Top Vegetable Garden Enclosure Ideas (2023)

What are the best vegetable garden enclosure ideas?

A flourishing vegetable garden should be unhindered by nibbling wildlife or a backyard soccer game, and this can be accomplished by installing a suitable enclosure. With the variety of material and design options available, you will be able to protect your garden with style and functionality.

Vegetable garden enclosures can be categorized into three types:

  • Raised Beds and Tables
  • Fencing
  • Cages

Options include custom-built, ready-made, or ready to assemble, depending on your DIY ability and budget.

If you like to grow vegetables and want to give them every chance to mature, an enclosure is what you need. You are limited only by your imagination and, of course, your budget. Today, we’ll be taking a look at some great enclosure ideas, as well as some related costs.

Top Vegetable Garden Enclosure Ideas (1)

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Vegetable Garden Enclosures

Choosing a garden enclosure starts with determining what size garden you want and whether your enclosure will be seasonal or permanent. Design and materials will depend on your style and budget.

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Raised Beds

Gardening in a raised bed is a great option for any space. A DIY bed can be customized to fit your available square footage and the height and width that works for you. Height can range from a minimal six inches to a less back-breaking three feet. A width of three to four feet lets you garden from either side.

Raised beds are typically made of rot-resistant wood but can also be constructed from rocks, pre-formed concrete blocks (decorative or plain), metal, and vinyl/plastic.

There are plenty of ready-made and ready-to-assemble raised garden beds on the market. Garden bed kits come with instructions and everything you need (minus the tools, of course) to assemble the bed yourself. They are a good compromise if you don’t want to start from scratch.

Garden Tables

If you have limited space, consider buying a raised garden table.

Top Vegetable Garden Enclosure Ideas (2)

Available in a variety of sizes and styles, most garden tables come ready-to-assemble. You can be gardening in a matter of hours.

Tables get your plants up off the ground, offering great protection from animals and insects. They also allow you to garden standing up, a plus for older gardeners.

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Sources: Bob Vila

Fencing

Fencing is suitable for all types of gardens, and, in some cases, it may be necessary to keep hungry wildlife away from an in-ground vegetable garden. Temporary or permanent, it’s up to you and your budget.

If you garden in the same spot every year, consider installing a fence that stays up year-round. Permanent enclosures are ideal for the gardener who wants the structure to be integral to the overall appearance of the garden.

Fencing comes in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials to fit any gardener’s need and style. Let’s take a look at some common options.

  • Picket fence: This classic design can be built of wood, vinyl, or iron. It usually stands 3 – 4 feet tall and has at least one gate.
  • Chicken wire: Chicken wire comes in a variety of hole diameters and roll widths. It can be stretched between wood or metal posts or frames.
  • Plastic mesh: Plastic mesh stretched between metal, or plastic poles is a relatively quick, easy, and inexpensive way to offer seasonal protection to the garden.
  • Pallets: Local recycling centers often have stacks of used pallets available free for the asking. They are sturdy and environmentally friendly. And you can’t beat the price!
  • Electric fence: One of the more expensive options, electric fencing, requires expertise to install and maintain. It is effective in keeping larger animals at bay.
  • Wattle: Wattle fencing uses found materials (sticks and small limbs), which are woven between support posts to create a natural and unique enclosure. Finding the right type and quantity of materials can be difficult.

Wire Cost

Let’s talk chicken wire for a moment. It’s versatile, affordable, and effective. For an inexpensive and temporary fence, stretch and attach it between wood or metal posts. Attach it to split rail fencing or wood-framed panels for more permanence and polish. You can even use it in combination with picket fencing or pallets to add a layer of protection against smaller wildlife.

If you’re ok with some DIY, consider a full garden or “just add lumber” enclosure, which comes with brackets, hardware, netting, and building instructions. These kits are an attractive but pricier option to designing your own raised bed or fencing.

