There’s no pleasure like that of eating fresh vegetables hand-picked from one’s own backyard. However, one of the challenges that gardeners face is the constant deer attack on their vegetables. These animals are herbivorous ruminants; they can digest various plant material like leaves, stems, shoots, leaves and roots. They eat almost every kind of vegetable when faced with hunger, but some vegetables are more preferred than others.
Most Preferred Vegetables
Deer feed on the growing plants of green peas, black-eyed peas, Swiss chard, beans and corn, and often eat up the entire plant; they also prefer green peppers to hot or sweet peppers. Plants to which deer are attracted include leafy green vegetables like lettuce that exhibit luxuriant growth in the spring and summer. These plants are naturally rich in proteins, carbohydrates, salts and minerals, and their nutrient levels are further enhanced by the application of fertilizers.
Medium Preferred Vegetables
Deer are commonly seen feeding on cabbage, cauliflower, kale, broccoli and Brussels sprouts. These creatures eat the tender shoots of cucumber, pumpkin, melon, zucchini and yellow squash, avoiding their fuzzy, prickly vines because they contain toxic compounds known as cucurbitacins that bring on irritation in the lips and mouth. Sweet potato, beet, carrots and radish grow underground, so it takes deer longer to get to the fleshy root. They eat these vegetables only when more preferred vegetables are not available.
Least Preferred Vegetables
The tops of rhizomes like potatoes contain a toxic substance called solanine; this substance is also present in other vegetables in the nightshade family such as tomatoes. This puts both potatoes and tomatoes on a deer’s least preferred vegetable list. These animals may not eat up the entire plant in this category of vegetables, but they can do considerable damage to the garden beds even while tasting it. Deer will almost always avoid mature asparagus and rhubarb, although they sometimes eat its new shoots. They also avoid eggplant and okra as far as possible. Deer stay away from vegetables that have a sharp smell and strong taste, which is the case with bulbs like garlic, onions, and leeks, and herbs such as mint, chives, dill, rosemary, thyme and fennel; they will feed on these plants only as a last resort.
Deer Repellents in Vegetable Gardens
Homeowners who grow vegetables in their gardens often find some of their plants completely eaten up by deer. Other vegetable plants are nibbled at, torn up from the ground, trampled upon or damaged in other ways. Deer show a strong preference towards certain vegetables, but when food is scarce, they will eat almost any vegetable; this makes them a big threat to vegetable patches in gardens and yards. Gardeners can use Shake-Away Deer Repellent Packs to keep deer away from their vegetables. The pouches of this repellent product contain granules that let off the scent of a coyote’s urine. The coyote is the main predator of deer; the smell that is picked up by the sensitive nose of deer is enough to instill fear in them. Shake-Away Deer Repellent is an easy-to-use, all-weather, all-natural product which will keep gardens free of deer for a long time.