a popular choice for decorative garden fences and edging. Since posts must be set in concrete for maximum stability, installation is much more complex.
Why do you need a garden fence?
“Garden fences are typically used to keep things in, such as pets or children, or to keep things out, such as deer or other animals,” says Freda. She also notes that garden fences can be used to provide privacy, create a sense of enclosure, and define property lines.
What’s the best place to install a garden fence?
According to Freda, “Most people install garden fences around the outer perimeters of a space to create a defined area.” Unlike permanent fencing, which is anchored in concrete, temporary and semipermanent garden fencing is designed to be placed in soil. These types of fences often come with spiked feet and stakes for that purpose, and can easily be moved to another location with minimal effort.
How do you install a garden fence?
Fence panels are often equipped with stakes at the bottom, which need to be driven into the ground. Some panels can be attached to T-posts for added stability. If you’re installing a permanent fence, posts must be set in concrete for adequate stability.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This article was written by Sage McHugh, a lifestyle writer for The Spruce who specializes in the home and garden sector. To select the best garden fences for this roundup, she considered dozens of products, carefully evaluating their material, height, mesh size, and ease of installation. McHugh also took hundreds of customer reviews, as well as write-ups from third-party websites into consideration. For expert insight on garden fences, McHugh interviewed Amber Freda, a landscape designer specializing in city gardens in the New York City area, including rooftops, terraces, and townhomes.