How I Stop Deer From Eating My Tomato Plants

Tomatoes are one of a deer’s favorite foods to eat, especially as the fruits start to ripen so this can be extremely challenging to most gardeners. This article will discuss the three best ways to stop deer from eating tomatoes and tomato plants.

A motion sensor sprinkler device is one way to stop deer from eating tomatoes & tomato plants

Motion sensor activated sprinkler device trying to protect a tomato garden from deer browsing

A motion sensor-activated sprinkler device is an effective way to stop deer from eating your tomato plants as long as they always work properly, and sometimes they don’t. The above picture shows tomato plants in a garden protected in a garden by a motion sensor sprinkler, and the plants have been recently eaten by deer. I found by using these devices that they worked well, but I also experienced times when the sensor didn’t work properly and would allow deer to enter my garden and browse freely. You need to turn the device off to enter your garden and you must always remember to turn it back on again or the deer will have full access to your garden. Larger gardens will need multiple devices to cover all areas of the garden, and you will need a water supply and a hose connected to each of these devices.

Deer repellent spray is another effective way to stop deer from eating your tomato plants

Fully loaded tomato plants protected exclusively by deer repellant spray

Deer repellent spray will work to stop deer from eating your tomatoes and tomato plants, but you must be consistent in your spraying. The tomatoes in the above picture were protected exclusively using deer repellent spray, and deer passed by my garden almost daily. The complete plants were sprayed regularly until the fruits began to ripen, then only ground and surrounding plants were sprayed as well as a few tomato branches that didn’t have ripening fruit on them. Most commercially purchased deer repellents say that fruits are safe to eat if you wash them before eating, I just chose not to spray the ripening fruit. I do know from other tests I have conducted, that tomatoes with repellent sprayed directly on them, will stop deer from eating those tomatoes. Deer repellent sprays must be re-applied regularly, I spray every other week, and weekly as fruits start to ripen because deer love vine ripe tomatoes like candy.

Netting is a very good way to stop deer from eating your tomatoes, and a properly constructed fence will keep them away

Tomato plants protected from deer browsing by using netting

Over the years I have regularly used netting to keep deer from eating my tomatoes, especially as the fruits start to ripen. Sometimes the deer will push against the netting and still take a bite of a juicy tomato through the netting, damaging that tomato, if netting can be staked away from the plants, this will prevent this damage from happening. A perimeter fence around your garden is a sure way to stop deer from eating your garden if it is constructed correctly. It must be at least eight feet high, preferably higher, or two shorter fences placed three to four feet apart. this works because deer have poor depth perception. The fence must also go clear to the ground because deer will climb under fences.

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