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Old 04/17/09, 12:23 PM
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Missouri
Posts: 4,440
What deer eat...and don't

We have an extra worked-up place--about 14 acre- where we planted potatoes for several years. Know we can't grow corn there 'cause of the deer and discovered they are VERY fond of sweet potato vines so that's out. Do they bother green beans? Sure wouldn't wanna trust them with my tomato crop. Any ideas? Thought we could try a family size planting as we can for two families. We aren't talking about a stray deer here...we are talking about whole clans. The county we live in here in MO is the top deer producing one in the state....fine in deer season but not so much in the summer! DEE
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Old 04/17/09, 12:50 PM
ksfarmer's Avatar
Retired farmer-rancher
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: north-central Kansas
Posts: 2,978
I can't guarantee this, but, I don't think deer will eat tomatoes. Corn is a different matter tho.
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Old 04/17/09, 01:53 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Turtle Island/Yelm, WA "Land of the Dancing Spirits"--Salish
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My general rule of thumb is that deer will genrally TASTE most anything. Event though they won't eat down a tomato plant, they will rip up a transplant getting a bite to sample. So anything I want to eat goes in the fenced garden.

The only thing they never eat here is daffodils.

And it's not like they stop at tasting one tomato plant, they have to try them all to make sure.
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Old 04/17/09, 02:00 PM
In Remembrance
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: South Central Kansas
Posts: 11,076
With a little different thought I have read on these forums that deer can't stand to walk through certain vines. However having said that I don't remember if it was squash or pumpkin or either. Probably the stickery hairs on the vines is what deters.

If you could plant a perimeter barrier of the deterring vines you might be able to grow corn or other crops out in the middle. Haven't a clue how that might work out.

Okay folks, what vine was it that deer don't like to walk through? Was it even deer or another critter such as racoon?
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Old 04/17/09, 04:09 PM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: North Fla
Posts: 805
Yes, deer will eat tomatoes - both green and perfectly ripe - at least here in Florida they do.

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Old 04/17/09, 07:36 PM
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Central NY
Posts: 108
I heard that raccoons don't like vines. It was recommended to me to plant a thick border of marigolds. They don't like the smell. Other things to use as a border to keep out deer are: butterfly weed, coreopsis, echinacea, poppies, Joe Pye Weed, gaillardia, candytuft, shasta daisies, painted daisies, gloriosa daisies, tiger lilies, hyssop, vervain & horehound.
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Old 04/17/09, 10:25 PM
Join Date: May 2002
Location: South Central Wisconsin
Posts: 14,801
Deer very much love any kind of bean. They'll go right down a row and eat the heart of each plant. They'll go down a sweet potato row and take off anything sticking up in the air. They eat the tops off beets and mangels. They'll eat every ear of sweet corn about a week before it's ready for humans.

Deer don't touch anything that I grow. Mix a quart of urine with Louisiana Supreme Garlic Hot Sauce and let it "age" for a few days. Then just a light spray on the leaves tell every deer that it tastes downright nasty and the urine smell lasts for some time. I had 50 sweet potato plants last year and never lost a leaf until time to harvest and no need for protection. Others had to build cages over their plants.

The above sounds drastic and that's because what used to work didn't work anymore. That was simply mixing the hot sauce with water. I swear that our deer herd changed their diets to include the hot stuff. However, the urine totally turned them away.

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Old 04/17/09, 10:53 PM
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Master Of My Domain
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 7,220
they will take a nibble out of dang near anything if they have never had it before. they will finish what they like. i used to think they wouldn't take more than a nibble out of tomato plants that were young and tender until i lost an entire row to them last year. they didn't stop there...they nibbled the tops of the neighboring row...and started eating the fruits! i saw deer bite marks on a few they didn't find ripe enough and others eaten halfway. i have even had potatoes topped off. i think they enjoyed the two hot pepper plants i had last at each end of the pepper row...totally topped off. i noticed today something had tried one of my garlic plants...never saw that before.

something has to give this year. i took a walk to the woods a hundred yards from my back door and less from my garden just an hour before dark...i spooked five deer already heading down. they have already topped 75% of the tulips this year and i saw nibbles taken from a few daylillies. my strawberries get topped nearly every year by deer or groundhogs. i used to get lucky with the beans as i planted them close to the house, but the deer seem to be getting bolder.
this message has probably been edited to correct typos, spelling errors and to improve grammar...

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Old 04/18/09, 08:14 AM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Southern Lower Michigan
Posts: 429
The deer here come and eat my daylilies next to the house.
Last year they ate my tomato starts, the green tomatoes testing for ripeness and the ripe tomatoes. They will try most things at least once. The garlic and onions they pretty much leave alone. The potoes I've never had too many problems with...yet.
I've used fish emulsion fertilizer on the tomatoes they don't seem to like that.
Fencing over everything, they started pulling carrots thru the fence. Then stepping on the fence to get what they want. This with a huge alfafalfa field right in back of the garden! Speedy beef thats what we call them. Lisa
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Old 04/18/09, 08:47 AM
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Location: Adirondacks of NY
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Deer will eat everything you want to keep and nothing you want to get rid of.
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Old 04/18/09, 08:57 AM
Rocky Fields's Avatar
Failure is not an option.
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 2,623

As mentioned above, they like to try everything at least once. Some of them will even eat rhubarb leaves!

It's not good enough that we do our best; sometimes we have to do what's required. - Winston Churchill
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Old 04/18/09, 10:42 AM
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Master Of My Domain
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 7,220
Originally Posted by adkpete View Post
Deer will eat everything you want to keep and nothing you want to get rid of.

hmmmm...i thought that was goats!
this message has probably been edited to correct typos, spelling errors and to improve grammar...

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