Planting a garden is a wonderful way to connect with nature and enjoy the rewards of growing your own herbs, vegetables, and flowers (ornamental and edible flowers for baking!). There's nothing quite like the feeling of harvesting your own fresh produce and incorporating it into your meals.
However, gardeners know that there's nothing more disheartening than watching their hard work and carefully nurtured plants get devoured by animals, whether you have a beautiful vegetable garden or you have a container garden.
From rabbits and deer to birds, squirrels and cats, there are a variety of creatures that can wreak havoc on a garden.
Fortunately, there is an easy solution to this problem - installing an electric fence around the perimeter of your garden. Not only will this keep unwanted animals out, but it will also help ensure that your plants thrive and you get to enjoy the fruits of your labor!
Is it easy to install an electric fence?
Installing an electric garden fence is a relatively easy process that can be done with just a few simple tools and supplies.
First, you'll need to purchase an electric fence kit, which typically includes the, fence wire, insulators, and grounding rods.
Choosing your energizer
You also need to have an energizer (fence charger), and most electric fence kits come without a charger.
You will need to use only low or wide impedance intermittent pulse energizers. You do NOT want to use continuous current energizers with electric netting.
We will make sure to list an fence charger that will work with the electric fences we recommend below.
What to know before purchasing and electric fence
Before purchasing your kit, you'll need to determine the size and shape of your garden and map out where you want to install your fence, typically around the entire perimeter.
You will also need to determine your preferred power source.
Solar Electric Fences
Solar electric fences are great options for an area that gets a lot of sun, or for an area that is not close to an electrical outlet.
Solar fences tend to be slightly more costly, and rely solely on the sun shining.
Plug In Electric Fences
Plug in electric fences are more reliable than solar fences so long as you don't have any extended power outages! They will need to be plugged in to a power outlet, so if you have one that is close, that is great, otherwise you can get an outdoor extension cord to run power to it.
This is a good option to have if you don't mind a cord running across your lawn, if you want to save a bit of money upfront (keeping in mind your electric bill!) or you want the reliability of the power source.
There is no major pro or con to either solar or plug-in options, it is purely a matter of choice.
Setting up the electric fence kit
Once you have your kit, you'll need to set up your charger and ground rods, which will provide the electric current to your fence. The kit you buy will have very easy to follow directions included with it, just make sure there is a rod or rods included because some kits don't include them and they are necessary.
From there, you'll need to install your electric fence wire, making sure to keep the wires taut and evenly spaced.
Testing the electric fence
Finally, you'll need to test your electric fence to ensure that it is working properly and that there are no gaps or breaks in the fence wire. With a little bit of time and effort, you can easily install your own electric fence and protect your garden from hungry animals.
It will probably take less than 30 minutes to set up an electric fence around your garden (of course, that is dependent on how large your garden is!) but once it is installed, you can rest assured knowing that all the hard work you put into your garden planting will still give you plenty of harvest to come later in the season.
Now, let's talk about some of the best garden fences you can purchase that will be reliable as well as easy to install.
Electric Fence For A Garden
Here are the top choices if you want to purchase a fantastic electric fence system for your backyard garden.
1. RentACoop Electric Fence (Plug-in or Solar Option)
Check today's price here (plug in)
If you want to walk into your garden, you can add a gate handle for a door you can touch to walk in safely found here
This is an electric fence brand that we really like, they always make high quality products that are reliable and get the best reviews.
This electric fence kit that includes a charger, electric wire, insulators, and ground rods. The kit is designed to be easy to install and can be used to protect your garden from animals that may be tempted to eat your crops.
The electric current provided by the charger is strong enough to deter most animals without causing them any harm. The kit also includes a detailed instruction manual to guide you through the installation process.
With this electric fence kit, you can create a secure and effective barrier to protect your garden and enjoy the fruits of your labor.
Just know that a fence charger will need a ground rod to work. For this energizer, you will need a minimum of 3' of ground rod for every 1.0 joule of energy released.
Why we like this electric fence:
- Set up if the electric garden fence takes 15 minutes because the posts are pre-fastened with netting and fence wire (saving you tons of time)
- This electric fence will not sag because you stake fence posts every 12 feet, there are guy lines and the fence posts are not flimsy
- Posts are an FRP plastic which is more rigid than a standard PVC plastic post, which can lost its shape and sag over time (FRP is a strong fiberglass material)
- Has the option to add a door with the gate kit, so you can walk in without turning power off
Here is the door in use:
You can also choose to get a solar panel fence charger if you don't want to plug in your electric fence (or it is too far from a power source).
