Designing Your Garden to Repel Moles

Gardeners often struggle with the presence of moles in their gardens. These underground creatures can cause significant damage to your plants, making it challenging to maintain a healthy and flourishing garden. If you’ve tried different methods to get rid of moles and still find them wreaking havoc in your yard, you may be feeling perplexed and overwhelmed. But worry not, there are ways to modify your garden layout and design to repel moles and keep them from returning. In this article, we’ll go over step-by-step strategies that you can use to modify your garden so that it becomes an unattractive and hostile environment for these pesky critters.

Understanding Moles

Understanding Moles
When it comes to pests wreaking havoc on your garden, moles are among the most frustrating. These subterranean animals are notorious for burrowing through lawns and gardens, leaving unsightly tunnels and feeding off the roots of plants. Understanding the reasons behind moles’ behavior is the first step to controlling them. While many people assume that moles are eating their plants, this is actually a misconception – moles are primarily insectivores, and their diet consists of insects, grubs, and other small critters found in the soil. However, moles’ burrowing can still cause damage to plants and disrupt root systems. To prevent or mitigate mole damage to your garden, you need to take a holistic approach that targets both their behavior and habitat.

What Attracts Moles to Your Garden

Moles are attracted to certain conditions in your garden, and taking these into account can help you modify your garden layout and design to repel them. Here are some factors that attract moles to your garden:

  • Lawn grubs: Moles feed heavily on grubs, so if your garden has a large population of grubs, it may attract moles. According to a comprehensive guide on the nutritional needs of moles, they require large amounts of protein, and grubs provide an excellent source of it.
  • Thick vegetation: Moles like to burrow in areas with thick vegetation, as it provides cover for them. If your garden has thick grass, they may be drawn to it.
  • Moist soil: Moles prefer soil that is easy to burrow through, and moist soil provides this. If your garden has poor drainage, it may attract moles.
  • Abundance of insects: While grubs are a favorite of moles, they will also go after other insects in your garden. According to an article on moles’ diet and lawn health, they will eat earthworms, centipedes, and other bugs.
  • Unmaintained areas: If you have areas in your garden that are left unmaintained, they may attract moles. Moles are nocturnal and like to burrow in secluded areas, so an overgrown garden can be attractive to them.

Understanding what attracts moles to your garden is an essential first step in modifying your garden to repel them. By addressing these factors, you can make your garden less attractive to moles and discourage them from burrowing in your lawn.

Modifying Your Garden Layout

Modifying Your Garden Layout
As we now understand the behavior of moles and what attracts them to your garden, it’s time to modify your garden layout to repel them. Modifying your garden layout is an important step in getting rid of moles. By making some changes, you can make your garden less attractive to moles and encourage them to move elsewhere. Let’s explore some effective ways to modify your garden layout and repel moles. We will look at how to keep your lawn short, create barrier beds and layout raised beds. These steps, when done correctly, can significantly reduce the chances of moles eating a hole in your garden.

Keep Your Lawn Short

To prevent moles from tunneling in your lawn, keeping your lawn short is crucial. Moles love to feed on insects and grubs found within your grass, so tall grass provides the perfect hiding spot for them. By keeping your lawn short, you eliminate the cover and make it easier to spot any activity from moles. Plus, shorter grass is usually much easier to maintain overall.

One way to keep your lawn short is to mow it frequently. However, you don’t want to cut the grass too short, as this can lead to brown patches forming. Typically, it is recommended to keep your lawn around 2-3 inches long. If you’re not sure how short to mow your lawn, it’s always a good idea to consult with a professional landscaper.

In addition to mowing, regularly aerating your lawn can help prevent moles from tunneling. Aeration helps loosen up compacted soil, which can make it more difficult for moles to move around. However, be careful when aerating, as you don’t want to damage any plant roots in the process.

By keeping your lawn short and well-maintained, you’re taking a big step towards preventing moles from taking over your yard. Remember, moles are attracted to areas with plenty of insects and cover, so eliminating these factors can go a long way in keeping them away.

If you want to learn more about moles and why they’re attracted to certain areas, check out our article on why moles eat your garden. Additionally, understanding the role of grubs in mole infestations can be helpful, so be sure to read our article on whether or not grubs are the only reason moles visit your yard.

