How to Keep Moles Out of Your Garden with Physical Barriers

Have you ever poured your heart and soul into gardening, only to find that pesky moles have wreaked havoc on your beautiful plants? It can be frustrating to see your hard work undone by these tiny creatures. Fortunately, there is a solution that doesn’t involve harming the moles or using harmful chemicals. Physical barriers are a humane and effective way to keep moles out of your garden. In this article, we will explore why physical barriers are the way to go, the different types of barriers available, how to install them, and some additional tips for keeping moles at bay. So, roll up your sleeves and let’s get started on building a mole-proof garden!

Why Use Physical Barriers?

Why Use Physical Barriers?
Using physical barriers is an effective way to keep moles out of your garden. Physical barriers can be installed above or below ground level, preventing moles from gaining access to your plants and soil. Not only are physical barriers effective, they also have a variety of environmental and economic benefits.

Environmental Benefits: Physical barriers are an environmentally-friendly option for mole control. Unlike chemical pesticides or other harmful methods, physical barriers do not harm the surrounding plants or wildlife. Additionally, by preventing moles from burrowing in the garden, the soil remains undisturbed and nutrients are not lost, resulting in healthier plants.

Economic Benefits: Installing physical barriers can save money in the long run as they do not need to be reapplied after each rain or watering like some chemical repellents. Additionally, barriers made from recycled materials, like old window screens or broken clay pots, can be a low-cost or even free option for those on a tight budget. By preventing damage caused by moles to plants and trees, the barriers can also prevent costly replacements or repairs.

In general, physical barriers are a safe, effective, and affordable option for protecting your garden from moles. However, it is important to choose the right type of barrier and install it properly for maximum effectiveness. Further tips and instructions on how to install physical barriers can be found under the “How to Install a Physical Barrier” section of this article. For more options on mole control, check out our guide on “Barriers for Mole Control” or natural mole repellents like “DIY Mole Barriers Made from Recycled Materials“.

Environmental Benefits

One of the major advantages of using physical barriers to keep moles out of your garden is the positive impact on the environment. Unlike chemical solutions, these barriers do not introduce harmful toxins into the ecosystem. Instead, they provide a non-toxic and eco-friendly approach to controlling mole populations. Another environmental benefit is that some barriers, such as the ones made from recycled materials, promote sustainability and reduce waste. These eco-friendly options are not only effective but also affordable, making them a great choice for environmentally conscious gardeners. To learn more about eco-friendly mole barriers made from recycled materials, check out our article on DIY mole barriers made from recycled materials.

Economy Benefits

Physical barriers not only benefit the environment, but they also provide various economy benefits for gardeners. Here are some ways they can save money:

  • Long-term Solution: Physical barriers are a long-term solution to keeping moles out of your garden. By investing in a physical barrier, gardeners can save money from continuously buying and applying mole repellents, which can add up over time.
  • Reduced Maintenance Costs: Since physical barriers prevent moles from entering your garden, they also reduce the need for garden maintenance. Moles can uproot plants, causing damage to the garden, which can result in the need for replanting or additional care. By preventing moles from entering your garden, you can avoid these additional maintenance costs.
  • Protects Garden Investment: Protecting your garden investment through the use of physical barriers saves you money in the long run. Moles can cause significant damage to plants, which can harm a garden’s yield. By protecting your garden from moles, you can ensure the yield and avoid the need for expensive replacements.

These are just a few of the many economy benefits of using physical barriers to keep moles out of your garden. By investing in a physical barrier, you are making a smart choice that saves you money in the long term.

Types of Physical Barriers

Types Of Physical Barriers
Hardware Cloth: Hardware cloth is made of metal wire that is galvanized and can be purchased in varying gauges. It is a popular choice for keeping small animals out of gardens and is effective against moles because it is strong enough to withstand their digging efforts. It can be installed above or below ground, depending on the location of the mole activity.

Gopher Wire: Gopher wire is made of steel mesh and is designed specifically to keep gophers and moles out of gardens. It has a tighter weave than hardware cloth, which means it provides better protection against small pests. It can be installed below ground to keep moles from burrowing under the barrier.

Chicken Wire: Chicken wire is a versatile form of wire fencing that is often used to keep animals out of gardens. It is less expensive than hardware cloth but not as strong. It can be installed above ground around the perimeter of the garden or below ground to prevent moles from digging into the garden.