Cages

A simple approach to enclosing your vegetable garden is to use a crop cage. Typically consisting of netting or mesh stretched over a support system, cages can cover the entire garden area or individual plants. One thing to consider is how easy it is to move the cage aside when it’s time to harvest the garden.

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Individual cages are used when particular plants need to be protected. Usually, on the small side, they’re easy to stack and store in the offseason.

The largest cages have doors that allow a gardener to step inside and work the garden. Setting up these enclosures may require more experience and tools, but, in return, these roomy cages offer your garden more protection. You should carefully consider where you want to put your garden since these people-sized cages are harder to relocate on a whim.

For an intermediate-sized area, build a wood frame and attach garden mesh. Frames may be flat or box-like, depending on the height of the plants you’re trying to cover. It’s important to use lightweight materials to make removal easier.

How Much Do Garden Enclosures Cost?

As with any home project, the “evil budget” rears its head when it’s time to choose the garden enclosure that’s right for you. Cost depends on the size and type of enclosure you want and if you can install it yourself or need to hire someone to install it for you.

There are many garden enclosures available online and in your local home supply center, but this chart offers general costs for some of the options discussed in this article.

Type of MaterialSizeEstimate
Plastic mesh3’ – 6’ wide rolls$22 – $280
Picket fencing3-5’ x 8’ panel$32 – $92
Chicken wire3’ – 6’ wide rolls$58 – $120
ElectricLinear foot$6 – $12
IronLinear foot$35 – $100
Raised tablesVaried$30 – $200
KitsVaried$150 – $2500

Sources: Home Depot, Homewyse

Care and Maintenance of Vegetable Garden Enclosures

Netting or mesh cages need little maintenance during the growing season, although you may need to straighten up the posts or mesh after a thunderstorm. Store them clean and dry when the growing season ends.

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Permanent garden enclosures will require occasional maintenance, particularly if the wood or iron is painted. Wood lasts for years but can be compromised over time because of ground moisture and weather. Electric fencing should be checked periodically for voltage function.

For any enclosure, you should weed routinely around the perimeter to keep vegetation low. This will prevent small critters from doing unseen damage to the enclosure. A weed-free enclosure looks good and makes for a satisfied gardener and a happy neighbor.

What Garden Enclosure is Right for Me?

The right answer differs for every gardener and garden.

From plastic mesh over a raised bed to wrought iron fencing around a half-acre plot, your enclosure should meet your needs and budget and express your style. With planning, you can protect your garden and ensure that you, not the local wildlife, enjoy the fruits (and vegetables) of your labor.

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Top Vegetable Garden Enclosure Ideas (3)
(Video) How to Plan a Vegetable Garden: Design Your Best Garden Layout

Thoughts on other vegetable garden enclosure ideas?

FAQs

How do you maximize a vegetable garden space? ›

Here are nine tips from One Yard Revolution on how to maximize your growing space:
  1. Grow your plants in garden beds, not rows. ...
  2. Optimize the spacing between garden beds. ...
  3. Grow vertically. ...
  4. Try succession planting. ...
  5. Inter-plant. ...
  6. Use all your space, and grow in the shade. ...
  7. Grow food in your front yard. ...
  8. Grow micro-greens.
18 Oct 2015

How many vegetables can I grow in a 4x8 raised bed? ›

You can grow up to 32 different plants inside your 4' x 8' raised garden bed using “Square Foot Gardening” techniques.

How deep should a raised garden bed be for vegetables? ›

They should have at least 8 inches of soil depth to accommodate the root systems of plants, because the majority of plant roots require 6 – 8 inches of soil for healthy root growth. A depth of 8 – 12 inches will suffice for most gardening situations.

What direction should my vegetable garden face? ›

A north-south orientation is best for low-growing crops, allowing direct sunlight to reach both sides of the bed. For taller crops such as pole beans, peas and tomatoes an east west orientation works best. Leave enough space in between beds to easily maneuver around.