Create Barrier Beds

One effective way to repel moles from your garden is to create barrier beds. These beds act as a physical barrier that moles cannot dig through, making your plants and lawn safe from their destructive behavior. Here are some steps to follow when creating barrier beds:

  • Choose the right location: When creating a barrier bed, you need to choose the right location that will effectively block the moles from entering your garden. Look for areas where moles are more likely to come in, such as along fences, near wooded areas, or in damp soil.
  • Remove existing grass: Before creating your barrier bed, remove all existing grass and weeds from the area. You can do this manually or by using a sod cutter or a hoe.
  • Dig a trench: Dig a trench around the perimeter of the bed that is at least one foot deep and one foot wide. This will prevent moles from burrowing underneath the barrier bed.
  • Add a barrier: Fill the trench with coarse gravel or other materials that moles cannot dig through. You can also use mesh or hardware cloth to cover the area.
  • Plant your desired plants: Once the barrier is in place, you can plant your desired plants in the bed. Make sure to water them well and keep them healthy.

Creating barrier beds around your garden can be an effective way to keep moles out while still enjoying a beautiful and functional outdoor space. With these simple steps, you can modify your garden layout and design to repel moles for good.

Layout Raised Beds

Layout Raised Beds
One effective way to modify your garden layout to repel moles is to switch to raised beds. Moles don’t like to burrow through the soil contained in raised beds, making them a great option for gardeners dealing with mole infestations.

Raised beds can be constructed using a variety of materials, including wood, bricks, or concrete blocks. The height of your raised bed will depend on your preference and the needs of your plants. However, a height of at least 8-12 inches is recommended to ensure that moles cannot easily tunnel their way into the soil.

To further deter moles, consider lining the bottom of your raised bed with hardware cloth or mesh. This will prevent moles from burrowing up into the bed from below. Additionally, raised beds offer the added benefit of better drainage and soil aeration.

Here is a table outlining the steps to layout raised beds:

Step Description
1 Choose a location for your raised bed.
2 Measure and mark out the dimensions of your raised bed.
3 Clear the area of any grass, weeds, or debris.
4 Construct the frame of your bed using your desired materials.
5 Secure hardware cloth or mesh to the bottom of the bed to prevent moles from burrowing up.
6 Fill the bed with a high-quality garden soil mixture.
7 Plant your desired plants or seeds.
8 Maintain your raised bed by watering and fertilizing as needed and removing any weeds.

Using raised beds is a great way to make your garden less attractive to moles and create a healthier growing environment for your plants.

Modifying Your Garden Design

Modifying Your Garden Design
Once you have made adjustments to the layout of your garden to protect against moles, it’s time to consider how to modify its design. You may be surprised to learn that certain plants can actually repel moles and discourage them from invading your garden. Additionally, companion planting is a technique that can help improve the health and vitality of your plants while also discouraging moles from entering the area. In this section, we’ll explore how to modify your garden design to help keep moles at bay.

Choose Plants That Moles Don’t Like

If you want to modify your garden design to repel moles, one of the most effective ways is to choose plants that moles don’t like. Moles are insectivores and tend to avoid plants that have a strong odor, taste, or root system. Here are some plant options that may help deter moles:

Plant Type Examples
Herbs Garlic, chives, leeks, onions, mint
Spices Cayenne pepper, hot sauce, red pepper flakes
Plants with Strong Scents Daffodils, alliums, marigolds, fritillaries
Plants with Woody or Spiky Roots Ferns, rose bushes, holly bushes, sweetgum trees

When selecting plants for your garden, consider incorporating these options to repel moles naturally. By planting a variety of plants with strong odors, tastes, and root systems, you can create a garden environment that moles will not find appealing. You can also consider planting a diverse range of plants that will attract other animals that may help control mole populations, such as birds of prey or snakes. Remember: a balanced and diverse ecosystem is key to a healthy, thriving garden that is less vulnerable to pest problems.

Consider Companion Planting

Companion planting involves the strategic planting of different plants next to each other for their mutual benefit, and it can also help to repel moles in your garden. By pairing certain plants together, you can create an environment that moles find unappealing.

Here are some companion planting options to try:

Plant Companion Plant
Daffodils Tulips, alliums
Marigolds Herbs, tomatoes, beans, cabbage
Castor Bean Vegetables, fruits, herbs
Fritillaria Alliums, hostas, lilies

Daffodils and tulips are a classic example of companion planting. Moles dislike the smell of daffodils, and planting them around your tulips can deter moles from disturbing your bulbs.

Marigolds are another good option. Their strong fragrance repels moles and other pests, while also attracting beneficial insects to your garden. Planting marigolds near your vegetable garden can also help deter insect pests that can attract moles.

Castor beans contain a compound called ricin, which is toxic to moles and other pests. The plant has an unpleasant smell that moles don’t like, and it can be planted near fruits, vegetables, and herbs to help deter moles.

Fritillaria bulbs contain a natural alkaloid that is toxic to moles and can help to repel them from your garden. Planting fritillaria bulbs near alliums, hostas, and lilies can also help to deter moles, as they don’t like the smell of these plants.