Underground Barrier: An underground barrier is a layer of sheet metal or other solid material that is buried below the surface of the garden. The barrier prevents moles from burrowing into the garden from below. This method is effective but requires more extensive preparation and installation.

Gravel and Rock: A layer of small rocks or gravel can act as a physical barrier, impeding the progress of moles. The downside of this method is that it can be unsightly in a garden or lawn. It may also need to be replenished periodically, as the rocks or gravel can be displaced over time.

Hardware Cloth

One effective method to keep moles out of your garden is through the use of a strong and durable material, known as hardware cloth. This mesh-like material, consisting of interlocking wires, has proven to be successful in deterring moles from entering your garden beds. However, with many types of hardware cloth available in the market, it’s important to understand the specific features to look for and the steps to follow when installing it as a barrier. Not only will this keep moles out, but it will also add an extra layer of protection for your plants.

Gopher Wire

Gopher wire is a type of physical barrier that is particularly effective at keeping moles out of your garden. This wire is made of galvanized steel and is woven into a mesh-like pattern that is small enough to prevent moles from burrowing through.

Benefits: This type of wire is durable and long-lasting, as it is resistant to rust and corrosion. It is also very easy to work with and can be shaped and molded to fit any garden space.

Pros Cons
Effective at keeping moles out Slightly more expensive than other types of wire
Easy to work with and shape May need to be buried deeper to prevent digging around edges
Durable and long-lasting May require tools for cutting and shaping

Cost: Gopher wire is slightly more expensive compared to other types of wire, but its effectiveness and durability are worth the price.

Installation: When installing gopher wire as a physical barrier, it is important to bury it at least 2 feet deep to prevent moles from burrowing underneath. It can be shaped and molded to fit any garden space by using tools for cutting and shaping, and can be attached to wooden posts for extra support.

Gopher wire is a great option for those looking for a durable and effective physical barrier to keep moles out of their garden. While it may be slightly more expensive and require some tools for installation, the long-term benefits make it a worthwhile investment.

Chicken Wire

Chicken wire is another popular physical barrier option that is both affordable and readily available at farm or hardware stores. It’s often used for keeping small animals and poultry contained, but can also be an effective solution for keeping moles out of your garden. Here are some key characteristics of chicken wire as a mole deterrent:

  • Material: Chicken wire is made of galvanized steel, which is durable and resistant to rust and corrosion.
  • Mesh size: The mesh size of chicken wire is typically smaller than hardware cloth, ranging from 1/2 inch to 2 inches, depending on the gauge. A smaller mesh size means that it can be more effective at keeping smaller pests out, such as voles and mice.
  • Installation: Chicken wire can be laid directly on top of the soil and secured with landscape staples or buried a few inches below the surface. However, it’s important to make sure that the wire extends at least a foot above ground level to prevent moles from burrowing underneath it.
  • Care: Chicken wire should be checked periodically for any signs of wear or damage, and repaired as needed to ensure that it remains an effective barrier against moles.

While chicken wire can be a cost-effective solution for deterring moles, it may not be as effective as other options such as hardware cloth or gopher wire. The larger mesh size makes it easier for moles to penetrate and burrow through the barrier. Additionally, chicken wire may not be as aesthetically pleasing as other options, and can be more difficult to work with due to its flexibility. However, if budget is a concern, chicken wire can still be a viable option for protecting your garden from mole damage.

Underground Barrier

Underground barriers are another effective way to keep moles out of your garden. These barriers work by creating a physical barrier underground that moles won’t be able to penetrate.

To install an underground barrier, follow these steps:

  • Select the right material: Look for materials that are sturdy and durable, like metal sheeting or treated wood. You can also use products like PVC pipes or plastic liners that are specifically designed for underground barriers.
  • Preparation: Start by excavating a trench around the perimeter of your garden or the area you want to protect. The trench should be at least 12 inches deep and wide enough to fit your barrier material.
  • Tools required: You will need a shovel or a digging tool to excavate the trench, as well as a measuring tape to ensure proper alignment of your barrier material.
  • Installation: Once you have dug the trench, carefully place your barrier material into it, making sure that it extends several inches above ground level. Align the material carefully and secure it in place with stakes or fasteners.
  • Post-installation care: Fill the trench back in with soil, packing it down firmly to ensure that the barrier remains secure. Water the soil well to promote settling and check the barrier periodically to ensure that it remains in place.

