Deer are a huge issue for numerous gardeners, and I get a lot of questions about what plants are deer resistant and how to create deer evidence gardens. Thankfully I’ve never had to deal with deer in my garden, so I contacted an edibles professional to help out. In this post, she shares her finest pointers for keeping deer out of the garden, consisting of a great long list of deer resistant vegetables to grow.
Deer Resistant Vegetables And Herbs For Your Garden
A lot of food garden enthusiasts understand there is no such thing as a deer proof vegetables or plants that deer don’t consume– if starving enough, deer will consume anything– however over the years I’ve found out that certain vegetables and herbs are less palatable.
My own 2000 square foot garden is now surrounded by an electrical deer fence, however for almost 20 years, I relied on deer resistant herbs and vegetables and basic plastic netting for safeguarding plants from deer, with different success.
I found out early on which vegetables deer don’t like, which were periodically deer resistant veggie plants, and which plants deer like to consume the most (peas and beans).
DEER RESISTANT VEGETABLES AND HERBS
Through trial and much error, I discovered several types of garden vegetables deer will not eat. Normally, they will keep away from edibles that are smelly, strong-flavored, irritable, hazardous or hiding beneath the earth (roots & roots).
You can even pair the vegetables deer don’t like to eat with the plants that deer love to eat in order to (ideally) hinder deer from grazing on your treasured pole beans.
SMELLY VEGGIES DEER DON’T LIKE
Deer do not like pungent smells, so make buddies with fragrant deer repellent plants like garlic, onions, scallions, leeks, fennel, chives, and garlic chives.
Aromatic herbs, like mint (just grow in a pot!), dill, rosemary, chamomile, basil, and oregano are also less appetizing and can often push back deer.
STRONG FLAVORED HERBS DEER WON’T CONSUME.
Veggies and herbs with strong tastes are not as appealing to deer as tender lettuce, chard and infant kale.
Fawns that do not understand better may take a speculative bite, however generally parsley, thyme, sage, lemon balm, lavender, and cilantro are herbs deer will not consume.
PRICKLY VEGGIE PLANTS DEER WON’T EAT.
I certainly would not want to eat prickly or sharp leaves, and deer typically feel the same way, avoiding plants like squash, zucchini, pumpkins, cucumbers, globe artichokes and cardoon.
That’s not to say that I have not seen the periodic bite out of my cucumber or squash fruits, but once the leaves are growing thick, the deer appear to pass them by.
Another technique is to grow vining crops vertically, like squash and cucumbers on A-frame trellises (something like this or this one work great!). The shape of the trellis indicates most fruits will grow inside the ‘A’ of the structure, safeguarding them from marauding deer.
HARMFUL VEGGIES THAT DEER AVOID.
Deer are ruminants, which implies they ferment food in their stomachs and can absorb a very wide variety of plants. Yet, there are still plants that are poisonous to them.
This list of deer resistant plants that are toxic includes rhubarb and members of the tomato household (tomatoes, peppers, eggplants).
That said, there have been numerous years that deer have devastated my newly planted tomato beds, nipping the complete the young plants.
Nevertheless, generally these are vegetables that deer will not eat, specifically once the plants have reached a mature size. My rhubarb has actually never ever been touched by deer.
VEGETABLES DEER CAN’T EAT.
Since of their below ground location, root and tuberous crops are typically deer resistant garden veggies. That said, deer do love to chew on the tops of root veggies like carrots, beets, radishes and potatoes, which can stunt their growth.
I discover that floating deer netting on top of mini hoops will omit the deer and provide your root veggies the time they need to mature.
UTILIZING DEER REPELLENT SPRAYS.
And, since we’re on the topic of developing deer resistant gardens, I thought I would rapidly address another question I frequently get asked– does using deer repellents work to keep deer out of the garden? The brief response to this is yes, however … you need to be diligent about it.
Mixing deer resistant veggies and herbs, along with the continued use of deer repellent for plants will absolutely offer you the upper hand. Just be sure to use natural deer repellent spray in your vegetable garden. This is an excellent brand name of natural deer repellent, along with this brand name– and this deer spray repellent came extremely suggested from a pal.
BEST DEER RESISTANT PLANTS LIST.
For quick referral, here is the full list of deer resistant veggies and herbs listed above for you to attempt. A few of these are plants that keep deer away, and others are plants deer will not eat (normally).
Deer Resistant Veggies.
Deer Resistant Herbs.
Unfortunately, there is no such thing as deer proof veggies, however there are lots of kinds of deer resistant plants that they don’t like. So, if you have an issue with deer eating plants in your vegetable garden, take a while to create a deer resistant veggie garden design strategy.
Surround your veggie garden with deer resistant veggies and plants that discourage deer, then plant the ones that they love in the middle. Entering into the habit of doing this every year will help you create more deer resistant gardens.