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Do Deer Eat Tomatoes? 11 Ways to PROTECT your Plants

Deer are beautiful animals to watch, but they can wreak havoc on gardens and farm fields. Many people are asking me: do deer eat tomatoes? Also, do deer eat tomato plants?

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Do deer eat tomatoes?

Yes, deer (including whitetail deer) will eat your tomatoes. They like the leaves and stems of tomato plants the best, but they’ll also eat fruit when it’s ripe and available to them. They can also be a nuisance by eating other plants in your garden or even berry bushes, roses, and other flowering plants around your property.

Do deer like tomatoes? The deer are attracted to the smell of fresh-picked tomatoes as well as ripe ones just ripening on the vine. Moreover, deer will also eat tomato plants, starting from their softer tips and anything else you are growing in your garden, like pumpkins, lettuce, and much more! Deers will keep coming back until you take action if you leave them access to your yard!

While deer are protected by law, they have become a problem in many areas of the United States.

Deers are mostly active at night and they damage crops, eat plants, and cause property damage.

In any case, keep in mind that also squirrels and birds can eat tomatoes, so make sure to take precautions also against those.

This is why you should keep deer out of your garden by using one or a combination of these 10 methods.

How do I keep deer from eating my tomato plants?

Here are 11 ways to effectively keep deer from eating tomato plants and other vegetables in your garden.

1. Fence

You can also construct a fence to keep deer out of your garden. Just bear in mind that deer are great at jumping fences, so, make sure that the fence is tall enough for them to clear.

You should also use a solid gate and something else in the gate, like barbed wire to keep them from getting through easily.

Physical barriers are by far the best way to deer-proof your garden and prevent those animals from eating your plants.

If you live in an area where there are lots of deer, then this might be the best option for keeping them out of your yard (or at least making it less appealing as a snack). If not, and if you have more than one type of animal trying its best to get into your yard, then you may also consider using electric fencing.


When constructing a fence, keep in mind that deers can even jump 8 ft barriers. However, here are some important considerations about deer behavior that may help you to save some money:

  • Deer will not jump if it can’t see where it will be landing: if the fence is completely blocking the view of what’s on the other side, deer will not take the risk of jumping and will go somewhere else.
  • Deer don’t jump over moving things: for example, a cheap way to secure your fence is to attach some branches to it and leave the branches sticking out on top of the fence. The branches will move with the breeze and deer will not feel confident in jumping over them.
  • Deer don’t jump if they see objects lying around on the ground on the other side of the fence: this could be anything from some stones to some more specific protection such as metallic wire or other objects that could prevent a safe landing. In this way, you can avoid having deer jumping even fences that are not very high.

While erecting a fence can be very costly, keeping in mind the just mentioned facts about deer should help you to reduce the expense and make a more effective barrier.

2. Repellents for deer and other animals

If you want to keep deer and other animals out of your garden, there are several repellents available.

Some people have found success also with homemade deer repellents. For example, you can make a homemade repellent with cayenne pepper, garlic powder, and hot sauce. Another effective homemade repellent is instead made with dried blood, hot sauce, and fox or coyote urine.

As an alternative, you can use a commercial deer repellent like this mint scent deer repellent.

The disadvantage of using deer repellent is that you’ll have to reapply it every couple of weeks or when it rains.

3. Hang scented soap

Soap is a natural deer repellent. It’s been used for centuries as an effective method of deterring pests and keeping away unwanted visitors, but did you know that soap can also help keep deer from eating your tomatoes?

If you hang up some scented soaps around your garden (or even just one or two), the scent will be too harsh for deer to tolerate, and since they don’t like the smell they’ll stay away!

4. Add a motion-activated sprinkler

If you’re looking for an easy way to keep deer from eating tomato plants and out of your garden, consider installing a motion-activated sprinkler. These sprinklers are designed to spray water in a large area, and they can be set so that they spray water in multiple directions at once.

This will scare the deer and make it feel very uncomfortable to roam close to your property. As a result, the deer will likely just move to a quieter area far from the sprinkler.

If you would like to give this a try, it is better to prefer a solar powered sprinkler like this one.

5. Get a dog

Dogs are a great way to prevent deer from eating tomatoes and other plants in your garden.

They can be trained to protect your garden and chase away the deer. They can also help keep them off of your property, by leaving their scent behind in the area where they were last seen.

Some breeds are better at guarding than others, for example, a large breed may work best for keeping animals away from gardens. However, don’t forget about training them!

6. Install wind chimes

Wind chimes are a great way to deter deer from getting into your garden and eating your tomatoes. They can be made from metal, wood, or plastic and come in many different shapes and sizes.

Some of the most common wind chimes include the ones with bells that ring when the wind blows them around. You can also purchase an electronic version that makes noise when it’s bumped against something else.

But those chimes don’t have to be expensive, in fact even just some simple plastic bags that make noise with the breeze could be effective to deter deer.

You can hang these types of deterrents on trees or fences around your garden so they’re within reach when deer attempt to eat what you’ve planted there!

If you plan on hanging something from a tree branch (or fence), make sure that it’s out of reach for small children who might accidentally climb up into them: you don’t want them getting stuck up there!

7. Companion planting

Deer don’t like some types of plants, so why not place some of them near or all around your tomato plants in your garden?