An underground barrier is a great way to prevent mole damage, as these pests are not able to burrow through solid materials. Keep in mind that the effectiveness of the barrier will depend on how well it is installed and maintained, so it’s important to follow the steps carefully and monitor the barrier regularly.

Gravel and Rock

Gravel and rocks are a natural way to keep moles out of your garden. The small size and rough irregular shapes of the gravel and rocks make it difficult for moles to burrow through. Here are some tips for using gravel and rocks to keep moles out:

  • Choose the right type of gravel or rock: It’s important to choose a material that is large enough to discourage burrowing but not so heavy that it’s difficult to handle. Crushed gravel or river rocks are good options.
  • Place the gravel strategically: Focus on areas where moles are known to burrow, such as along the edges of garden beds or near trees and shrubs. Spread a thick layer of gravel over these areas to discourage the moles from burrowing through.
  • Maintain the gravel barrier: Over time, the gravel may shift or settle, creating gaps where moles can burrow through. To prevent this, periodically check the barrier and add additional gravel as needed.

Using gravel and rocks as a physical barrier is a simple and natural way to keep moles out of your garden. However, it may not be as effective as other types of barriers, such as hardware cloth or gopher wire, in areas with heavy mole activity.

How to Install a Physical Barrier

How To Install A Physical Barrier
When it comes to installing a physical barrier to keep moles out of your garden, there are several steps you need to follow to ensure that it is done correctly. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you through the process.

Selecting the Right Barrier: First and foremost, you need to select the right type of physical barrier based on your needs, budget, and garden layout. Take into account the size of your garden and the depth at which the moles are digging to select a barrier that will be effective.

Preparation: Before installing the barrier, it’s important to prepare the area properly. Remove any debris, rocks, or roots from the soil where you will be installing the barrier. You want to make sure the area is as level and smooth as possible to avoid any bumps or uneven surfaces that could make it easier for the moles to dig under the barrier.

Tools Required: The tools you need will vary based on the type of barrier you select. In general, you will need a shovel or trencher to dig a trench for the barrier, wire cutters to cut the barrier material to size, and stakes or anchor pins to secure the barrier in place.

Installation Process: Once you have prepared the area and gathered the necessary tools, it’s time to begin the installation process. Dig a trench along the perimeter of your garden, making sure it is deep enough to accommodate the barrier you have selected. Cut the barrier material to size and attach it to the stakes or anchor pins. Place the barrier into the trench and secure it with the stakes or anchor pins.

Post-installation Care: After you have installed the physical barrier, make sure to check it regularly for any signs of damage or wear. You may need to adjust the stakes or anchor pins as necessary to ensure that the barrier remains secure.

Additional Tips for Keeping Moles Out: In addition to installing a physical barrier, there are several other steps you can take to keep moles out of your garden. These include using natural repellents, such as castor oil or garlic, planting mole-resistant plants, and regularly cutting your grass to keep it short and less attractive to moles.

Installing a physical barrier is an effective way to keep moles out of your garden. By following the steps outlined above, you can install a barrier that will provide long-lasting protection for your plants and help keep your garden looking beautiful.

Selecting the Right Barrier

Choosing the appropriate physical barrier to keep moles out of your garden can be a perplexing task. It is essential to opt for a barrier that can effectively prevent moles from getting into your garden and damaging the plants. A crucial factor to consider when selecting a barrier is the material it is made of, as different materials offer varying levels of durability and resistance to weather conditions. In this section, we will provide you with some tips to help you make an informed decision when choosing the right barrier for your garden.


Before installing a physical barrier, it is important to prepare your garden area. The following table highlights the key steps involved in preparing your garden for the barrier installation process.

Step Explanation
Identify Mole Activity Look for raised mound tunnels or browse marks on plant roots, which indicate mole activity. This will help you determine where to install the barrier.
Remove Existing Plants and Debris Before installing the barrier, remove any existing plants or debris to provide a clean work area.
Loosen Soil Loosen and aerate the soil in the area where you plan to install the barrier. This will make it easier to dig and install the barrier.
Check Drainage Ensure that the area has good drainage to prevent water accumulation beneath the barrier. Excess moisture can create a breeding ground for pests.

By taking these key preparation steps, you can ensure that the installation process goes smoothly and that your garden is ready for the physical barrier. Remember to always wear protective gear and use the proper tools when installing the barrier to ensure your safety and the effectiveness of the barrier.