If this seems a bit overwhelming, you have the options of purchasing a full, simple electric fence kit that has everything needed.
The full kit (solar or plug-in kit) includes:
the electric fence (which is 42" x 168" and you can purchase more fencing separately if you have a larger space), a grounding rod, fence charger energizer, gate handle kit (for a door) and fence tester all in one package.
See price of the entire package of everything you need right here (this is the plug-in powered energizer package)
And here is the entire package with the solar powered energizer
2. The Starkline Solar Panel Electric Fence | KIT
See the entire kit here (with PVC posts: PVC plastic is the industry standard - but are not as strong as fiberglass posts) but you can purchase the fiberglass posts separately as a 5 pack here if you want a more sturdy support
This electric fence works using solar energy to power the fence charger and it comes with everything you need including:
- 1 roll of 42" electric poultry netting (preinstalled on the stakes to save time!)
- A Kerble S400 0.25 joule output solar energizer
- Fence tester
- Connector leads
- Warning signs
- A repair kit
- A ground rod that doubles as a rod mount for the solar energizer
In sum, this electric garden fence is made of durable materials that are designed to withstand harsh weather conditions and frequent use.
Here is a visual of everything you get in the kit:
With this electric netting, you can create a secure and effective enclosure for your garden to stay safe from hungry deer, rabbits, raccoons, foxes and other animals.
It will give them a sufficient shock but won't harm them, so you can feel good about that during your growing season.
3. Premier Solar Electric Fence | KIT
This is a strong and durable 100' roll of 48" high fencing. We particularly like the design of the fencing itself; the top has larger rectangles of fence spacing, but as the electric fence gets lower to the ground, the lower wire spacing get smaller and smaller.
This wire is intentionally designed to keep smaller animals that may enter the garden on the ground level (like rats, squirrels or rabbits, or even cats and raccoons) out, but it is tall enough to deter larger animals such as deer, who may try to enter by hopping over the fence.
This is a great design in terms of wires.
There is also a 2 year warranty for energizers and solar panels which covers lightning damage and defective parts or workmanship. There is also a 30 day warranty for the batteries.
This fence gets really high ratings from its customers who are using it in their gardens to keep wildlife out, but also for poultry fencing to keep their animals in and safe from predators.
Electric Garden Fence | In Summary
Adding an electric fence wire around your garden is one of the best cost investments you can make, because you are putting an insurance on the hours and hours of time you have spent planting seeds, transplanting, watering, weeding, checking soil, deadheading and taking suckers off of your plants... Really, the time you can spend in a garden is endless. And if something comes and eats your plants, there is no getting that time back.
Plus, with proper maintenance of your electric fence system and materials, it will last for many, many years, insuring years of gardening time goes unwasted.
I can't tell you how highly we recommend installing an electric fence around your garden.
Other electric fence uses
Electric fencing is not only great for gardening, it is very useful around the yard for other reasons, such as for keeping your livestock like goats or cattle in a certain area, and it is great for your chickens if you want to keep them safe.
We personally also use electric fences around our bee hives to make sure no hungry bears want to come and have a sweet treat!
Electric fencing versatility
Electric fencing is versatile in that you can move it around if you want to use it somewhere else, or you can purchase more fencing and tie it or hook it right on to your circuit if you want to expand your gardening or plant area.
You can even place new electric fence wires around a newly planted tree to keep the deer from rubbing on it, which would kill the young tree (I know this is a problem where we are).
Some fences come with other options you can add on, including a door option or gate, where you can easily walk in and out of your garden without turning the electricity off. A door will not allow the electricity to flow through it, and you will discover that this is really a nice added upgrade to have.
You can also add an electric fence to a pre-existing fence you have as extra protection.
Safety concerns of electric fences
You don't have to worry about the wires harming animals; it simply gives them that shock, usually on the nose or the head, which tells them that area is a no-go zone.
So if you are worried about your dog or cat (or other animals) being hurt by the garden fence wires and the electric shock, they are safe as long as you are purchasing the proper fence charger for the fence.
And if they try to enter that area again and get a little electric shock, it becomes conditioned in them to avoid the garden altogether.
No matter what it is you want to protect: your grass, tomatoes, corn, a specific animal like chickens, ducks or cattle, or even a tree or special plant you want to stay safe, getting a new electric garden fence is a great addition to a yard or vegetable garden that will last for years.
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