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February 09, 2021 3 min read

Would you like to grow vegetables? If yes, do deer eat vegetables? Deer love tasting almost everything they come across and are well-known voracious eaters. It would help if you learned more about their eating habits, to create a garden without worrying about deer damage.

Most vegetables contain plenty of enriching nutrients. So growing your own vegetable path is an excellent choice. When you cultivate your vegetable garden, you can look forward to fresh meals with all the nutrients you love and require. However, growing your vegetables may seem overwhelming, but it is really simple. Many vegetables easy to grow, and some can even tolerate a variety of soils and water conditions. But suppose you have high deer population in your area. In that case, it is good to find out which types of vegetables that will be delicious and preferable to deer. That way, you can protect those susceptible vegetables or leave them out altogether. So here’s the question – deer eat vegetables?

Deer and their appetite for vegetables

Dear love eating vegetables. A hungry deer can eat down a whole vegetable garden or to the ground, causing irrevocable damage.

But, deer prefer some vegetables to others, and some deer would not eat.
For instance, If you grow vegetables like cabbage, spinach, leafy greens, turnip, and lettuce, then expect the voracious eaters, deer, to visit your garden regularly.

In contrast, deer will stay away from garlic, Rhubarb, cucumber, onion, eggplant, asparagus, fennel, Rosemary, Lavender, Parsley, and many more. The second lists of vegetables are highly deer-resistant.

Some of these highly deer-resistant vegetables are either toxic, thorny, or have an awful smell, so deer will hardly come close to them. Other moderately deer-resistant vegetables are melons, corn, cilantro, winter squash, basil, summer squash, etc. If you plant these moderately deer-resistant vegetables, deer will only visit if they have no other food sources.

Preventing deer from your vegetables

Still, no plant is entirely deer-proof. Even the most resistant can be eaten by deer when they cannot access other preferable food sources.

To avoid your vegetables from being damaged or eaten by deer, there are some preventive measures you have to apply.

Scare tactics

Deer do not like surprises, and there are several ways to get deer frightened. A barking dog can scare deer and keep them away. Deer can learn and adapt fast, so if the dog is tied and barks continuously, the deer may return since the barking dog does not cause any threat. Motion-activated sprinklers and gas exploders are also excellent scare techniques. Yet, deer can get used to scare tactics quickly. So we recommend rotating these methods to keep up the surprise.

Planting deer-resistant plants

Other plants that deer do not like because of their toxic, thorny, potent smell, fuzzy, and leathery nature of the plants. Such deer-resistant plants are peonies, spurges, bleeding hearts, dead nettle, Russian sage, sea hollies, Siberian bugloss, and many more. If the plants are planted around your vegetable garden, they can discourage deer from coming into your garden.


Fencing your vegetable garden is one of the most effective ways to keep deer far from vegetables. Though fencing might be expensive, installing the right fence is also essential. So, when trying to fence your vegetable garden, you must consider the height, firmness, and fence placement.

There are different kinds of fencing. Double-layered fencing is an excellent choice because deer do not jump except they see where they will land. Each fence’s height should be 4 – 5 foot tall picket fence, and there should be a distance of one inch between both walls. If you are going for a wooden or electric fence, it should be up to 8 – 12 feet high.

Using Deer Repellents

Deer repellents are also useful in keeping deer away from your vegetable garden. You can make repellents from rotten eggs, dried blood, scented soap, predator urine, and so on. But it is better you purchase commercial deer repellents from the stores. Apply them frequently and interchangeably, especially after rainfall, to keep up their effects.

Concluding thoughts

Do deer eat vegetables? Yes, deer eat vegetables! Though there are some vegetables that they would not eat. To prevent deer from eating your vegetables, try to use different deer preventive methods because a single approach may not be enough to keep deer away.