Tools Required

When it comes to installing a physical barrier to keep moles out of your garden, you will need a variety of tools at your disposal. These tools are essential for proper installation and will make the entire process easier and more efficient. Some examples of necessary tools include:

  • Digging Tools: This includes shovels and spades for digging the trench around your garden to install the barrier. It is important to make sure your digging tools are sharp and efficient for easier excavation.
  • Measuring Tools: You will also need measuring tools like a tape measure or ruler to ensure you properly measure the area where you will install the barrier. Accurate measurements will help you determine the amount of material you need and create a precise trench around the garden.
  • Cutting Tools: Depending on the type of physical barrier you choose to install, you may need various cutting tools like wire cutters or tin snips. These will help you cut through the material to the appropriate dimensions and allow for a perfect fit around your garden.
  • Gloves: Gloves are an essential part of the installation process, as they protect your hands from cuts and scrapes that can occur during installation. Make sure to choose work gloves made of sturdy and durable material.
  • Safety Equipment: It is always important to prioritize safety when working with tools. Be sure to wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from debris, and a dust mask to prevent inhalation of any dust or particles during installation.

Having the right tools at your disposal can make a world of difference when installing a physical barrier to keep moles out of your garden. With the proper tools and safety equipment, you can easily and efficiently install a barrier that effectively keeps moles and other pests at bay.

Installation Process

When installing a physical barrier to keep moles out of your garden, here are the steps to follow:

  1. Select the right barrier: Choose the type of barrier that is best suited to your needs and the type of soil in your garden. Make sure to measure the area that needs to be covered and purchase enough barrier material to cover it.
  2. Prepare the area: Clear the area of any rocks, roots, or debris that could get in the way of installation. If necessary, level the area and smooth out any bumps or humps in the soil.
  3. Gather the necessary tools: This will depend on the type of barrier you are installing, but may include a shovel, wire cutters, stakes, and a staple gun.
  4. Install the barrier: This will also depend on the type of barrier, but here are some general instructions:
    • Hardware cloth: Cut the hardware cloth to the appropriate size and shape for your garden bed. Dig a trench around the perimeter that is 6-10 inches deep and bury the hardware cloth into the soil. Secure the cloth to stakes driven into the ground every few feet.
    • Gopher wire: Lay the gopher wire flat over the soil and secure it to stakes driven into the ground every few feet. Make sure the wire is buried at least 6 inches into the soil and extends at least 2 inches above ground level.
    • Chicken wire: Attach the chicken wire to stakes driven into the ground every few feet. Bury the wire at least 6 inches into the soil and extend it at least 2 inches above ground level.
    • Underground barrier: Dig a trench around the perimeter that is 12-18 inches deep and bury the underground barrier to that depth. Make sure to overlap the edges of the barrier by at least 6 inches and secure it with stakes.
    • Gravel and rock: Spread a layer of gravel or rocks over the soil to a depth of at least 6 inches. This will discourage moles from burrowing in the area.
  5. Post-installation care: After installing the barrier, make sure to water the area thoroughly to settle the soil and encourage the barrier to settle in place. Inspect the area regularly to check for any holes or gaps in the barrier that could allow moles to enter.

Remember, a physical barrier is only effective if it is installed correctly and is maintained regularly. With the right barrier and installation method, you can protect your garden from pesky moles and other burrowing rodents.

Post-installation Care

Post-installation care is an important aspect of ensuring the effectiveness of a physical barrier in keeping moles out of your garden. Below are some essential tips to follow for proper post-installation care of your barrier:

Step Description
1. Check the barrier regularly – make sure there are no holes, gaps, or other openings that could allow moles to enter. Do this especially after heavy rainfall, as the soil may have shifted and caused damage to the barrier.
2. Remove any debris that builds up near the barrier – leaves, sticks, and other organic matter can create small openings that can allow moles to squeeze through.
3. Maintain the surrounding vegetation – keep the grass short and the plants trimmed, as high vegetation can provide cover for moles to burrow under the barrier.
4. Inspect the garden regularly – look for any signs of mole activity, such as raised soil, tunnels, or molehills. If you see any signs, it may indicate that the moles have found a way through or around the barrier, and you will need to take action to deter them.
5. Make any necessary repairs – if you find any damage to the barrier or holes that need patching, make the necessary repairs as soon as possible to maintain the barrier’s effectiveness.
6. Be patient – it may take some time for the moles to abandon their burrows and move elsewhere, especially if they have been living in the area for a while. Keep monitoring the garden and following up with maintenance to ensure that they don’t return.