What plants should not be mulched? ›

It's especially important to avoid using rocks as mulch around common foundation plants like azalea, hydrangea, and yews; these plants thrive in acidic soil (soil with a pH level below seven).

What vegetables should not be planted together? ›

Don't Grow These Vegetables Next to Each Other
  • Beans and Onions.
  • Tomatoes and Corn.
  • Potatoes and Sunflowers.
  • Asparagus and Garlic.
  • Celery and Carrots.
  • Eggplant and Fennel.
  • Cucumber and Rosemary.
  • Lettuce and Garlic.
9 Jul 2020

What can you not plant near tomatoes? ›

Here are some plants generally considered to be unfriendly in the tomato patch:
  • Corn. Both corn and tomatoes attract the same predatory worm, so when they are placed together, your crops can become a feast for undesirables.
  • Potato. ...
  • The Brassica Family. ...
  • Rosemary. ...
  • Dill. ...
  • Carrot.
24 Mar 2022

What is the best garden layout? ›

The most basic garden plan consists of a design with straight, long rows running north to south orientation. A north to south direction will ensure that the garden gets the best sun exposure and air circulation. A garden that runs east to west tends to get too shaded from the crops growing in the preceding row.

What is best veg to grow in raised beds? ›

The 5 Best Vegetables to Grow in a Raised Bed
  • Root vegetables. Root vegetables are perfect for raised beds. ...
  • Leafy greens. Greens such as lettuce, spinach and kale perform marvelously in raised beds. ...
  • Onions. There are three reasons that onions are the perfect vegetable to grow in raised beds. ...
  • Tomatoes. ...
  • Potatoes.
31 Mar 2014

What do you put in the bottom of a raised garden bed? ›

What do I put on the bottom of a raised garden bed? You can fill the bottom of a raised garden bed with a number of organic materials, including straw, grass clippings, wood chips, and leaves. Place cardboard – or any suitable weed barrier material – over this organic layer, weighing it down with a few bricks or pegs.

How high should a raised garden bed be? ›

If the raised bed is on top of a hard surface, the minimum recommended height of 10 inches may not be deep enough for some crops, like potatoes. Young children need beds closer to the ground. For wheelchair access, beds should be 24 inches tall. A bed that is 36 inches off the ground helps avoid excessive bending over.

Should I put rocks in the bottom of my raised garden bed? ›

Avoid using materials like rocks on the bottom of your raised bed, as this can create an artificial water table that will prevent good drainage. With raised garden beds, drainage is essential.

Is it OK to use pressure treated wood in a vegetable garden? ›

Even though the new pressure-treated woods are considered safe, Wolmanized Outdoor, according to its Web site, does not recommend using pressure-treated wood where the preservatives may become a component of food. Its recommendation is to use an impervious liner between the wood and the soil.

Should you line a raised vegetable bed? ›

You can line your raised bed to make it more durable and to prevent toxics from leaching into the soil. For lining, use landscape fabric found at garden supply stores or cloth fabric from clothing. Avoid non-porous plastic, as it can retain too much water and discourage beneficial insects and worms.

Is morning sun or afternoon sun better for vegetables? ›

Most vegetable plants are full-sun plants, requiring between six and eight hours of sunlight per day. Morning sun is preferable, as afternoon sun is hotter, and you don't want your plants to overheat during the hottest part of the day.

Should vegetable gardens be in full sun? ›

Lots of Sunlight Is a Must

Like all plants, vegetables need the sun to kick-start photosynthesis. The fastest-growing vegetables need full sun The fastest-growing vegetables need full sun—at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight a day—without blockage from trees, shrubs, or fences.

What do you put down between garden rows? ›

Low-nutrient loose, organic mulches, such as hardwood and softwood chips, sawdust, straw, dead leaves, bark chips and bark shreds, are suitable for spreading between vegetable rows. Spread a 2- to 5-inch layer of the mulch on bare soil, or place it on top of another weed-control material.

