If you have a tomato garden and you put a lot of effort into it, you will go to lengths to protect your garden from humans and animals. Sometimes the animals you’ll be protecting your tomato garden from are deer as they are not beyond entering your garden to eat your tomato plants.
As adorable as they are, they don’t understand private properties so don’t be overly surprised if you wake up one morning and find all your tomato plants eaten. A single deer can go through your tomato garden in one visit, depending on how big your garden is. An adult deer eats about 6 to 10 pounds of food daily. Convert food to tomato, your tomato and you get the scope of the damage they are likely to cause in your garden.
What they eat depends on the season and the availability of other food, so while they might not ordinarily come into your garden to eat your tomato plants, when food is scarce, or if your garden provides the only available food for a long distance, there is a high probability that they will invite themselves over for a meal.
Deer usually come out to feed very early in the morning, overnight or at dusk so you might not even get to catch them feeding on your plants.
Here are a few signs to confirm deer activity in your garden;
Deer droppings are small, round and pebble-like. If you find small piles of droppings like that, you might have had a deer invasion.
They have prints that look like a heart turned upside down.
Seeing as they didn’t do the work of planting, they don’t respect the sidewalks by walking on it. They trample on everything.
To keep deer away from your tomato garden, whatever the season might be, you are going to have to take extra preventive measures.
Build a sturdy fence
If you have a fence now and it’s not keeping deer away, then it is the wrong kind. Your fence should be tall because deer can leap, and sturdy enough should they try to force their way through. To be on the safer side, don’t erect a fence that is less than 8 feet. Anything less, and with the right motivation (usually hunger and your blooming tomato garden), and they could jump the fence.
Not by yourself, of course, but there are ways to scare them off your plants. You can spray your plants with predator urine. If they get a whiff of it, it might discourage their feeding. You can also consider spraying your plants with strong fragrances that naturally put deer off like garlic and sage.
Another scare tactic is to surround your tomato garden with a motion sensor device that will squirt water all over them when they come to feed.
If you are into DIY, you might enjoy this video on how to keep deer out of your tomato garden. Erecting a sturdy and tall fence is still the surest way of preventing deer from eating tomatoes from your garden.