What vegetables do deer NOT eat?

ddunbar(z5 IN)January 25, 2003

Hi to all... I am thinking on planting some veggies on a rolling part of our property not adjacent to our house / barn area. We have a meandering creek with mature trees lining it crossing the property. Are there any vegetables that the deer will NOT consume? It's too far to have our dogs patrol it on a regular basis (about 4 acres separate us from the section I want to plant). Any ideas are most appreciated!


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Perhaps....and it depends on how hungry the deer are...asparagus, rhubarb, garlic. Everything else is pretty much fair game (no pun intended).

    Bookmark   January 25, 2003 at 8:44PM
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I agree with Annie. I don't know about rhubarb and asparagus, but I have some garlic and onions planted outside the garden fence and the cows have muched them down. I know deer eat different things than cattle, but if the cattle eat them I'd bet the deer would too. Can you fence it 6 or 8 feet high? That's about the ONLY thing that REALLY works to keep deer out.

I knew someone who planted things like lantana and rosemary around the perimeter of his veggie patch. Deer are browsers, so once they got a whiff of the not-so-tasty things on the outside, they just meandered on off. This only worked when there was plenty of other things for them to eat outside the garden ~ if they're hungry, they'll jump the rosemary, et al, and much on your veggies in a heartbeat. Along with the above, he sprayed everything inside with one of those bitter sprays. He was diligent about it. After a while, they learned that that spot didn't have tasty things, avoided it and he didn't have to spray much if at all again that year. But he had to do this again every year in spring to teach the yearlings.

You could also set up a deer blind real close and get veggies AND meat from your garden. ;)

All that is just too much work for me, so if I didn't have BIG dogs to run the deer off, I'd just build a fence one year and call it good. ;)

    Bookmark   January 26, 2003 at 4:42PM
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Use all the ideas above and add on to it. Deer are leary of the color white. The danger sign is the flash of a white tail. A white rope around the garden at 3 1/2 or 4 feet off the ground. I have raised bed with 10' white pvc hoops to hold the plastic and row covers. They won't put their heads through the hoops. Stick some rods in the ground and tie white kitchen bags over the rods so they can flap in the wind. Old CD disks will flash white in the dark also. Move these around. Dog hair from a groomers', pieces of Dial soap in the toe of a sock. Go the the sports store and get bobcat urine or another preditor. It's expensive but if you need to get serious that's the way to go.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2003 at 11:23PM
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In my experience, deer do not eat garlic or onions; not a bite while absolutely everything else right by them is gobbled.

Last summer my deer-infested field produced 400 lbs of onions but not a single potatoe from 50lbs planted.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2003 at 8:38AM
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We always just put hay bales and a water trough out about 30 feet from the garden. They never touched the garden at all. Same with rabbits. Planted a row of lettuce all the way around the garden. They ate that and stayed away from the veggies. Maybe I was just lucky. Don't know what the cost of hay is in your area, but in mine it was pretty cheap, and I could barter with a guy down the road who grew it, so it was a good alternative.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2003 at 3:12PM
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nygardener(z6 New York)

Inside my garden there is a huge bed of lettuce. The rabbits stay away from that and chow down on broccoli and savoy cabbage. Go figure!

For deer I have a 6 foot fence. For a larger garden or where deer are bigger you might need 8 feet. It's not that much work to put up fencing on metal posts and not that expensive.

You could try a border of "stinky" stuff like wormwood, feverfew, marigolds, and garlic. Maybe tansy and rue.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2007 at 2:07PM
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pablo_nh(z4/5 NH)

I hope they solved the problem by now :)

    Bookmark   June 8, 2007 at 11:55AM
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I never have had deer eat tomato plants. They eat just about everything else though. This year I put up a temporary electric fence. Works like a charm! No deer have been inside my garden this year for the first time ever.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2007 at 8:59AM
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