Can you put mulch on top of vegetable garden? ›

Can You Use Mulch In A Vegetable Garden? Yes! In fact, one of the best ways to control weeds in the garden is to add a thick layer of mulch over the soil. It's standard practice to use mulch for weed control in flower gardens and other landscaped areas, but many people skip the vegetable garden.

What grows best next to tomatoes? ›

Companion Plants to Grow With Tomatoes
  • Basil. Basil and tomatoes are soulmates on and off the plate. ...
  • Parsley. ...
  • Garlic. ...
  • Borage and squash. ...
  • French marigolds and nasturtiums. ...
  • Asparagus. ...
  • Chives.
7 Jun 2021

What should not be planted next to peppers? ›

The plants to never plant close to all types of peppers are as follows:
  1. Beans (for jalapenos)
  2. Peas (for jalapenos)
  3. Cauliflower.
  4. Kohlrabi.
  5. Broccoli.
  6. Cabbage.
  7. Kale.
  8. Brussels sprouts.
8 Oct 2020

Can peppers and tomatoes be planted together? ›

The reality is that because the two have similar growth requirements, they can in fact be grown quite successfully together. Diseases common to both tomato and pepper include Verticillium wilt and bacterial spot.

What are the worst companion plants for tomatoes? ›

What are bad companion plants for tomatoes? Broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, kohlrabi, and other brassicas. Brassicas, including broccoli, cabbage, rutabaga, and cauliflower, will compete for nutrients with tomatoes, as both brassicas and tomatoes are heavy feeders.

Why should you not plant cucumbers near tomatoes? ›

Both tomatoes and cucumbers do not grow well when planted near potatoes as they crave the same nutrients and compete for them. Also, they may be susceptible to similar diseases. For example, the cucumber mosaic virus attacks both cucumbers and tomatoes causing a significant reduction in fruit production.

What vegetables can be planted together chart? ›

Companion Planting Chart
Type of VegetableFriends
CabbageBeets, celery, chard, lettuce, spinach, onions
CarrotsBeans, lettuce, onions, peas, peppers, tomatoes
CornClimbing beans, cucumber, marjoram, peas, pumpkins, squash, sunflowers, zucchini
OnionsCabbage, carrots, chard, lettuce, peppers, tomatoes
12 more rows

How do I make my vegetable garden look pretty? ›

12 Tips for Pretty Vegetable Gardens That Yield Lots of...
  1. 01 of 12. Bring in Fruits and Herbs Too. ...
  2. 02 of 12. Pick the Right Spot. ...
  3. 03 of 12. Make an Entrance. ...
  4. 04 of 12. Just Add Flowers. ...
  5. 05 of 12. Protect Your Plants. ...
  6. 06 of 12. Grow Up with Raised Beds. ...
  7. 07 of 12. Think Like a Designer. ...
  8. 08 of 12. Grow in Containers.
9 Aug 2022

How far apart should vegetables be planted? ›

Allow 2- to 3-inch spaces for carrots, bunching or green onions and radishes. Beets, garlic, leeks, spinach, onions and turnips need 4 to 6 inches of space between them on all sides, while celery, leaf lettuce and Swiss chard require 7- to 9-inch areas. Allow 10 to 12 inches on all sides between head lettuces.

Is it better to plant vegetables in rows or groups? ›

The best method when growing vegetables in the garden is by planting in rows. Row planting is when plants are grown in single rows that allow for more space and easier cultivating in the vegetable garden.

