Do Deer Eat Tomatoes?

Basit Ali Chaudhary

Yes, deer eat tomatoes. Deer’s can consume entire tomato plants. However, deer aren’t exactly renowned for their love for tomatoes, there have been numerous incidences of them browsing on the tomato plants to get a tasty snack. While tomatoes are not a permanent part of the deer diet but it is obvious that if deer encounter tomatoes, they will surely eat them.  

Deer are actually quite opportunistic eaters and will continuously hunt for opportunities to at as much s they can. Not just tomato, they will also eat pumpkins, green grass and any fruit and green vegetables.

Let’s jump toward today’s article why do deer eat tomatoes? And is it safe for deer to eat tomatoes? And if you have a beautiful tomato garden, how can you keep deer away from it?

Why do deer eat tomatoes? Are tomatoes safe for deer?

Deer need a well-balanced diet and are constantly in search of food. Their dietary needs also change with the seasons, but overall, they need healthy, nutritious food like green grass, nuts, fruits, and vegetables. That’s why tomatoes can definitely be on their list of favorite things. Their sweet taste and texture make them a favorite. Tomatoes are also a good source of food for deer, when they don’t have much else to eat. 

Tomatoes are safe for deer as well. Not just tomatoes are safe but they are also an inexpensive way to feed deer as well. Ripe tomatoes are non-toxic and healthy for deer. But that’s not the case with unripe green tomatoes, as they contain solanine which is a poisonous alkaloid. If deer consume a large amount of unripe green tomatoes, it could be harmful for them. 

Normally it is uncommon for deer to eat unripe green tomatoes as they have a bitter taste, and deer can smell and taste them. But if the deer is hungry, it can still consume them as well, which could cause digestion and stomach problems for them.

Are tomatoes nutritious?

ripe tomatoes

Tomatoes are delicious and full of minerals and nutrients. They are commonly used in many foods. They are a good source of vitamins A, C, K, and E. They have low-fat content and contain fiber and potassium as well. According to very well fit, a tomato of 91 g has below nutritional facts:

Calories: 16

Fat: 0.2g

Sodium: 5mg

Carbohydrates: 3.5g

Fiber: 1.1g

Sugars: 2.4g

Protein: 0.8g

Vitamin C: 12.5mg

Vitamin K: 7.2mcg

Potassium: 215.7mg

Vitamin A: 38.2mcg

Folate: 13.7mcg

Beta carotene: 408.6mcg

Lycopene: 2341.4mcg

Vitamin E: 0.5mg

How to keep deer away from your tomato garden?

You can prevent deer from entering your tomato garden by adopting various measures. It’s sure that if the deer population is common in your area, deer will visit your garden as they have a strong sense of smell and they can smell fruits and vegetables from far distance. Some of the useful measures you can take are as below:

1- Grow your tomatoes inside a metal cage. It will depend on how tall your tomato plant grows; the bigger it is, the taller the metal cage should be.

2- The second option is to use a fence around your garden. There are different fences easily available in the market. You can choose the material and height as per your requirement.

3- Grow plants in your garden that deter deer entry. Some examples of such plants are daffodils, marigolds, bee balm, etc.

4- You can also use homemade deer repellents. These repellents are very effective in keeping the deer away. Some examples of common repellents are egg and milk mixture and white vinegar with essential oil mixture.

5- Deer’s don’t like strong fragrances, and you can use this as a strategy to keep them away from your tomato garden. You can use a deodorant bar soap, cut it into small pieces and hang these pieces with tomato plants.  

How to make homemade deer repellent

Oil & Milk Deer Repellent

You can easily make a homemade deer repellent to prevent deer from entering your garden. Only a few items are needed that are common in every home. Just follow the below steps :

1-Take an egg and prepare it by beating it in a bowl.

2-Pour the beaten egg into a small bottle. You can use a funnel to pour it in a bottle.

3-After that, add 2 tbsp of cooking oil, 2 tbsp of dish soap, and 200 ml of milk in the same bottle.

4-Mix it well and shake it, so all ingredients get mixed together.

5-And that’s it. Your deer-repellent mixture is ready. You can spray it around your tomato garden.

Verdict: Do Deer Eat Tomatoes?

Deer are attracted to most vegetables and fruits. They have an amazing sense of smell and can smell from far distances. They are also curious animals and are in a constant search for food. They spend most of their time in eating and searching food. Tomato’s are no doubt in their good-to-eat list. So your tomato gardens are not safe from deer if left unchecked.

You can take measures such as installing a fence around your garden or growing tomatoes inside a metal cage. You can also prepare a DIY homemade deer repellent spray to deter deer entry into your garden.

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