If you’ve ever grown tomatoes, you know how much time and patience it takes to get a good crop. Leaves are a favorite food of deer, and if they wander onto your land, there is no saying what they may take a fancy to.
While deer are friendly animals that everyone adores, the last thing you want is them roaming into your veggie garden.
Will deer eat tomato plants is a question often asked? Deer are foragers, and for that, often appear to be constantly hungry. Besides this, they are not fussy about what they eat.
However, the answer to will deer eat tomatoes isn’t a simple yes and no as they like certain parts more than others.
In our guide, you can learn the answers to do deer eat tomatoes plants and how you can stop unwanted animals or any other critter eating venturing anywhere near your treasured crops. By the end, you’ll see that many animals love ripe tomatoes, but are deer one of them? (Read Natural Deer Repellents)
Do Deer Eat Fresh Tomatoes?
Do deer eat tomatoes off the vine? The answer is yes; deer eat tomato plants, and deer eat ripe
or squeeze tomatoes. However, if you ask, do deer eat tomato plants, you find they do, although the fruits eaten are not their favorite part of the plant.
Deer prefer to eat the leaves and stems of tomato plants, and a big herd of deer can quickly deplete your garden’s harvest.
Tomatoes (Solanum Lycopersicum) are a nutritious and edible nightshade family. They are fruits with green and white variations, and contrary to popular belief, tomatoes are fruit.
Feeding deer typically do not discriminate, and if you ask what menu do deer eat, then you’ll find they eat a wide variety of food and eat up to 500 original foods, according to an Oregon State University investigation.
So, do deer eat tomato plants? Deer eat tomatoes (ripe or green tomatoes) and leaves, leaving the plant and stem as leftovers, which can not recover. Deer will walk 1/2 a mile to a mile to eat each day. So even if you don’t live near wooded areas, your garden could be in reach. Your garden’s tomato or other plants may be their first stop.
Daily, a deer can eat 6-8 percent of its body weight. Deer eat tomato plants and other vegetation up to 10-12 pounds per day in the spring and 4-5 pounds per day in the winter.
Luckily, there are ways you can deter deer from venturing into your garden. (Read Are Hostas Deer Resistant)
How Do I Keep Deer From Eating My
Now you know the answer to do deer eat tomato plants, and your garden can end up with extensive deer damage. You need to know how you can keep them away from your garden. Deer will eat anything in your garden, even garden plants away from your veggie patch.
Here you can find a few ways to repel unwanted animals. Some may not eliminate pests completely, yet you can use your homemade garden deer repellent to keep deer away from tomatoes and other plants when used in combination.
Red Cat Eyes
These fake red eyes are brilliant for keeping nocturnal creatures away from your garden. While deer aren’t totally nocturnal, they can’t eat tomato plants with them. These solar-powered lights give off an ominous glow in your landscape, simulating a big predator and helping to deter:
- Deer, Foxes, Raccoons
- Coyote, skunk, cats, and more.
Deer are wary creatures, so loud noises and a lot of movement might frighten them away. A motion-activated sprinkler will undoubtedly suffice.
Garden or Deer Netting
Keeping rabbits or repelling unwanted pests might not work very well, yet deer visiting can be halted if netting is installed correctly.
A few deer can jump over netting if you erect it like a fence. Instead of being used as a fence, You should hang the deer repellent netting over your garden to stop deer eating tomato plants.
Deer Repellent Sprays
Deer have a keen sense of smell, which is enhanced because they are prey animals. This is disgusting, so it’s no surprise that rotten eggs help to drive deer away.
A whole egg is a crucial ingredient in this popular spray, which is followed by garlic and cloves. Those foul odors are revolting, but they do an excellent job as a deer repellent and keeping deer from eating your tomato plant.
Nylon Stockings with Soap
Grab some Irish Spring soap and hang it inside nylon stockings and hang them close to areas you want to keep deer away from. The scent of Irish Spring Soap is quite good at keeping mammal, pests, and deer away from vegetable plants.
You can also use an age-old approach of companion planting with deer-resistant plants, which entails planting other crops and vegetables that serve as deer deterrents to deer.
Plants that are very fragrant and in the offensive scent category for deer are repellent. Artemisia, tansy, and yarrow are examples of perennial herbs. Mint, thyme, tarragon, oregano, dill, and chives are examples of culinary herbs that can be inter-planted throughout the garden.
