Do Deer eat Tomatoes? (Tips to keep them away from your garden)

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Do Deer eat Tomatoes? Yes! As we love tomatoes, so do deers. Who can resist juicy, pulpy, and delicious tomatoes? This article discusses some tips to keep deers away from your garden and are tomatoes edible or non-toxic for animals. Let’s dig this further.

We love tomatoes in our garden that are growing healthy and red-colored with full of juice. Deers also love them. Deers roam around your garden boundaries in search of food. Mostly this is seen when the area is quite woody and not many fruit trees or vegetables are in the vicinity of deers.

Deers like to eat leaves, fruits, vegetables, and bushes, so there are chances that the nearby plants and foliage also can get damaged. Deers also munch on peppers, cucumbers, beet, beans, strawberries, squash, etc. But do deers eat tomatoes or tomato plants? Are tomatoes toxic for deer? How do you keep them away from the tomato plants? All the information is given in detail below. So, keep reading!

Do Deer eat Tomatoes?

A question always comes in front of us: I have grown tomatoes, will deer eat tomatoes? Here is the straight answer, yes deer definitely eat tomatoes. Tomato is one of the fruits they like to eat. When hungry, deers can jump long distances and can eat the tomatoes off the vine. They look at the red color-popping tomatoes and don’t lose a chance to munch on them. 

Do deer eat tomato plants?

Deer can eat any type of leaves, and when they can eat tomatoes then definitely they never leave the parts of tomato plants. They eat them and if in large numbers deer can drastically affect your vegetable garden or fruit garden. Deer are super hungry in a day and eat 6 to 8 percent of their body weight in a single day. 

How to find that Deer have eaten your tomatoes?

The tomatoes that are not at the extreme top and have been eaten messily, then deers can be to blame. The damage caused by deer is similar to that of rabbits. Deers will just not eat fruit but also every part of the tomato plant. They can eat drastically and sometimes can completely vanish the plant overnight. 

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How to keep deer away from the garden? 


There are many deer repellent sprays out there in the gardening stores that people often buy to keep deer away from fruits and vegetables. Deers always stay alert for the predators and smell amazingly well, as a defensive system. These sprays smell weird to the deers and they detect something wrong and quickly run away. The smell is usually similar to rotten meat or eggs. 

Other than this, you can also use some stuff already present in your home, like used eggs, and smelly shoes, and put them in the sack and tie them near the tomato plants. Dissolving some hot sauce with four gallons of water and spraying it all over tomato plants also helps. 


To protect the tomatoes from deers that can jump heights, fencing can be beneficial only if it has enough height like 8-9 feet made of wires or heavy gauges. You can separately put the fence to every plant but that would be tiring and costly. An electric fence is often used by people for the night protection of tomato plants and the garden as a whole. The fence should give a mild shock to the deer so they get aware of the danger and harm they might get from jumping the fence or going near it. 

Deer-proof tomato cages

Deer-proof tomato plant cages are another effective way to get rid of deers eating your plants. You simply need to place the plant cage around the plant having stakes that will and tiny air holes that will not let dees eat tomato plants. The horizontal cage placed in a row on the tomato plant works well too. The same example is a ‘deer netting fence’ that will also be a barrier between your tomato plants and deer.


Have an extra-long wire? Use it! You can lay down the wire or fencing wire on the ground or within the boundaries of the garden. Individually placing the wire on the ground around the plants will also be helpful in keeping deers away from the plants. The hooves when touching the wire, deer sense that something is not good and hate touching wire like that, by this way they will stay away from the tomato plants. This method is beneficial but has low chances of success. 

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The soaps having a strong smell are used to repel deers off the garden. The soap will be inserted in the socks(nylon)and can be tied near the plant and let it do its work.

Ultrasonic devices 

Buying an ultrasonic deer repellent device is another good investment for keeping your tomato plants safe. You can get them in the market, a good quality device is what you need. They keep the deer away by releasing some high-frequency sound that will make the deer cautious and they might turn back and get irritated with the sound. Humans can not hear the ultrasonic sound but some animals only. 

To know more about the plant world, you may also read related articles, Do Rabbits eat Tomato Plants? – How to keep Rabbits out of your Garden?

Companion plants

Another way is to plant some other plants that have a strong smell to the tomato plants. Deers don’t like strong smells of chives, pepper, garlic, sage, rosemary, purple fountain grass, and boxwood. You can plant any of these near the main plant in your garden, so that deer don’t come near your tomatoes. 

Motion-activated sprinklers

The motion-activated sprinklers are the devices that are automated and are meant to spray the cold water as they detect any motion in close proximity. They run on batteries or sometimes are solar charged. Some devices are fed with an alarm to alert the owner about the attack of deer or other animals. 

Wrapping up the context

The deers love plants and are herbivores, we love them. But, we love our garden too and tomatoes are our favorites. To keep the deers away from eating your plants and wiping them out you need to be aware of the various devices that you can get in the market and use them. Other than that many protective fences can be used, and protective wires and cages can be used to create barriers between your plants and deer. We hope you like this information and find this helpful! 


Will deer eat the tops of tomato plants?

The answer to this is an absolute yes! Deers like to munch on any leaves they get and also many plant parts. They are hungry most of the time and feed on fruits too when they are in their vicinity. Tomatoes are juicy fruits and deers will also feed on top fruits or leaves if they like and can jump that height of fewer than 8 feet. 

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What veggies do deer not eat?

Obviously, the root vegetables that are not easily accessible to the deers are hard to eat. These vegetables need digging. Other than this, cucumbers and squashes are also not liked by the deers. Veggies that have a strong fragrance like garlic, and onion, are also avoided by the deers.

Will deer eat unripe tomatoes?

Deer eat both ripe and unripe tomatoes, leaves, and plant parts as well. They eat in large amounts, cause big damage to the plant, and sometimes completely wipe off the plant and leave just the bottom parts of the plant. 

What smell do deer hate the most?

Deers have strong smelling power and the smells they usually don’t like and prefer to stay away from are the strong smells like garlic, rosemary, onions, thyme, oregano, marigolds, rotten eggs, lavender, mint, and thyme. 

Do deer eat tomatoes off the vine?

Yes, deer will eat tomatoes off the vine. If you have a garden with tomatoes, be sure to keep an eye on it to make sure that the deer don’t get to them first. Deer will start eating tomatoes early in the season, and they can quickly consume a large number of them. If you have plants that are meant to attract wildlife, such as wildflowers, make sure that they are also attractive to deer. This will help keep them away from your tomatoes.

Do deer eat tomatoes or tomato plants?

There is some debate over whether or not deer eat tomatoes or tomato plants. However, it is generally accepted that they do eat some types of tomatoes. According to one study, deer eat around 12% of the tomato crop each year. This means that they are a significant part of the food chain in regards to tomatoes.

Do deer eat actual tomatoes?

Many people are curious about deer eating actual tomatoes. The answer is that deer do not eat tomatoes directly, but rather they eat the leaves and fruits of the tomato plant. This is because the leaves and fruits of the tomato plant are full of nutrients that deer find beneficial.

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