How do I protect my vegetable garden from animals? ›

10 Easy Ways To Protect Your Garden From Common Animals and Pests
  1. Step One: Identify The Culprit. ...
  2. Step Two: Fence It. ...
  3. Step Three: Choose Less Tasty Plants. ...
  4. Step Four: Protect New Plants. ...
  5. Step Five: Garden In Pots And Raised Beds. ...
  6. Step Six: Don't Be Too Tidy. ...
  7. Step Seven: Contain Your Compost. ...
  8. Step Eight: Scare Them Away.
14 Jun 2021

What do I plant next to tomatoes? ›

Companion Plants to Grow With Tomatoes
  1. Basil. Basil and tomatoes are soulmates on and off the plate. ...
  2. Parsley. ...
  3. Garlic. ...
  4. Borage and squash. ...
  5. French marigolds and nasturtiums. ...
  6. Asparagus. ...
  7. Chives.
7 Jun 2021

How do you build a vegetable garden layout? ›

Rows. The most basic garden plan consists of a design with straight, long rows running north to south orientation. A north to south direction will ensure that the garden gets the best sun exposure and air circulation. A garden that runs east to west tends to get too shaded from the crops growing in the preceding row.

Do marigolds keep animals away from garden? ›

Answer: Marigolds do not repel rabbits, deer, or other animals. In fact, rabbits occasionally browse heavily on marigolds. Erecting a chicken wire or hardware cloth fence around the vegetable garden is the best way to keep rabbits out of the garden.

Do wind chimes keep animals away? ›

Scare Them Away

Noise makers like wind chimes, or disposable pie plates and whirligigs, can be used to scare off unwanted visitors. Motion detectors that set alarms or lights work well with night foragers.

Will rabbits jump into raised beds? ›

Surprisingly, rabbits have a limited vertical jump height. A raised garden bed of 24 inches or higher is sufficient to deter cottontail rabbits. If jackrabbits (or the mythical jackalope) are the problem, the raised bed should be at least 36 inches high. Your back will thank you for the raised bed!

How can I make my garden look good with no money? ›

  1. 42 cheap garden ideas to smarten up your plot. ...
  2. Repurpose old wooden crates to make stylish shelves. ...
  3. Use old jars as mini planters. ...
  4. Try DIY terracotta candle holders. ...
  5. Create a cool, industrial-style aesthetic with oversized planters. ...
  6. Make an upcycled hanging planter. ...
  7. Guide the way with a cute garden sign. ...
  8. Glow up your shed.
1 Apr 2022

What should you not plant by tomatoes? ›

What are bad companion plants for tomatoes? Broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, kohlrabi, and other brassicas. Brassicas, including broccoli, cabbage, rutabaga, and cauliflower, will compete for nutrients with tomatoes, as both brassicas and tomatoes are heavy feeders.

Why should you not plant cucumbers near tomatoes? ›

Both tomatoes and cucumbers do not grow well when planted near potatoes as they crave the same nutrients and compete for them. Also, they may be susceptible to similar diseases. For example, the cucumber mosaic virus attacks both cucumbers and tomatoes causing a significant reduction in fruit production.

What veggies grow best together? ›

Which Vegetables Grow Well Together?
VegetableCompanion Plant
Cabbage Family (cabbage, broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts)Beets, celery, dill, Swiss chard, lettuce, spinach, onions, potatoes
CarrotsBeans, tomatoes
CeleryBeans, tomatoes, cabbages
CornCucumber, melons, squash, peas, beans, pumpkin
11 more rows
26 Jun 2021

What order should I plant my vegetable garden? ›

Start With Cool Weather Plants First

Plant cooler weather vegetables first, such as broccoli, cabbages, onions, lettuce, spinach, carrots and beets. These crops will fare well in the cooler spring weather but growth rapidly deteriorates as it gets warmer.

How do I make my vegetable garden look pretty? ›

12 Tips for Pretty Vegetable Gardens That Yield Lots of...
  1. 01 of 12. Bring in Fruits and Herbs Too. ...
  2. 02 of 12. Pick the Right Spot. ...
  3. 03 of 12. Make an Entrance. ...
  4. 04 of 12. Just Add Flowers. ...
  5. 05 of 12. Protect Your Plants. ...
  6. 06 of 12. Grow Up with Raised Beds. ...
  7. 07 of 12. Think Like a Designer. ...
  8. 08 of 12. Grow in Containers.
9 Aug 2022

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