By incorporating companion planting into your garden design, you can create a beautiful and functional landscape that also helps to repel moles. With these tips, you can modify your garden layout and design to keep moles at bay and enjoy a beautiful garden all season long.

Additional Tips for Repelling Moles

Now that you have modified your garden layout and design to make it less appealing to moles, there are a few additional tips you can follow to further repel them from your yard. These tips include using mole repellents and identifying and eliminating grubs and insects, which are a food source for moles. Let’s explore these options in more detail.

Use Mole Repellent

One effective way to repel moles from your garden is by using mole repellents. These products come in various forms, such as sprays, granules, and spikes, and work by emitting a strong scent or vibration that moles find unpleasant.

When looking for a mole repellent, it’s important to choose a product that is safe for both humans and pets. Some popular options include castor oil-based sprays, granules infused with garlic or peppermint oil, and solar-powered spikes that emit sonic vibrations.

To ensure maximum efficacy, it’s recommended to follow the instructions on the product label carefully. Apply mole repellent around the perimeter of your garden, focusing on areas where mole activity has been observed. Be sure to reapply the product as directed, as the scent or vibration may weaken over time.

However, it’s important to note that mole repellents are not a foolproof solution and may not work for every garden. In some cases, professional pest control services may be necessary to eliminate a mole infestation.

In addition to using mole repellents, implementing other strategies such as keeping your lawn short, creating barrier beds, and choosing mole-resistant plants can also help minimize mole damage in your garden.

Identify and Eliminate Grubs and Insects

When it comes to repelling moles from your garden, identifying and eliminating grubs and insects is another important step to take. The presence of grubs and insects in your soil can attract moles, as they are a food source for these small mammals. To ensure that your garden is not a source of food for moles, follow these steps:

  • Inspect your garden regularly: Check your garden regularly for any signs of grub or insect infestations. Look for areas of dead or dying grass, as well as tunnels and holes in the soil.
  • Identify the pests: Once you have identified an infestation, determine the type of pest you are dealing with. This will help you choose the best method of elimination.
  • Choose an appropriate method of elimination: There are a variety of methods for eliminating grubs and insects, including using organic or chemical pesticides, encouraging natural predators like birds and beneficial insects, and manually removing the pests from the soil.
  • Take preventative measures: Preventing future infestations is key to keeping moles away. Consider applying a grub preventative to your soil in the spring and fall to discourage grubs from taking root.

By taking these steps to eliminate grubs and insects from your garden, you will not only repel moles, but also improve the overall health and appearance of your lawn and plants.


In conclusion, keeping your garden free from mole infestations is an achievable task with just a few modifications to your garden layout and design. By understanding what attracts moles to your garden and implementing some simple techniques, such as keeping your lawn short, creating barrier beds, and using raised beds, you can create an environment that is uninviting to these critters. Additionally, choosing plants that moles don’t like, using companion planting, and using mole repellents can be effective in repelling moles from your garden. Don’t forget to eliminate grubs and insects that may attract moles in the first place. By following these tips, you’ll be able to modify your garden layout and design in a way that will help you repel moles and keep your garden looking its best. With a little effort, you can maintain a beautiful and healthy garden, free from mole damage.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if moles are the reason behind the bumps on my lawn?

If you see long, winding tunnels and raised ridges, it’s likely that moles are the cause of the bumps on your lawn.

Are moles harmful to my plants?

Although moles do not eat plants, their tunnels can damage roots and affect the moisture levels in the soil, leading to stress or death of the plant.

Can I use poison to get rid of moles?

No, using poison to get rid of moles isn’t recommended. Poison can harm other animals as well and might not be effective since moles eat mainly insects and earthworms.

Does having a lot of earthworms in my garden attract moles?

Yes, moles are attracted to earthworms and having a lot of them in your garden might increase the chance of moles visiting your property.

Do mole repellents really work?

Mole repellents can be effective, especially when used together with other methods. However, their effectiveness might vary depending on the product and how severe the mole problem is.

Will using gravel as a barrier prevent moles from tunneling through my garden?

No, moles can easily tunnel through gravel. It’s better to use materials like wire mesh or hardware cloth as a barrier instead of gravel.

Do raised beds really help to discourage moles?

Yes, raised beds can discourage moles as they have a harder time tunneling through them. Just remember to use materials that aren’t penetrable by moles.

Are there any plants that actually attract moles?

No, there are no plants that specifically attract moles. Moles are attracted to the insects and grubs in the soil, rather than the plants themselves.

Can I use mulch in my garden if I’m trying to repel moles?

Yes, you can still use mulch in your garden, just avoid using it around plants that moles are attracted to.

Is it possible to get rid of moles completely?

It’s difficult to get rid of moles completely, but by modifying your garden layout and design, there are ways to discourage moles from visiting your property.