Do deer eat strawberry plants? If you’re an avid gardener, this is one of the most important questions you want answers to. Deer love to eat berries, and it’s not surprising that strawberries of the genus Fragaria are among their favorite fruit.
While this might not surprise you, this post will help you know how to prevent them from eating strawberries in your garden.
JUMP TO TOPIC
- Do Deer Eat Strawberry Plants?
- Which Type of Strawberries Do Deer Eat?
- What Are Signs of Deer Eating Strawberries?
- How To Prevent Deer From Eating Strawberry Plants?
Do Deer Eat Strawberry Plants?
It’s pretty easy to notice deer hanging around in the summer and spring months, especially when strawberries are in plenty. These creatures of habit tend to stick to the same food sources. Deer eat strawberries, and they love these fruits for their sweet taste.
Strawberries are sweet, and deer will eat these fruits due to their sweet and fresh taste. Deer will often be attracted to sugary fruits since they enjoy the taste. They usually enjoy any fruit which has a sweet taste, and these little red strawberries are also one of them.
The strawberry flavor is another factor that influences deer to enjoy eating strawberries. These fruits are dense in sugar and contain volatile compounds like ethyl esters. In addition, they are rich in water and also fibrous, which makes it safe for them to eat.
– The Smell
Like any other wild animal, deer are attracted to strawberry vine or plant because of their strong scent. Strawberry wholly have terpene in them, which contributes to their pleasant aroma.
Remember that these animals are able to smell the aroma from a long distance, and they will come by and eat them as a source of nutrients and food. You will see them plants have bitten off, but the stems or leaves have remained there.
Which Type of Strawberries Do Deer Eat?
Deer enjoy eating common strawberry varieties, such as Honeoye, Seascape, and Chandler. All these strawberries have a unique taste that appeals to deer. They all have a sweetness to them regarding taste and smell which will attract them as they hunt for food.
– Honeoye Strawberries
Honeoye strawberries are bright red and are often delicious. These berries are normally ready for picking from June to early July.
Deer will prefer eating these varieties over other types.
– Seascape Strawberries
Seascape strawberries are also bright red but are larger than the Honeoye varieties. They have a sweet and tart flavor that deer love so much, because of the unique flavor which isn’t revolting to their liking.
– Chandler Strawberries
Chandler strawberries are deep red and glossy. These strawberries have a unique flavor, and deer enjoy eating them right from the vines.
These berries are ones that they will enjoy and their palate won’t be hurt, because they have a smooth texture and are soft to the chewing and the biting of these animals.
What Are Signs of Deer Eating Strawberries?
Signs of deer eating strawberries would be to check for their droppings on the soil, in addition to check for the bite marks that they will leave on the vines. On the other hand, you can also check for the hoof prints that would be left on the grounds.
Before you think about, it’s worth knowing how to identify deer eating habits. This can help you to know exactly what ate strawberries in your garden or other garden plants for that matter.
– Check for Droppings
One clear sign that deer ate your garden plants is the droppings they leave behind. Deer will leave behind a bunch of hard brown marble-sized balls. While most gardeners consider their droppings good fertilizer, keeping them in your garden only attracts other deer.
If you wish to know a way how to prevent deer from eating strawberry plants, you must be keen on checking for the signs, as droppings are one of them, since these fruit are rich in fiber, and water.
– Bites Marks
Deer don’t nibble these plants like little animals would. If the strawberries in your farm are torn with their leaves ripped, this is a clear sign you’re dealing with deer.
Although deer are wild animals, but you would know that they are the ones biting the vine through the choppy cut, and not a neatly munch on strawberry leaves.
– Hoof Prints
Deer are large pests, meaning they will leave huge footprints on your garden, especially in the snow. It’s also easy to notice their footprints on soft ground. Deer hooves are two-toed and usually create heart-shaped markings on the ground. These prints will be left around the soil where the animal came in and went out from, which would be obvious by early morning.
The important thing to realize is that mature deer typically weigh about 150 pounds. Therefore, these are heavy animals and won’t tiptoe on your garden; that’s a guarantee.
How To Prevent Deer From Eating Strawberry Plants?
To prevent deer from eating strawberries you can install a deer-proof fence, use a hardware mesh for protection, and spread some deer repellent solutions. On another note, you can even install motion-activated sprinklers, and get rid of their hiding spots, you can also create a deer-resistant hedge.
– Install a Deer-proof Fence
If you don’t have a deer-proof fence around your garden, this is the first step you should take to prevent deer from accessing your garden plants. Keep in mind that you want to control both small and large pests, including rabbits, because if you wonder do rabbits eat strawberry plants? The answer to that is yes as well, so it’s a win-win to install this fence.
Build a deer-proof fence that’s at least eight feet tall. You can also extend the height of your fence by adding two to three electric wires on top. This guarantees that you don’t have to worry about deer entering your garden. Don’t worry the animal won’t be hurt, they will just be stimulated witha little shock, which would mean that they aren’t welcome.
– Use Hardware Mesh
If you have a few strawberries and you wish to protect them, you can opt for individual protection using a half-inch mesh cloth six feet wide. Create circular fences around each plant. Ensure the mesh is high enough so that deer don’t access the strawberry leaves and fruits from the top.
A deer will stand up to about seven feet high on its hind limbs. Which means that, it’s important to raise the mesh, because you wouldn’t want them to get into this zone.
– Use Deer Repellents
Deer repellents will also help to discourage these animals from invading your garden. However, the main issue with deer repellents is that these animals might continue feeding on your plants once they taste them.
For a DIY deer repellent, spray your plants with a mixture of eggs and water. Do this once every month to prevent deer from eating your berries, and it will be great to preserve them from being bitten.
On another note, also consider some chili pepper, which would also work best to keep deer away from your garden. Deer and rabbits have acute senses of smell, and chili pepper is quite offensive. Use chili pepper around your garden. You can spray it on your fruits and veggies if you’ve noticed deer or other pests foraging your farm, reapply chili pepper every time it rains.
– Install Motion-activated Sprinklers
Motion-activated sprinklers are an effective solution to scare deer away from your garden. These sprinklers turn on when deer enter your farm, scaring them away.
Deer will remember the scary encounter and won’t revisit your lawn.
– Get Rid of Hiding Spots
Keep your garden clean and organized to ensure deer can’t hide in between plants. Eliminate weeds and trim tall grass and hanging branches. These hiding spots encourage deer and other small pests to forage in your garden.
– Create Deer-Resistant Hedges
Knowing what plants repel deer will be a great addition to your garden if you live in an area where these shy animals are prevalent. Plant perennial and annual herbs that deer tend to avoid. Use these plants as hedges around your garden or property.
Doing so will discourage the entry of deer. Consider planting Mexican sage, lamb’s ear, mints, lavender, onion, thyme, coneflower, forget-me-not, and more.
Do deer love strawberry? YES! Deer are attracted to strawberries because of their sweet and tart taste. Here are vital pointers to bear in mind to ensure you keep these animals away from your garden:
- Deer enjoy eating strawberry plants and will damage these plants if they can access your garden.
- These animals love the smell and the sweet taste of these plants, and will be attracted towards them.
- Secure your garden to prevent deer entry by installing a deer-proof fence, using deer repellents, a hardware mesh, and creating deer-resistant hedges.
Generally, it’s crucial that you identify which pests are eating your garden plants and work toward preventing them from accessing your garden plants. Use the tips herein to discourage deer entry into your lawn.