Do deer eat strawberries?
You may wonder when growing strawberries – do deer eat strawberries? These majestic creatures can eat anything on their path. It is not easy to find what they might not eat. In this post, we will talk about deer and their strawberry connection.
Gardening in an area with a high deer population has a set of unique challenges. We all know the raging battle we must overcome to develop that gorgeous garden or orchard when you have high deer pressure. Therefore, understanding deer habits will help you find the best methods to keep them out. If strawberries are part of your plan, one of the questions on your mind would be – do deer eat strawberries?
Strawberries are delicious fruits, so deer, widely known for their vast appetite, would gladly devour any strawberry orchard. They will feed on the fruits, leaves, stems, and everything, leaving a severely damaged plant in their wake. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to prevent deer from damaging your strawberry plants.
How to keep deer from eating your strawberries?
Install a fence
Fencing is one of the best ways to keep deer out of your garden. To keep them out effectively, make sure the wall is about 8 feet tall. You can equally extend the wall beyond 8 feet with two or three electric wires to improve your success. Also, ensure that your fence is not just as high but firmly rooted in the ground.
For individual protection, you can use a 1/2 inch mesh hardware cloth about 6 feet wide to create cylinders around small gardening areas. Ensure that it sinks 6 inches deep into the ground and is as high as possible, so deer cannot reach them through the top. (Deer can stand up to 7 feet on its hind legs).
Modify your landscape
Make sure you prune back low-hanging tree branches and overgrown shrubs, so deer do not find covers or opportunities within your property. Also, keep the lawn and ditches completely clean. Eliminate debris and trash sites from around your home and keep firewood stacks far away from your gardening area. All of these eliminate hiding or resting spots for deer and will help discourage their entry.
Create deer-resistant hedges
Plant annuals and perennial herbs and other blooms that deer usually avoid. You can use these to create a reliable hedge around your property to discourage foraging deer. Some include lamb’s ear, Mexican sage, lavender, mints, thyme, onion, foxglove, ferns, forget me not, cone flower, and lots more.
There is no fail-safe method available
There is no way to completely deer-proof your property with a deer-resistant hedge. Even if deer find plants particularly distasteful, they might still eat from them if they see no other food sources. The effectiveness of these methods further decreases if you have a high deer population in the area. Furthermore, you can consider repellents such as coyote urine, red pepper sprays, chicken eggs, scarecrows, and lots more. These methods are only useful for a very short time.
Therefore, you may ask- what is the best way to keep deer away from your strawberry plants? There is no one permanent solution, but you can keep them out effectively by combining different strategies.
Overall, the answer to the question – do deer eat strawberries, yes they do. Deer can cause horrible damage to your strawberry plants if you do nothing about keeping them out. The best strategy? Install a fence, keep your property clean, and use repellent to ensure you can limit or prevent deer damage.