Some deer resistant plants include:
- Garlic, some sage, lavender
- Daffodils, poppies, and more.
Deer are not fans of strong smells, and garlic is exceptional at delivering a pungent aroma. It is worth noting deer don’t enjoy eating cucumber vines, but these do not act as deer repellent plants.
If deer get in your garden, they won’t eat cucumber but will trample them to eat your tomato stem and leaves.
Human hair or that from your dogs can be enough to stop what deer will eat. Even placing old worn t-shirts can have enough human smell to act as deer repellents. Blood meal or predator urine can also be adequate, yet they require a frequent application to work effectively.
Used coffee grounds can be spread like your blood meal and help keep deer away from the plants they eat. They may not be among the best deer repellents, yet they do great things for your garden and are free.
Deer can easily jump low fences, so you’ll need at least 7-8 feet tall chicken wire fence.
You can also get an electric fence to protect your vegetable garden and your prized tomato plants. Depending on the type of fence, it can also keep out rabbits, raccoons, and more. They will need burying in the soil to stop digging animals.
If you don’t want to install a significant barrier, you can install individual cages to protect tomatoes. All you need to do is place a round of chicken wire around your tomato plants and make sure the cage is covered across the top to stop fruits from being eaten from above.
To keep smaller animals away, place tomato cages around each tomato plant and cover them with bird netting. (Learn How To Stop Dogs From Digging Under Fence)
Hot Pepper Spray
Hot pepper sprays, like the deer repellant mentioned above, are excellent for keeping deer out of the tomato patch.The spice scent doesn’t appeal to deer and their sensitive nose.
Deer and other animals can also be kept out of the garden using ultrasonic devices. These items emit a high-frequency sound that is inaudible to humans but audible and irritating to deer and other animals. The Univerayo Deer Repeller is one popular device you can find.
Are Tomatoes Harmful To Deer?
Deer-resistant veggies are one way a gardener can reduce deer damage, especially in regions where a deer fence is not possible to construct.
The issue is that there aren’t many deer-resistant veggies because deer love almost everything humans eat and are indiscriminate eaters, especially when hungry.
Deer can digest a wide variety of plant materials because they are ruminants. Any knowledgeable gardener will tell you that deer-resistant veggies are only marginally resistant, and only a few plants are entirely deer-proof.
Deer tastes change, and if they’re hungry, there’s not much that can stop them. Deer, especially fawns, will eat just about anything and spit it out if it tastes terrible, but gardeners are stuck with the consequences.
There are various types of deer-resistant vegetables:
Deer-resistant veggies that are less enticing to deer are included in this group of prickly plants. Cucumbers, squash, and pumpkin are among the ingredients. Deer dislike melon plants, but deer and a variety of other animals enjoy them.
Root vegetables are particularly deer resistant since digging to get to the tubers is required, and they are typically missed by deer when other appetizing foods are available.
Deer prefer sweet potato plants, beet tops, and radish tops above the tops of root foods like potatoes.
Deer have dug for beets and other root vegetables when they are hungry. If you want to know what plants do deer eat with a vengeance? Deer love and will dig for carrots and will easily jump obstacles to get them.
What Vegetables Will Deer Not Eat?
Plants that are edible are broad and what fill most of your veggie garden. Deer love apples, beets, beans, blueberry, cabbage, broccoli, tops of cauliflower, and carrots.
Lettuce, peas, plums, pears, pumpkins, raspberries, strawberries, sweet corn on the cob, and spinach, as well as sweet potato, are all favored.
Is there anything in your vegetable garden deer won’t eat? So, which crops are immune to deer?
The following is a list of edible plants that deer don’t consume often and edible plants that deer will eat occasionally but not preferentially.
Deer dislike plants with strong, pungent odors. Onions, garlic, leeks, chives, dill, mint, and fennel are among the plant’s deer loathe. Deer are resistant to herbs and spices, yet basil and parsley are favorites. (Read Inexpensive Ways To Cover A Chain Link Fence)
Deer will occasionally seek food elsewhere if these plants are planted along the garden perimeter or near their favorite plants. Deer also avoid plants with thick, hairy, or prickly leaves or stems.
Deer may be sluggish for digging out roots, but that doesn’t mean they won’t consume the aerial foliage. Carrot tops, for example, are a favorite of theirs, although they rarely consume carrots.