Raspberries: deer and strawberries

andys_garden(20854)January 3, 2010

A couple of questions:

1. I live in an area with too many deer (up to 15 at a time in my backyard). I want to plant raspberries and need some advice on whether I should go to battle with the deer in the open or should hunker down and plant them within a 25' x 50' area with 8 ft deer fencing that I have. I would love to have the plants in the open if possible.

2. I just saw during a Web search the idea of planting strawberries under raspberries. A crazy idea?


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I've got tons of deer passing through my yard all the time as well. They tend to stay away from my raspberries. Tulips seem to be their favorite. I've only had my raspberries for 3 years, but I haven't noticed any damage.

I assume it would be fine to plant strawberries underneath, but it might serve as a double attractor for deer. I have strawberries next to my house and the deer stay away from them, but I potted up some runners one year and moved them into half barrels and they were munched to death. Perhaps being away from people isn't such a good idea. I'm not sure what that means for you, but I guess you should take that into consideration.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2010 at 9:43AM
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Deer are always browsing. If this is something new and tasty they will nibble it.

Around here, the wild raspberries, loganberries and blackberries are their mainstay. Strawberries, blueberries and tulips are tasty treats, if they are not too close to the house. :)

    Bookmark   January 3, 2010 at 10:27AM
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glenn_russell(6b RI)

Hi Andy's Garden-

I too have quite a few deer, and my experience is similar to HomerTheRat's (though like many gardening things, it will vary by area). Although they eat other plants in my yard, I've never seen them take a bite of any of my brambles (You can see what I grow by looking at my "My Page"). At the very least, I'd say try it without a fence the first season. If you see deer eating the leaves, you can always have some deer spray (like the not-so-bad smelling, peppermint DeerOut spray) on standby until you do get a fence erected.

I would strongly advise not planting strawberries under the raspberries. Probably after 2, and certainly after 3, your raspberry patch will be sun-light impenetrable as far as the strawberries are concerned. You might get away with it for the very first season, but after that, forget it.

Hope this helps,

    Bookmark   January 3, 2010 at 6:09PM
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valree3(Nv zone 4)

Hello Andy's Garden! I planted blackberries and raspberries this past year and the deer loved them! I planted the raspberries outside, along the 8' tall fence of my deer-proof garden area and blackberries along a fence leading to a meadow. I had to put fences around both. I used T posts and galvanized cattle panels (50" x 16'ft long $20.00 a panel). The deer haven't bothered either since then. I think they see the taller garden fence in the background of the raspberries and the width of the blackberry area and they haven't jumped either fence yet. Will see what happens this year! Glen Russell mentioned that the strawberries wouldn't get enough sunlight under your raspberries in a few years and I have to agree with him and the thought of trying to pick strawberries under sticky raspberry plants doesn't sound like much fun! I have a permanent strawberry bed in my garden area (didn't take up to much room and I can also cover for bird control) or maybe you can use the strawberry plants as a ground cover under a tree or in a flower bed close to your house? Good luck with your raspberries! Valree

    Bookmark   January 3, 2010 at 7:36PM
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