Do Deer Eat Tomatoes?
It can be fun having deer come around to your neighborhood. These graceful animals are a beauty to look at. The presence of deer in your property may come at a price. What this means is that these animals may stroll in your garden, if you keep one, and eat whatever they find, especially when they’re hungry, your tomatoes not being exempted from their reach. Do deer eat tomatoes? They very much do. And your beautiful veggies may be at risk.
For those into tomato gardening, the sheer effort in growing them requires dedicated time and care. Therefore, having these deer destroy them through their rampaging appetite is not such an appealing idea. Apart from your tomato plants, there are over 500 plants that can attract deer to your garden. You should be able to formulate effective strategies to keep the deer away.
Some newbie gardeners think that their gardens are usually safe from the reach of deer because they are sighted far from the countryside. They couldn’t be farther from the truth. Deer are also found in urban settings and can stroll into your garden once in a while.
Deer Feeding Habits
A mature deer is said to consume from 6 to 10 pounds of food daily. That’s quite a sheet size of food consumption for an animal with a small stomach to body ratio. Also, the deer feeding habit varies by seasons, regions, the particular species involved and their immediate environment. This fact is important to an average tomato gardener with deer around.
Deer tend to feed more in spring and summer. During these periods, they’re either pregnant or nursing their young ones. These two seasons are in fact the time when tomatoes are mostly grown by most folks. With a huge appetite in their wake, deer will turn to any appealing crop they can find in your garden, which in this case will be your tomatoes. Therefore, formulating ways to keep deer away will save you lots of trouble.
Detecting Deer Activities in Your Garden
Droppings: Look for small clusters of round droppings.
Hoof Prints: Their prints are shaped in the form of hearts turned upside down. When the prints are not visible, check for cylindrical holes in the soil.
Destroyed Plants: Check around for signs of trampled plants which is as a result of their walking around your garden and feeding indiscriminately.
Keeping Your Garden Safe from Deer
One obvious practical way to protect your garden from deer is building tall and strong barriers. You can try other alternative solutions such as:
Growing Deer Resistant Plants
There are some plants that are an instant turn-off for deer. These plants will do a nice job of repelling deer from your property. They include garlic, hot pepper, chives, rosemary, yucca, foxgloves, beebalm, sage, thyme, oregano, asparagus, eggplant, lavender, marjoram, tarragon, and leeks.
Use Spray Repellents
There are spray repellents in the market you can purchase to keep deer away from your tomatoes. If you don’t feel comfortable with the commercial products, you can create your own natural spray by using ingredients such as hot pepper, garlic powder, predatory urine and vinegar or ammonia. These products should effectively protect your garden against further disturbance by deer.
Motion Activated Sprayers
This could appear in the form of a spray of a hot blast of water whenever deer appear to come close to your garden. There are also other types of ultrasonic motion detectors that could emit uncomfortable noises to the deer, thereby keeping them at bay from your garden.
Finally, do deer eat tomatoes? In actual fact they do. There is little in our gardens they would not appeal to the seeming insatiable tastes of deer. Therefore, protecting your garden against their rampaging antics seems to be the next best thing.