Do deer eat vetch?
Do deer eat vetch? Deer eats a great number of things. In other to cultivate your gardens without worries, you need to learn more about deer eating habits. This article talks about deer and vetch plants.
Vetch is an invasive herbaceous plant that belongs to the peas family. It is cultivated majorly as a silage or fodder crop. Vetches are very invasive and can be used as a ground cover in your compound.
As a legume, vetch is easy to grow. It can generate up to 20% of protein, making them excellent forage for animals like horses. However, before you think of growing vetch, you have to consider the pests and animals that would eat and harm your vetch plants. Do deer eat vetch?
Deer and their affinity for vetch plants
Deer do not eat mature vetch plants except when hungry enough. However, they love tender and young plants. So, they will also eat the vines and leaves of vetch plants. They won’t eat the seeds and foliage like quail and dove. To keep your vetch plants away from deer, you have to apply some preventive measures.
How to prevent deer from eating your vetch plants. Several ways exist to keep deer away from your vetch. We consider some of them below:
Use of deer repellents
Deer repellents can be used to keep deer away from your vetch plants. You can make deer repellents at home by mixing some components like dried blood, human hair, rotten eggs, scented soap, and so on. But, commercial deer repellents are preferable.
Ensure to spray the deer repellents frequently or after rainfall. Also, spray the deer repellents interchangeably so that deer do not get used to that deer repellent smell.
Using fences can be expensive but very effective in keeping deer away from your vetches. There several types of fencing you can apply. Ensure that the wall is strong enough, firmly installed into the ground, so that deer do not pass under, and have the required height.
Electric fences are excellent to keep deer away from your vetch plants. Ensure the wall should be about 8 – 12 feet high, so that deer cannot jump over it. Double-layered fences are also useful because deer would not jump over a wall if they do not see where it would land. Endeavor to make them about 4 – 5 feet high, with one inch between them.
Growing deer-resistant plants
Deer might be voracious eaters, but there are plants that deer would not eat. These plants are deer-resistant plants, and they irritate deer through their toxins, thorny, scented, or hairy foliage. So, you can grow such plants alongside your vetch plants. Examples of deer-resistant plants are lady’s mantle, flowering tobacco, globe thistle, bee balm, and many more. List of plants rated by deer resistance.
Do deer eat vetch? Yes, deer eat vetch, especially the vines and leaves of tender and young vetch plant. So, it is crucial you protect your vetch by various preventive measures. Also, note that no one preventative method is enough to keep deer away from your vetch. So, ensure you combine different deer preventive measures.