Following these post-installation care tips can help ensure that your physical barrier remains effective in keeping moles out of your garden. With proper maintenance, you can enjoy a beautiful and mole-free garden for years to come.

Additional Tips for Keeping Moles Out

After installing physical barriers, there are additional steps you can take to ensure that your garden remains mole-free. Regularly check for signs of mole activity, such as raised tunnels and mounds of dirt, and address any new activity promptly. Moles are more active in damp soil, so implement proper drainage and avoid over-watering your lawn and garden.

Avoid using certain types of plants in your garden that attract moles. Plants such as tulips, crocus, and daffodils are known to attract moles due to their high earthworm population. Instead, consider using plants that naturally repel moles, such as alliums, fritillaries, and castor bean plants.

Introduce natural predators into your garden such as owls, hawks, or even house pets like cats. These predators will hunt and kill moles, keeping their population under control.

Regular soil cultivation can also disrupt mole tunnels in your garden. This will make it harder for moles to move around, and they will eventually move to a new location.

Repel moles with natural deterrents such as castor oil or even human hair. Sprinkling castor oil on mole tunnels or placing human hair in small bags near mole activity can help deter them from coming back.

By using a combination of physical barriers and additional strategies, you can effectively keep moles out of your garden. Remember to be patient and persistent in your efforts, as mole control may require ongoing maintenance to be effective.


In conclusion, physical barriers offer an effective and eco-friendly solution for keeping moles and other burrowing pests out of your garden. By choosing the right type of barrier and installing it correctly, you can protect your plants and prevent costly damage to your property. Moreover, physical barriers are a cost-effective alternative to toxic chemicals and traps, which can harm wildlife and the environment.

When selecting a barrier, it is important to consider factors such as the size and type of the pest, the location and size of your garden, and your budget. Some of the most common types of barriers include hardware cloth, gopher wire, chicken wire, underground barriers, and gravel and rock.

Before installation, it is important to thoroughly prepare your garden by removing any existing burrows, clearing debris, and leveling the soil. You will also need to have the necessary tools on hand, including wire cutters, pliers, and a shovel or hoe.

During installation, it is essential to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and ensure that the barrier is properly secured and buried at the appropriate depth. After installation, you should regularly inspect the barrier and repair any damage or gaps to maintain its effectiveness.

In addition to physical barriers, there are other steps you can take to discourage moles and other burrowing pests from entering your garden, such as keeping the soil moist, removing food sources, and planting less attractive species.

Overall, a combination of physical barriers and other preventative measures can help you create a beautiful and healthy garden that is free from destructive pests. So why wait? Get started on your mole-proofing project today!

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if I have moles in my garden?

Some signs of mole activity include raised ridges or tunnels in the soil, mounds of dirt, and uprooted plants or flowers.

What damage can moles cause to my garden?

Moles can uproot plants and flowers, create unsightly ridges and tunnels, and disturb the soil structure which can lead to compaction and drainage issues. These can cause harm to the health and growth of your plants.

What are the benefits of using physical barriers to keep moles out?

Physical barriers are environmentally friendly and do not involve the use of harmful chemicals. They are also a long-term solution that only requires occasional maintenance, saving you money in the long run.

What is the best type of physical barrier to use?

The best type of physical barrier depends on the specific needs of your garden. Hardware cloth, gopher wire, chicken wire, and gravel and rock are all effective options to consider.

How does underground barriers work?

An underground barrier is a physical barrier that is buried beneath the soil to prevent moles from tunneling into your garden. They are typically made of materials such as mesh or wire.

What is the best time to install a physical barrier?

The best time to install a physical barrier is during the early spring or fall, before the growing season begins or after it ends.

What are some post-installation care tips for physical barriers?

Inspect the barrier periodically to ensure that it remains in good condition, and make any necessary repairs. Being vigilant and watching for signs of mole activity is also important.

What are some additional tips for keeping moles out of my garden?

Other effective methods include planting mole-resistant plants and using natural repellents such as castor oil or garlic. It’s also helpful to keep your garden soil well-drained and free of grubs or insects that moles feed on.

Can physical barriers also keep other animals out of my garden?

Yes, physical barriers can also be effective at keeping other animals such as rabbits, squirrels, and groundhogs out of your garden.

Are physical barriers pet-friendly?

Most physical barriers are safe for pets as long as they are installed securely and don’t pose a tripping hazard. However, it’s always best to supervise pets and take appropriate safety measures.