When deer will be roaming around your yard, they will start noticing a large quantity of those plants they hate and will likely not expect to find anything tasty nearby. So they will prefer to go somewhere else to look for food.

Here are some popular companion plants to deter deer. They hate or don’t like any of those:

  • Mint: Deers hate mint and will steer clear of it. Simply plant some mint close to your tomatoes and will keep both deer and squirrels away.
  • Lavender. This plant is also known as “Lavandula,” and it’s a great way to keep out deer because its scent smells like mint or soap, which makes it a natural repellent for deers and also pests such as mice, voles, and rabbits (who also love eating tomato seeds).
  • Rosemary or sage leaves are both effective at deterring deer from eating your tomato plants, but if you want something even more powerful than either of these two options try dill! The pungent smell will keep deer away from your tomatoes.
  • Yarrow flowers are another good choice because they contain sal volatile oils which act as natural repellents against insects like flies and mosquitoes too.
  • Boxwood: if you like some green plant that can act as a deer repellent, then boxwood is a great choice! Deers don’t like it and will not eat it.

If you don’t like any of those plants, there are still many others you can use to protect your garden from deer.

So there you have it! If you want to keep deer away from your tomatoes then try planting one of these plants around the perimeter of your garden or even in pots alongside them. It’s a simple fix that will save you tons of money on tomato seedlings and also help to keep your plants safe from other wild animals.

8. Use ultrasounds

Deer are sensitive to ultrasonic sounds, so you can use them as a deterrent. These devices use sound waves that humans cannot hear. They will not hurt the animals, but they may annoy them with the noise and push them to spend their time elsewhere.

Ultrasounds made with frequencies above 20,000 Hz (or cycles per second) can be used to keep deer away from property or gardens where you do not want them visiting your plants.

You can get a good solar-powered ultrasonic deer deterrent here.

The Best Deer Repellent

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9. Use a fishing line

If you are looking for an easy and cheap way to keep deer away from your plants, try using a fishing line. A fishing line is a perfect barrier against deer because it’s cheap, effective, and reusable. You can use it to make a barrier around each plant in the garden or around the perimeter of your yard as well.

Your first step will be to find the right size of fishing line; the smaller sizes work best if you want them only around individual plants or shrubs while larger ones may work better if you need them all around the yard.

Ideally, you need a fishing line that will not break too easily, but at the same time, it is best if the deer can’t see it. So the ideal fishing line to use is around 40 lbs, like this one.

Deers will not see the fishing line while they are roaming at night, but they will feel that there’s a barrier. Confused by not knowing exactly what is stopping it, the deer will simply move in another direction.

To use this method, simply put some poles on the ground to keep the fishing line and create a barrier all around your garden.

10. Use leggings

Deer are attracted by the smell of tomato plants and other tasty vegetables. A great method to prevent deer from eating your tomatoes and that works when the plants are already grown up is to use leggings.

Leggings can be effective at keeping deer away from your tomatoes because the animal will think that the fruit is not really edible because covered with leggings. So it will just move along.

Nylon leggings are ideal because they are elastic and can fit almost any vegetable. At the same time, they are semi-transparent and will allow for some sunlight to reach the fruit or vegetable.

The downside is that leggings may be will cost some money and will also require some work, because you will have to put them one by one on all the vegetables you want to protect.

Overall, there are probably better ways to keep deer from eating tomatoes than this one, but it is a quite unusual solution that was fun to report!

11. Remove the temptation

One other way to keep deer out of your garden is simply by removing the temptation. For example: remove any nearby food sources, including bird feeders and standing water in your yard. Deer are attracted to both bird seed and water, so if you have either on hand, remove it from your property or put them out of reach before deers can find it.

This includes not leaving out dog food, which could attract deer into your yard as well.

If you have small children, make sure that they don’t leave out food for the animals. This includes not only dog treats but also any small snacks that could attract deer into your yard.


Whether it’s done to help sustainability and save the environment, by having a more sustainable lifestyle, save money or for its health benefits, it’s rapidly becoming more common to be growing your own food at home.

Homegrown food is one of the amazing examples of sustainability and a great path towards self sustainability, helping to reduce the emissions caused by the transport of food and reducing waste.

Home-grown food is nutritious, tastes amazing, and gives you a feeling of satisfaction that you don’t get from buying vegetables at a store. Tomatoes are a fantastic option for growing food in your own garden, especially if you’re just starting out. They’re easy to grow and are tasty and nutritious.

Can deer eat tomatoes? Will deer eat tomatoes? Do deer eat tomatoes and tomato plants? Yes, they do, but you can deer-proof your garden and keep them away by simply adopting one or more of those countermeasures:

  1. Get a dog
  2. Repellents for deer and other animals
  3. Hang scented soap
  4. Construct a fence
  5. Add a motion-activated sprinkler
  6. Install wind chimes
  7. Companion planting
  8. Use ultrasounds
  9. Use a fishing line
  10. Use leggings
  11. Remove the temptation

Deer are a great addition to the ecosystem, but they can be a real nuisance when it comes to gardens and farms.

Fortunately, there are many ways you can use natural deterrents in your yard to keep them away from your harvest without using chemicals or harsh traps.

You just need some space, some creativity, and maybe even an animal helper like a dog or cat who will bark at any movement he sees outside!