Deer and herbs

keepitlow(6)June 2, 2009

Do deer eat cilantro, basil and arugula? Can one generally grow these things unprotected from deer?

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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Any good flavored vegitation are some of their favorites. It might help to enclose the herbs under some course wire screening.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2009 at 2:26PM
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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

If deer are an issue in your area and you are concerned, I would use wire or other means of protection that resist or repulse the deer.

After having deer "taste" (bit into the top, chewed some, and spit out) not 1 but 2 young walnuts last year, I don't count on them being overly choosy or smart with regards to vegetation.


    Bookmark   June 3, 2009 at 8:14AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

keepitlow, as a general rule, deer will avoid plants with strong flavors or scents. This is why some herbs are often considered a good thing to use under such conditions. I'm not sure, though, that the plants you've mentioned fit into the 'safe' list.

Deer preferences vary widely from location to location. If you asked 5 people from 5 different states to hand in a 'deer resistant' plant list, you'd be quite surprised. It might be a good idea to contact your local extension office to see if they have a list of deer resistant plants, including herbs. If deer are a common problem in your location, it's likely that they have such a list.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2009 at 12:40PM
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I lost 4 gorgeous cilantro plants last night!! Nothing left but the center stems! Didn't touch the tarragon or the basil in the same bed. Also left the chives and parsley alone unless they are planning them for tonight's supper. AARRRGGHH!!

    Bookmark   June 28, 2009 at 10:46PM
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francescod(6b/7a VA)

Deer in our area tend to favor bland vegetation and tend to avoid fragrant plants like many herbs as rhizo_1 mentioned.

Btrfly43- your cilantro plants will probably grow back if they are still fairly young. Your deer ate your plants the way I normally harvest mine-by cutting the whole plant.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2009 at 3:16PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Lost all my peaches overnight to deer. They were there one day and all gone the next!

    Bookmark   June 29, 2009 at 8:37PM
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nygardener(z6 New York)

They ate the peaches off the tree?!

    Bookmark   June 30, 2009 at 2:25AM
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They eat the plums and apples off my trees, leaving plum pits all around the plum tree and half-eaten apples around the apple tree. But they only eat as high as they can reach so they leave us a little for our table. They don't seem too interested in the cherries or pears, but they will totally wipe out the raspberries and strawberries if we don't fence them.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2009 at 2:15PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

I only had 6 peaches as the tree has grafted limbs of peach, plum and apricot. One day the peaches were there and the next, they were gone and not even a seed was found. The apricots are a bit higher up but the peaches are about 2-3 feet from the ground. A year later, the next door neighbor found a dead deer in his driveway that was hit by a speeding car. They speed through here as if it was a race track. My apples don't seem to get eaten, even though the trees are only about 40 feet away from the peaches.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2009 at 4:23PM
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Sounds like you have squirrels rather than deer. My squirrels will not leave a green peach on the tree but will wait for the apples to ripen. Deer would normally not spit out the pits but swallow the whole thing.

Right not the your squirrels are picking apples taking a bite and tossing the down. Green apples make a great compost.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2009 at 11:28PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

My apples are usually never touched, except maybe a couple close to the ground. I would love to see a drunken squirrel staggering around after eating a few fermented apples. Mine come early and are ripe by the end of August. I proactivly do away with squirrels every winter by picking them off while they feed off my dropped bird seeds. I use a high velocity pellet rifle and it works every time.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2009 at 12:22AM
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newbie_in_nj(6b E/Central NJ)

The deer have been biting things off but then spitting it out because I sprayed with deer repellant.

Herbs I planted in garden as hoped for deterrent won't be used for culinary purposes. Those plants are up on the deck which has rabbit fence gate to keep groundhogs out.

Groundhogs on the other hand grab things with their grubby paws and drag everything down to the ground, snap the stalks and chew the heck out of things. Also spit out the buds/blooms but destroyed many plants.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2009 at 9:34AM
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Here in Ithaca, NY, my neighborhood is under very heavy deer pressure. Hungry herds of 7 - 9 regularly roam through our garden. Lavender, rosemary, oregano, thyme, sage, mint, and tarragon have been spared. They will eat basil at the end of the season.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2010 at 3:46PM
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kathy645(4 VT)

About a month ago after the snow melted, my sage plant looked beautiful. A week later it no longer had leaves. It hadn't occurred to me the deer would wander through our patio and eat all the sage leaves. They didn't bother with it last year.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 5:48PM
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The herds that move through my yard regularly leave my lavender, rosemary, greek oregano, sage, and bay trees alone. On the other hand, last summer something ate my red hot peppers (fruit and plant)! Basil, I'm not sure about.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2010 at 10:09PM
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